Is “Man-Centered” Theology Bad Theology?

by Dr. Leighton Flowers

These are some recent comments sent to me via social media:

  • “Your theology is man-centered…”
  • “You are a humanistic Pelagian…”
  • “You start with man and build your view of God around humanistic reasoning.”
  • “Making God in your own image is not theology, Mr. Flowers!!!”

And those were the nice ones.  (Listen to the Podcast on this subject HERE. Also, the next podcast titled “Is Peter a Calvinist” also covers this topic.)

First, I would like us to try and objectively consider which soteriological perspective is actually more “humanistic.” To do so we need a good working definition. The American Heritage Dictionary defines humanistic as “one who is concerned with the interests and welfare of humans.”

I’ll objectively concede this point: When compared to the claims of Calvinism related to God’s ultimate desire for self-glorification it does appear that our soteriological perspective does put more emphasis on God’s concern with humanity over and above His concern for self-glorification. Notable Calvinists are known to argue that God’s primary concern is not the welfare of man, but for Himself and His own glory. 

In my journey to becoming a Calvinist, I was very drawn to the teachings about God’s desire for His own glory. This was especially attractive to me coming out of the more “seeker-sensitive” movement that seemed to put way too much focus on pleasing man rather than on glorifying God. And quite honestly, Calvinistic authors introduced me to many texts within scripture which so clearly supported the doctrine of God’s self-glorification that I could not begin to understand how any Bible-believing Christian could deny such truth. They would have to be selfish and humanistic to do so, right?

Regardless of what some of my Calvinistic friends may think; in my journey out of Calvinism, I did not abandon the truth that God seeks His own Glory. Instead, I realized that God’s Glory is best revealed in His self-sacrificial love for all.  I came to understand that God does not sacrifice creation for the sake of His own glory, but instead He sacrifices Himself for sake of His creation, which in turn reveals Him as the most glorious of all.

jesusselfsacrifice

By putting the welfare of man above His own self-glorification, God reveals Himself to be so much more abundantly glorious than anything we could imagine.  The Calvinist seems to think that God’s glory is best manifest by putting His own exaltation first, whereas the example of Christ reveals just the opposite. It is through giving up His glory, by putting the needs of lowly undeserving humans first, that He is most abundantly glorified.

In the flesh, I always care more about my own glory than the needs or wants of others.  Don’t you?  Yet, would Calvinists have us believe that God has this same “humanistic” characteristic?  Does God care more about His own glory than the welfare of humanity? Or, does God’s care for all humanity reveal just how glorious He really is?  How can the Calvinist rightly accuse our view of God as being “humanistic” when their view of God looks and sounds just like self-seeking humans who desire all the glory for themselves even if it means the sacrifice and suffering of others?

John Piper is quoted as saying, “God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking his own praise is the ultimate loving act. For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue.”  And I would re-word that by saying, “God is the one Being in all the universe who actually deserves to seek His own glory, praise, and self-exaltation, but instead chooses to empty Himself for the sake of worthless humanity in the ultimate act of love on Calvary. This act, once accepted by faith, leads us to freely praise, exalt and glorify Him for the self-sacrificial God He is.”

Are God’s genuine care and loving provision for all humanity the true reflection of His glory? Or, is God seeking His own glory at the expense of most humanity?  And which of those views is really more “humanistic?”

It’s only fair to consider the argument directly from a Calvinist. In John Piper’s sermon titled “Is God for us or for Himself?” he lays out the dilemma quite well:

“God’s aim and effort to glorify himself is wholly good and without fault of any kind and is very different from human self-exaltation because it is an expression of love… This observation leads us to the biblical reason why it seems offensive for God to seek his own glory. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Love seeks not its own.” Now this, indeed, seems to create a crisis, for if, as I think the Scriptures plainly teach, God makes it his ultimate goal to be glorified and praised, how then can he be loving? For “love seeks not its own.” For three weeks we have seen Scriptures that teach that God is for himself. “For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, my glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11). But if God is a God of love, he must be for us. Is, then, God for himself or is he for us?” 

If you go on to read or listen to the rest of this message you will learn that Piper teaches God is for Himself because that is what is best for us. As Piper explains, “To be supremely loving, God must give us what will be best for us and delight us most; he must give us himself.”

Of course, I agree with that statement, but you must keep in mind that in the Calvinistic worldview God only “gives himself” to a select few while leaving the rest to perish in their innate depraved corpse-like condition (an unchangeable condition from birth as decreed by God). Many of those “passed over” are people we dearly love and would sacrifice ourselves for if we were able.

Did Christ not teach us to stop and help our enemies rather than “pass them by on the other side?” (Luke 10:25-37)  Yet, are we to believe God passes over most of his own enemies from the time they are born until the time they die?  How can one reconcile this with the God revealed in Christ?

Dr. James White called my soteriology “man-centered,” and I have to agree. I have centered my soteriology on the man Jesus Christ. In Christ, we find someone who emptied Himself of glory so as to serve the needs of His enemies and then He called us to do the same. God, as revealed in Christ, is not a hypocrite. He practices what He preaches.

Philippians 2:1-9 states:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature Goddid not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.

Jesus, being the very nature God, is said to have “emptied Himself,” which is not His way of ceasing to be divine, but rather His way of revealing what it really means to be divine.  To be like God we mustn’t seek our own glory, but we must humble ourselves and seek to love even our greatest enemies. In doing so, we will find true glory because we find what it really means to be in the image of our Maker.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6

Several years ago I was riding in the car with a friend when the Michael W. Smith song, “Above All,” came on the radio.  Smitty sang, with his typical rasp, the well-known lyrics, “Like a rose, trampled on the ground, You thought of me, Above All.”

My friend let out an annoyed grunt, prompting me to ask, “What’s wrong?”

“That song is just so theologically inept,” my-John-Piper-loving friend exclaimed in disgust.

“How so?” I naively inquired.

“He thought of me, above all?  Really, Leighton? You think Jesus thought of us above all?  He thought of Himself! He thought of HIS OWN GLORY,” he passionately proclaimed like only a fellow preacher could. “God does what he does for his own glory, not for us. It is all about Him and His glory. That song was probably written by Joel Osteen or something!”

“What do you really think about it?” I quipped. About that time we arrived at our destination (a very good mexican restaurant) and the topic quickly changed to chips and salsa…also created for God’s glory, no doubt!

Since then I have thought about that conversation every time I hear those emotionally charged lyrics of the Smitster on the radio.  And I get the point my friend was making.  I’ve read the book Desiring God by John Piper and I know the reasoning behind such comments, but is that the right approach?  Did God really think of Himself above all?  Was it really about God getting all the glory and man getting none of it?

Sometimes I wonder if in our desire to express a truth about God we tend toward overstating a point to the neglect of another valid point.  In other words, does this have to be an ‘either/or’ premise?  Could it be that God’s glory is best made known through his sharing of glory with those He chose to create in His own image?  Is His Glory diminished in any way by giving us some of it?  After all, Jesus himself said, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:22)

This appears to be a ‘both/and’ principle.  God is BOTH loving us above all AND being glorified above all.  In fact, one might say he humbled himself so as to be most glorified. And then he tells us to go and do likewise (Matt. 5:43-48).

We are being crowned with glory (Ps. 8:5), but we, in turn, lay our crowns at His feet.  There is not a contradiction here, not when we accept the upside-down reality of God’s Kingdom, where the last really is the first and those putting others above themselves are the ones ultimately exalted above the rest…an eternal truth best reflected in the nature of our God Himself.

Listen, I get just as disgusted with the doctrinal illiteracy of our modern society as the next self-righteous blogger, but we must be careful not the ride the pendulum to the other extreme by downplaying the biblical teachings of God’s incarnational humility and genuine love lavished on the world.  Those expressions do not in any way diminish His glory, in fact, they demonstrate it.  Moreover, these expressions of divine humility and love teach us the narrow path that leads to our own exaltation (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10; Matt. 23:12).

What do you think? Is God really all about Himself? Do some people go overboard on this subject?  What is the right balance?

Which of these approaches is really more like humanity? The one where God, like sinful humanity, seeks His own glory at the expense of others?  Or, the approach where God sacrifices Himself for the sake of others and reveals Himself as truly glorious?

Listen to the Podcast on this subject HERE.

254 thoughts on “Is “Man-Centered” Theology Bad Theology?

  1. A wonderful article!!

    A statement by William Lane Craig – “Four Views on Divine Providence” occurs to me on this point:

    -quote
    “It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Calvinism) is an *INTERPRETATION* of Scripture.
    An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.”

    It LOGICALLY follows:
    A Calvinist has to ASSUME his INTERPRETATION is canon – in order to point the finger of “man centered”.

    Essentially the Calvinist is claiming divinity and that he can thus speak “Ex-Cathedra”.

    Matthew 7:29
    For Jesus taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes and pharisees.

    Anyone who has been in the church long enough will see men PLAY ACTING speaking with authority – not as the scribes and pharisees.

    But that is just PLAY ACTING! :-]

    1. Good point Br.d,
      Br.d: “Essentially the Calvinist is claiming divinity and that he can thus speak “Ex-Cathedra”.

      Aidan:
      Hence, you can’t get more “Man-Centered” or more “Man-Glorifying” than that!

  2. I would have thought that TULIP is one of the most man centred doctrinal positions within Christianity. It starts with the Total depravity of man and ends with the Perseverance of the saints. The system both starts and ends with man and offers nothing for those outside of it. There is no mention of the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, His life, death and resurrection or His return to judge the living and the dead.

    There are two sides to every narrative. I think that some Calvinists would do well to take the plank out of their own eyes before criticising the spec in their brothers eyes.

  3. God is already absolutely glorious. He is after all the Creator of the universe. He needs no more glory. The reason He desires that we glorify Him, is not for Him to gain or receive what He does not already have, but so that we recognise and acknowledge His absolute power, wisdom, love and beauty and turn to Him in humble submission. Thus, by His being glorified, we are superlatively blessed and become His children; blessed forever. God does not need the glory that He already has.

    1. Colin
      God is already absolutely glorious…..He NEEDS no more glory.

      br.d
      I loved this statement!
      Yes – a being who NEEDS something to glorify himself is not an omnipotent being
      Welcome Colin.

  4. Thank Eric and Leighton for this.

    In a minute I will make a post that I prepared a few hours ago …but fits this theme perfectly.

  5. Friends,

    I write you with sad news (sorry for the length).  I take no satisfaction in this.

    Leading YRR (new Calvinist) leader (and speaker at Calvinist conferences) Josh Harris has announced his divorce and his leaving the Christian faith. Ironically, he was the pastor for many years at the Calvinist mega-church that was the founding church of “Sovereign Grace Ministries.”   Many fellow Calvinist leaders write about it, including Albert Mohler here: https://albertmohler.com/2019/08/01/joshua-harris.

    What is particularly interesting to our discussion on “man-centered-ness” are some of Mohler’s statements below:

    “…the news of his departure from the Christian faith. It’s hard to imagine more sobering news.”

    “That’s not an accident.”  [Of course as a determinist, Mohler cannot think ANYthing is an accident.]  

    Mohler quoting Harris:  “…I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is deconstruction, the biblical phrase is falling away. By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”

    Mohler:  “Those are absolutely stunning words. They would be stunning and incredibly troubling coming from anyone, but from the former pastor of a mega-church and from someone who has had a very significant influence in the evangelical [Calvinist] world, this is truly a milestone event. It also demands a good deal of thinking and very honest reflection on the part of American evangelicals [Calvinists].”
      
    Mohler: “There had been troubling signs for some time indicating that Joshua Harris was in a very significant worldview and spiritual transition.”  [What worldview transition?  What spiritual transition?  Transition from what to what?]  

    Mohler: “That’s truly stunning. It’s incredibly revealing. In this interview that came before his announcement of his departure from Christianity, Harris said that when he came to rethink the biblical sexual ethic of historic Christianity, he said he understood then—and this is crucial for us to understand—that at that point it was easier for him to contemplate throwing out all of Christianity rather than transforming Christianity or reformulating it in order to develop a new sexual ethic.” [Notice Mohler says “departure from Christianity” and “throwing out all of Christianity”…. as if the Calvinist Harris could do that.  Really?  What does Mohler means “depart from Christianity”?  That sounds very “man-centered” as if Harris can “depart from” and “throw away” something that God was the planner of.]

    Mohler about Harris:  “There’s intellectual honesty in that. But there is incredible spiritual and theological tragedy in the announcement that anyone has departed from the Christian faith and that raises basic theological issues. Can one be a Christian and then at some point not be a Christian?” [Of course Mohler will go on to say ‘No!’ but why does he keep saying “depart from the Christian faith”?] 

    Mohler basically goes on to say that if a person is really “regenerate” then he will eventually repent.  But if he does not repent (let’s say Harris is hit by a car tomorrow) then he was not a believer in the first place.  Yum!  In that case, that would mean that for 25 years, all the millions of people who read Josh Harris, were taught by Josh Harris, were Calvinist-mega-church pastored by Josh Harris, were counseled and married by Josh Harris would know that he was just a “pretend believer” (Mohler’s words). 

    Mohler then uses the parable of the 4 soils.  Right.  Those plants sprung up and withered quickly …. not 25 years.  Nice try Albert. 

    Mohler: “And we also have to understand as the early church had to come to know, that there are some who appear to be believers and even have influence, even are pastors, but eventually fall away. That has to be acknowledged.”  [Again…what does Mohler mean “fall away”?  Away from what?  If they are “unregenerate” they were never in a place to fall away from.  According to Calvinism they were always dead ….corpses.   A corpse cannot fall away.  Remember the Calvinist rule” “Dead men don’t make choices.”]

    Mohler then goes on to say there is “something else of extreme importance in this case…”  “…this is just emphatically important.”

    What is it Albert?

    Mohler:  “There has to be theological depth. The only way that we’re going to be able to sustain a biblical sexual ethic and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is by serious biblical content, serious biblical knowledge, deep theology, apologetics, biblical theology, a deep understanding, celebration of, and embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, understanding that gospel, the true gospel, the biblical gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ against all superficial pretenders and also against false theologies, including any form of legalism that can creep in.”

    Bravo!  You just “man-centered” the Gospel Albert!!   

    Mohler says “the ONLY way WE’RE going to be able….. is by…. knowledge…. embracing…. understanding that….”

    Yep!  A card-carrying Arminian could not have said it better!

    He closes: “The headlines concerning Joshua Harris…. are deeply humbling to American evangelicalism [Calvinism]. They should be very sobering. They should make us pray for the Harrises and for our churches. They should lead us to a deeper understanding of the gospel and exultation of the gospel of Christ and simultaneously, an [“man-centered”] introspection concerning our biblical fidelity and the depth of our [“man-centered”] commitment to Christ and to biblical Christianity. But this heartbreaking headline also reminds us that we [“man-centered” believers] can place [we ‘place’] our trust in no sinful human being, but in Christ alone, the one who alone is worthy of our trust.”

    I will finish this post by saying that NOT ONE time in this article… or any that I have seen by Mohler’s fellow Calvinists… is there ANY reference that God designed this, willed this, wants this, ordained this. Nope.  The articles are never about “God’s sovereign actions.” They are always about Josh and his “man-centered” decisions.

    Calvinists can be so inconsistent!  Technically Mohler should state, like Piper does, that all things happen for God’s glory (ordained and designed by God—for His glory).  But somehow (and rightly so) they just cant bring themselves to say that.  

    1. Great post FOH!

      Since Calvin’s god designs the vast majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake of fire for his glory – how in the world is it LOGICAL to think a Calvinist pastor is less likely to be designed for that purpose?

      For all the Calvinist knows – John Calvin’s eternity could be spent being burnt alive going down for the third time in an ocean of lava.

      According to the doctrine – that would represent the “good news” for John Calvin.

  6. Here is a (shorter!) follow-up to my post about Josh Harris leaving the faith and what his fellow Calvinists are saying. 

    Four leading young-Calvinists (including Kevin DeYoung) write here:  https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/reflections-josh-harris-deconversion/

    Some quotes with my thoughts in brackets:

    “By now, most of our readers have heard the news that Joshua Harris has not only separated from his wife, but also no longer considers himself a Christian. Many have already commented on Harris’s seeming apostasy (for our part, we are still praying that this is a wandering from the path rather than a final abandonment).” 

    [I am always stunned when I see Calvinists “praying against God’s will” …or thinking they know better than God.  For surely within Calvinism this is either a wandering or “final abandonment” but only God makes that decisions (not based on our prayers) and indeed the decision was made ages ago.  As far as “abandonment” goes…. Really?  You Calvinists really teach that Josh can “abandon” the faith?  What faith?  The one given (or not given to him) by God?  If “given” to him (irresistibly) why would you say he can abandon it?  If “not given” to him…well then… he aint really abandonin’ nothing is he!?]

    “Our hope is that we may once again boast in the cross with our old friend.” 

    [Wait.  What?  They “hope” it? What if God does not want it?   “Boast in the cross” Was he “regenerate” and truly boasting or just pretending (Mohler’s words)? Again….this is a significantly non-Calvinist thing to say.]

    “While we grieve Josh’s decision (and have told him as much), we are not without hope (and we’ve told him that as well). We will continue to call on the God of sovereign mercy, the God Josh once extolled and the God who still sits on the throne. ”

    [Why are they grieving what God is doing?  Why do they say this is Josh’s decision?  Is this not their version of a sovereign, determinist God revealing His mighty hand?  Calvin’s version of ‘pretenders’ so that God might all the more accent His glory?  Why do they say “the God Josh once extolled”?  Was he “dead” when he did that?  Surely for them…if “Josh extolled” God (have to be “not-dead” to do that) then this is just a “wandering,” and they should just say so.]

    “We pray for our friend, for our churches, and for ourselves—that we may keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21), as God keeps us from stumbling (Jude 24). ”

    [So….they teach that “they” keep themselves in God’s love?  This is having your Calvinist cake and eating it too!!] 

    Again…. Calvinists are so inconsistent!!  They want to theologize like Calvinism is true, but live like Arminians!

    1. Excellent points FOH!

      Understanding Calvinism is pretty straight forward:
      A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking-points.

      Who wouldn’t want to run and sign up for that! :-]

    2. FOH writes:
      “[I am always stunned when I see Calvinists “praying against God’s will” …or thinking they know better than God. For surely within Calvinism this is either a wandering or “final abandonment” but only God makes that decisions (not based on our prayers) and indeed the decision was made ages ago. As far as “abandonment” goes…. Really? You Calvinists really teach that Josh can “abandon” the faith? What faith? The one given (or not given to him) by God? If “given” to him (irresistibly) why would you say he can abandon it? If “not given” to him…well then… he aint really abandonin’ nothing is he!?]”

      We both know that Calvninsts don’t consistently live according to the doctrines they claim to hold to. Calvinism is simply unliveable. So Calvinists live, think and speak like non-Calvinists, and simply carry around their theology in a separate little compartment of their brain called: Christian Theology. This compartment is never to be questioned, disturbed or reevaluated based on countless uncertainties, inconsistencies and real life issues. It is like a priceless heirloom painting – no matter how ugly it is, how ill it fits ones decor or how much one’s spouse dislikes it, you simply cannot get rid of it. You just leave it hanging on the wall, and mostly pretend as if it isn’t there while you go on with the rest of your life.

      1. So True FOH and TS00
        When the Calvinist talks he places his head in the Calvinist bubble and talks theology…But even he when he lives has to pull his head out of the Calvinist Bubble to live. His theology inside that bubble is unlivable in the Real world. That is why mystery and paradox and tension are such useful terms in the Calvinist paradigm and speech patterns.

      2. TS00
        It is like a priceless heirloom painting…….

        br.d
        Like a picture of a THEOS holding a wireless radio control box.
        And Lucifer, demons and humans, moving about below him with tiny antenna sticking out of their heads.

        All of them going about as John Calvin states it:
        “*AS-IF* nothing were determined in any part by the THEOS” :-]

  7. Third follow up to the “man-centered” idea of Josh Harris’s announcement. 

    These quotes from the interim pastor K Rogers of the Calvinist mega-church where Josh pastored for over a decade:

    Rogers tells the church in a letter that Paul “mentions former Christian leaders ‘swerving from,’ ‘wandering from,’ or ‘making a shipwreck’ of their faith.” And he said that though abandoning faith is “sad and confusing, it isn’t new.”  Then Rogers urged church members to pray for Harris’ “redemption and restoration.”  

    [In what way does a Calvinist pray for someone’s redemption?  That is being very presumptuous on their part since it might indeed be something that God does not want from before time!]

    Rogers then says that church members should use the news about Harris as “an opportunity for greater resolve in our own faith.” 

    [Greater resolve?  Personal resolve is very “man-centered.”] 

    In a ps, the church encourages any who are wrestling with how to process the news about Harris to view a video from author and retired pastor, John Piper.  

    [Ooops.  Passing the job off to another celebrity?]

  8. “. . . in my journey out of Calvinism, I did not abandon the truth that God seeks His own Glory. Instead, I realized that God’s Glory is best revealed in His self-sacrificial love for all. I came to understand that God does not sacrifice creation for the sake of His own glory, but instead He sacrifices Himself for sake of His creation, which in turn reveals Him as the most glorious of all.”

    These are some of the most powerful and meaningful words yet presented on these pages, and they moved me to tears.

    A recent comment by a Calvinist referred to the ‘agenda’ of the non-Calvinists, and I could not help but shake my head sadly. How tragic to oppose an agenda to affirm the goodness, graciousness, justice, fairness and utter trustworthiness of God. This is the not so secret agenda of non-Calvinists, many of who are actually former Calvinists. Which is to say, they know of what they speak.

    These former Calvinists were persuaded by cobbled and twisted scriptures, along with a large degree of doublespeak and lack of honesty, to buy into a system that most did not much care for from the start. And most Calvinist teachers know this full well. That is why they, in the words of R.C. Sproul, ‘hide the scary stuff’ as long and as much as possible.

    My own former Calvinist pastor did not even begin to touch upon determinism and limited atonement for over twelve years. Imagine patiently laying the groundwork by establishing a solid community of people who cared for one another while neglecting to disclose the unfortunate but essential doctrines of Total Inability, Limited Atonement and the rest for over a decade. Seems odd to leave out such significant details, doesn’t it?

    But back to the point of the post, how true it is that God does not need to do a single thing to ‘earn’ or receive glory. Everything that exists proclaims his amazing power and unfathomable creativity. But nothing is more amazing or marvelous than the love and mercy demonstrated by the sacrificial love of God toward his stubborn and rebellious creatures.

    I am stunned by the displays of beauty God has set before us; the fiery red sunrises, the endless variety of sunsets, the magnificence of the crashing ocean waves, the fierce beauty of endless rows of craggy mountains; the delicate wonder of a vast array of flowers, trees, birds and beasts. I could go on endlessly on the marvels with which God has filled his earth, which bring delight to my body and soul.

    Yet nothing can begin to compare with the wonder of God’s marvelous grace, his boundless love and his unfathomable mercy in bringing redemption and restoration to sinful man. All of the unthinkable wonders of this world pale in comparison to the most amazing display of God’s glorious attributes and power – which is revealed in his plan of salvation.

    No, we do not have to choose between man and God. Everything about the creation is man-centered, as is everything about his redemption. And every single bit of this most glorious and praiseworthy man-centered wonder points to the boundless glory of God. Nothing will bring him more songs of praise and wonder than the story of his saving love for a lost and hopeless people. I cannot wait to sing his eternal praises with my brothers and sisters in Christ for ever and ever.

    1. Excellent post TS00…
      Yes we do have an agenda “it is to take the spin off of what Calvinists are saying, it is to show clearly what they actually teach, to show how their speech is not truthful and instead misleading.” And all of this that they do obscures the TRUE GLORY of GOD.
      If determinism is true God must be embarrassed of it and tries to hide it like the Calvinist often does.

      Psa. 18: 25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
      26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
      27 For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.

      These verses are absolutely meaningless if Determinism is true. God is simply playing both parts to make it APPEAR that it is not Determinism. If Calvinism is True even God is ashamed of what He is doing and even He is trying to hide the truth about HIs Determinism. But thank God we can actually trust His Word that God is NOT as the Calvinist claims.

      1. Thanks GraceAdict, this is so true.

        God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. God is love, who does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. God cannot lie.
        I am sorry to say, but Calvin’s god reveals himself as the opposite of these qualities. He is more like Satan, and the spirit of the Anti-Christ, than anything else. It is only by examining what Calvinism teaches against what the scriptures reveal, can one come to know the truth about God. Jesus said, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and you will know them by their fruits. If their ‘yes’ is not yes, and their ‘no’ is not no; then it is of the evil one!

      2. Hello Simon peter – and welcome!

        You’ll find a large array of quotes here – from John Calvin himself and from various current voices of influence in Calvinism.
        Articles here are almost entirely dedicated to addressing specific statements by Calvin or current Calvinist representatives.

        For practical purposes – it eventually becomes evident that reading an entire book (by Calvin for example), will be less than useful. Especially when one finds within a book – statements that are self-contradicting, irrational or logically inconsistent.

        For some reason – almost never do we find Calvinist participants here posting quotes from John Calvin himself.
        Especially anything regarding Calvin’s primary doctrine – the doctrine of the decrees.

        That sums up the general practice for articles and participants.
        I would leave it to the individual to draw his/her own conclusions as to why that is the case.

      3. Hello BR.D, thank you for your response, I appreciate it.

        Concerning my response to the reply left by AIDAN MCMANUS, I couldn’t help but notice the references to John Calvin as though he believed in another “god” rather than God? Obviously I affirm that any person is entitled to hold such an opinion and express that view, however, speaking for myself as a Christian or a Theologian, if I am contributing to any discussion concerning a historic person, I prefer to go back to the original source material and make a decision concerning a historic belief based upon primary source information. I personally have found nothing particular in John Calvin’s actual writings to warrant any claim that he worshipped or believed in another “god” rather than the God of the Bible.

        If however you have other articles or information that can suggest otherwise, I will happily read and digest them.

      4. Hi Simon,
        For me – I think the phrase ‘Calvin’s god’ is a more precise way of enunciating a particular individuals view.

        Jesus said “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me” so I don’t see Jesus having any problem using that language

        If someone here posts “br.d’s god….etc etc” – that language wouldn’t bother me at all as I think it is more precise language which speaks of some particular view or conception possibly on my part.

        I see John Calvin has having his own unique image of who he conceived the god of scripture to be and his own unique image of what he conceived that god’s characteristics to be. And there are distinct differences in Calvin’s conceptions of a deity which would never be conceived in main-stream Christianity.

        Since there are aspects of Calvin’s god that are unique to Calvin alone – I think its simply more precise language to enunciate it that way – and I don’t see it as a pejorative. Although is someone says “br.d’s god is a monster” that obviously is pejorative language. But its the “monster” part that is pejorative for me.

      5. Hello br.d and thank you for clarifying. If I am understanding your position correctly, it is not that anyone here is viewing Calvin as a person who worshipped another god? But more that he moulded a unique interpretation of God. If I am understanding you correctly, that would be an interesting distinction to make, to refer to the understanding (or interpretation) a historic person may have had of God in such a singular, individual or personal way.

        Being from the UK it is not necessarily a distinction I am familiar with at this point. Maybe it is a linguistic thing? Here in the conservative evangelical wing of the Church if England such differences are hardly even discussed. It would merely be assumed that the attributes of God, as revealed in Scripture, can be interpreted in a number of ways. The Church of England has the historic foundations which were made up of 16th century reformers, Lutherans, Calvinists and Arminians. Many of whom had differences of understanding of how God operates. The 39 articles and the Book of Common Prayer unifies those beliefs. That is partly why some 17th century English puritans and Scottish Covenanters didn’t favour the book. It was seen as somewhat of a compromise. I digress.

        In the UK, general scholarship would research Calvin’s ideas from his own books and from that perspective they would be seen a historic and in some cases, difficult to imagine that anyone still believes them. However, the influence (be it positive or negative) would me measured based upon an accurate reading of the works of the man himself. However, I confess, in churches, I have hardly ever met an Arminian who has ever read John Calvin, nor a Calvinist who has ever read Jacob Arminius. I don’t know why that is?

        I suppose Baptist churches in America have made the Calvinism vs Arminianism debate a much bigger issue, and in some cases, even a dividing line or salvation issue? If this is true, this should never be the case. There is a Biblical bases for both sides of the discussion. The 18th century Calvinistic Methodists clearly understood this.

        Hope that makes sense and thank you all for continuing in this important and passionate debate. God is still God no matter how we all understand Him, He is still our Lord and Christ is still our Saviour.

      6. Simon Peter Sutherland
        If I am understanding your position correctly, it is not that anyone here is viewing Calvin as a person who worshipped another god? But more that he moulded a unique interpretation of God.

        br.d
        Yes – well said :-]
        And I think honesty would have us acknowledge we all fall short or miss the mark in some way or another just as Luther, Calvin and Arminius did.

        Simon Peter Sutherland
        In the UK, general scholarship would research Calvin’s ideas from his own books and from that perspective they would be seen a historic and in some cases, difficult to imagine that anyone still believes them.

        br.d
        Yes – I totally agree with that assessment.
        Interesting that we do find staunch adherence to teachings which are especially troubling on an ethical basis and/or show themselves to be irrational or require a degree of double-mindedness in order to embrace. (as I see consistently for example with Calvinists)

        And I think the writings of Luther, Calvin, and Arminius probably were historically widely read as you noted.
        And I think the debates we see on them today have boiled down to specific points of difference between them.

        Simon Peter Sutherland
        I suppose Baptist churches in America have made the Calvinism vs Arminianism debate a much bigger issue, and in some cases, even a dividing line or salvation issue?

        br.d
        This is an insightful comment!
        Yes – there are various – and sometimes not so honest – positions that American churches take on that.
        From my perspective in looking at Arminius – it appears to me he spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to prove he did not stray to far from Calvin. So in many respects there is only a slight difference. And yet – Calvinists for example seem to want to make the two traditions a black-&-white affair. They seem to want to make Arminianism their mortal enemy. Perhaps that is because they see Arminianism as the major competitor in the marketplace of theologies. And they strategically want to attack their competitor. :-]

        Simon Peter Sutherland
        There is a Biblical bases for both sides of the discussion. The 18th century Calvinistic Methodists clearly understood this.
        Hope that makes sense and thank you all for continuing in this important and passionate debate. God is still God no matter how we all understand Him, He is still our Lord and Christ is still our Saviour.

        br.d
        A wonderful and Godly conclusion!
        I heartily agree and really appreciated your sincere and thoughtful comments! :-]

    2. wonderful post TS00!

      On the quote from R.C. Sproul – -quote “hide the scary stuff” as long and as much as possible.

      Do you know where I can find that quote?
      As you can see – it functions as an excellent RED-FLAG

      tnx
      br.d

      1. Piper’s description of glory-seeking seems better to fit Lucifer. Self-denial of our Savior is the benchmark of glory. He made himself last, and now he is first. In fact, he is the first and last.

      2. I read that quote in a book long ago, not sure of the source. Have not been able to pull it up anywhere. Will let you know if I ever track it down.

  9. My take on all this is about one word. Love. God is love, and he IS teaching us about love. He wants us to love our neighbor as himself. He talks about us loving ourself, in that we must love others just the same, that we are to put others before ourselves, and THAT is the character of God. He puts us first, above himself. He loves himself, therefore he loves others. His whole creation. He made man in his own image, and that image isn’t about looks alone. It’s about us LEARNING how to treat others… without a rule book of do’s and don’t ‘s.

    That’s where God gets glory, in us treating others with respect and love, putting others before us. God conforms us from selfish, to sacrificing ourselves for others. But that conforming is not a magical act. It’s by us learning to listen to others, who is helping us on our journey of…FAITH. OUR FAITH. Faith is not imputed, it is a compelling persuasion that is learned by the evidence of the word of God, nothing more. Faith is based on nothing more than that.

    We pro-create. We get glory from our children. OUR Carnal life is a REFLECTION of the glory that God gets from us, as the glory we get from our children.

    Does anyone but me see that?

    Ed Chapman

  10. Chips and salsa for God’s glory?! I like that. Many times I’ve pondered the food that God created for our tasteful pleasure, not just for nourishment. Especially the peppers, spicy stuff. I really do think that stuff. I think God is smiling when people ponder those things, and yes, God gets glory from that, cuz he provided it for us, and it’s just the same when we give glory to the chef for an outstanding meal. Again, our carnal stuff is a REFLECTION of the spiritual stuff. God gets glory from our man centeredness, because we love our neighbor as ourselves, and ourselves is/are…MAN. When we love man, that shows, proves that we love God. That’s what God centered is, is to be man centered.

    Isn’t it? Look at the 613 commandments… or just the ten. The first 4 are about God, the rest are about man. But the 4th, regarding the Sabbath, is to give YOU rest from working 5 days a week, plus mowing the lawn on Saturday. My point, respect and love God by loving people.

    And that is God’s glory.

    Ed Chapman

    1. Hey Ed, I really liked what you said:
      “Many times I’ve pondered the food that God created for our tasteful pleasure, not just for nourishment. Especially the peppers, spicy stuff. I really do think that stuff. I think God is smiling when people ponder those things, and yes, God gets glory from that, cuz he provided it for us, and it’s just the same when we give glory to the chef for an outstanding meal.”

      It totally reminded me of the author of Hebrews:
      Heb 3:3  For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 
      Heb 3:4  (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 

      What God builds He gets the Glory for. If God created All men in His image then God the Builder gets the Glory for His creation. If God sent His Son to die for the sins of the whole world then God gets the glory for His self-sacrificing act. Even if people don’t accept the gift His Grace and Mercy are put on display even more by the fact that He genuinely offers it to those who will reject it.
      Wow what an amazing God !!!! Glory be to God for His matchless Grace…where sin abounded God’s Grace exceeded the sin.
      Rom 5:20  …But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, 

  11. Not having read every comment here, I will add that those who ascribe to Calvinism have no right to accuse anyone else of a man-centered theology. Calvinists fail to realize that Calvinism is their golden calf. x

    1. Hi Norm,
      I am in total agreement. Calvinism is so Man-Centered or better yet “ME Centered”, everything is about “ME and the few I believe are with ME”. Take a look at the central theme of their doctrine it is steeped in Narcissism:

      ME, to the exclusion of most was Elect above others, Unconditional Election of ME,
      ME, to the exclusion of most others, is being Chosen and Irresistibly LOVED by God above the Vast majority of others.
      ME and only ME plus a few of my bros were the Objects of LIMITED Atonement.
      ME to the exclusion of Most received the “Special Call of God”.
      ME to the exclusion of Most was Given the very rare “Special Gift Faith”
      while others have a mere human faith but not ME.

      I often think John Calvin and Augustine were probably boys who were bullied as a child and never chosen to play and when they grew up…Now HE had the opportunity to make up a system where HE above ALL others is chosen. HE to the exclusion of others is LOVED and treasured and of course those who agree with him…those who don’t well I will just burn them at the stake like (Michael Servetus)

      Here are Calvin’s words
      Before he Burned Servetus:

      “If Servetus comes to Geneva, I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.”

      AFTER Burning Servetus Calvin writes “Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that(they allege) I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only am I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they spit in my face.” “Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt.”

      This seems like the Antics of a Narcissist and a Narcissist is so self focused that he is even willing to profane the Holy name of God to make his own deeds seem as if they came from God.

      Calvinism is not just man Centered it is “ME CENTERED” to the exclusion of others.

  12. Agree totally.

    Heard this little quip the other day. Had forgotten it. I am elect because I am saved and not vice versa. Love me some Romans 11.

  13. Putting man to the pedestal by:

    1. Making man become more sovereign than God the Creator is a proof that Man-Centered theology is bad.

    2. Idolizing the fallen man by giving him an absolute empowerment in the use of his freedom while denying God’s capability to tamper man’s will – This is an example of Man-Centered bad theology.

    1. Hi JTL – you are an unashamed Calvinist who bravely embraces the Ugly of Calvinism. I disagree with you but respect your forthrightness of saying God does not love most people etc… you are holding to a more consistent Calvinism.

      As I examine consistent Calvinism, it is obvious to me that it is a very Man-Centered theology
      but a better description would be a “I and ME-CENTERED theology”, so much of the central beliefs revolve around “ME, to the exclusion of MOST of my peers”. A few of my peers may be included in this elite group along with ME but it is mostly about ME.
      Let’s look at how it plays out in Consistent Calvinism:

      ME, to the exclusion of the vast majority of ALL humans past, present and future, AM LOVED by God. The vast majority of YOU are NOT LOVED by God and never will be. That is Calvinism clearly stated.

      ME, to the exclusion of MOST of my peers AM CHOSEN, the Unconditional Election of ME for Heaven while MOST of YOU were chosen For Hell. Calvinism clearly stated.

      ME, and NOT my peers, AM Irresistibly LOVED by God – ME and Not them, most of my peers are Irresistibly and irreconcilably HATED by God even before creation. Calvinism clearly stated.

      I AM the Object of JESUS’s Sacrifice on the Cross, but NOT most of my peers. Limited Atonement for ME and not most of my peers. “Special ME” Calvinism clearly stated.

      ME to the exclusion of Most of my peers received the “Special Call of God”. Calvinism clearly stated.

      ME to the exclusion of MOST of my peers was chosen to receive the very rare and “Special Gift Faith” Calvinism clearly stated.

      I was LOVED before the Foundation of the World while my peers were hated. “I am Special”. Calvinism clearly stated.

      ME compared to everyone else has ALWAYS been special, most of my peers are irresistibly and irreconcilably OUT and always have been OUT and Never Can be IN. I however, AM IN and Always have been because I am Specially LOVED. Calvinism clearly stated.

      There are two groups, who from eternity past were irresistibly created Differently by God one group was ALWAYS special and the other group was ALWAYS despised and hated. Calvinism clearly stated.

      1. Group one is IN – they are Loved, Accepted, Embraced, destined for heaven, have always been Selected to be a part of this “Special INSIDER group”. They were always created FOR HEAVEN and ONLY FOR HEAVEN. No other option was ever possible.

      2. Group two is OUT – God never loved them, never pursued them, they were never wanted by God, they were always created FOR HELL and only FOR HELL. They were irresistibly created FOR this ONE purpose, HELL. No other option was ever possible for them.

      In Calvinism God had to do it this way to get ALL the Glory He deserves, this was the only way He could do it to extract the Glory that is His. This is Calvinism clearly stated.

      People who hold to Calvinism 99.9% of the time see themselves as being in group #1 and this makes them feel good. Since it makes them feel good they are thankful that they were not created like most of their peers, but instead they are special and have always been special, in contrast to most of their peers. This is Calvinism clearly stated. BUT I see the scriptures say just the opposite of what Calvinism teaches in these areas.

      1. Grace addict posted this one:

        “People who hold to Calvinism 99.9% of the time see themselves as being in group #1 and this makes them feel good. Since it makes them feel good they are thankful that they were not created like most of their peers, but instead they are special and have always been special, in contrast to most of their peers. This is Calvinism clearly stated. BUT I see the scriptures say just the opposite of what Calvinism teaches in these areas.”

        —-Here’s My Response—-

        You might be still in the blindness mode. You cannot really see the truth in scriptures unless will unblind you in that status.

      2. Grace addict
        “People who hold to Calvinism 99.9% of the time see themselves as being in group #1 and this makes them feel good. Since it makes them feel good they are thankful that they were not created like most of their peers, but instead they are special and have always been special, in contrast to most of their peers. This is Calvinism clearly stated. BUT I see the scriptures say just the opposite of what Calvinism teaches in these areas.”

        jtleosala
        You might be still in the blindness mode. You cannot really see the truth in scriptures unless will unblind you in that status.

        br.d
        Some people read: “let him who is without sin cast the first stone” and interpret that as Jesus giving them permission! :-]

    2. Dear JTLEOSALA permit me to introduce myself, my name is Simon, I am from England and do not consider myself to be either a Calvinist or an Arminian. I am simply a Christian. So I hope you don’t mind my responding to your reply. However, I couldn’t help but notice some things I wanted to respond to and maybe even offer you some food for thought.

      1. You reference man as being presented here as “more sovereign than God” and that such a claim is “proof that Man-Centered theology is bad.”

      1. A. The history of the English word ‘sovereign’ relates to a monarch (royalty) or a head of state, a government or leader. The word originated from the Latin and was used in the classical to refer to Roman Emperors. The Emperors of the Roman world of the New Testament era made the rules, and forced the law.

      In the medieval world, this word ‘sovereignty’ was similarly used to refer to nobles and royalty. Even in the Reformation era the word ‘sovereignty’ was used to refer to the divine right of Kings.

      Sir, I am sorry to disagree with the Calvinist perspective, but the word ‘sovereignty’ is not used historically to refer to our Lords ability to make men do things that are contrary to their willingness to surrender to Him. God may well have the ability to make men change with or without their cooperation, but I find nothing in the Bible that reveals God as someone who predetermines those changes with or without an individual person surrendering to Him.

      2. You reference your claim that “giving him (man) an absolute empowerment in the use of his freedom” is guilty of “Idolizing the fallen man” and “denying God’s capability to tamper man’s will.”.

      2. A. I fail to see how any exploration of mans fallen depraved condition, at least from a Bible based perspective, is “guilty” of doing anything but asking questions. Is it wrong to seek to define what man is? Is it wrong to ask questions and test peoples claims with the Bible?

      I am simply not convinced that anything I have read or heard here is denying that God has the ability or power to change the will of man, with or without mans cooperation, but rather that such an assumption or claim must be tested and challenged. I am sure that God has the ability to do whatever He wants, but the question seems to relate not to His ability, but His decision to do or not to do. Thus, I challenge you to present to me a single passage of Scripture in the Bible where God “tampers” with a mans will, in any context of salvation, without the individual persons cooperation?

      I hope I have rightly understood your points here and I would appreciate any response.

      Thank you.

      1. Simon Peter Sutherland posted this one:

        “Thus, I challenge you to present to me a single passage of Scripture in the Bible where God “tampers” with a mans will, in any context of salvation, without the individual persons cooperation?”

        ——–Here’s My Response——–

        1. Genesis 11:6-8 in this passage the people’s will to build a tower has been aborted by God by Confusing their tongue. Man becomes helpless when God decides to override Man’s will. Isn’t this a proof in scripture that God invalidates Man’s will?

        2. Exod. 9:12 = in this verse it says that God is the one responsible of hardening Pharaoh’s heart that caused his resistance not to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?

        3. John 15:1-2 = Jesus is speaking in these verses telling the readers that God the Father is the One who trims the branches (believers) without asking permission to say yes to God nor to cooperate with the trimming. God the Father will surely trim the branches even if they don’t like it. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?

        The, challenge was accepted : Asking me of single proof (but I provided more than one) where scripture speaks of itself regarding a particular truth will just fall into deaf ears if one does not regard scripture as one that is authoritative.

        Man’;s possession of his will given by God was not absolute or not even it will surpass the Creator Himself. Even satan who attempted to surpass God was a failure. God is the only One who is supreme above all and He is not accountable to anyone else even to those who keeps on protesting about God’s decrees.

      2. George asks jt,
        “Would you agree God “tampered” with Jonah’s will?”

        My response:
        What was the will of Jonah that you think that God tampered with?

        In addition, is the story of Jonah REALLY about that he didn’t want to go to Nineveh? Or was it SOMETHING ELSE entirely?

        According to Jesus, in Matthew 12:39, and 16:4, and Luke 11:29, Jonah was a PROPHET. The REAL role of a PROPHET in the Hebrew scriptures is to…

        Luke 24:27
        And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

        Luke 24:44
        And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

        ——————

        Matthew 12:39-40
        39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

        40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

        ——————-

        The ROLE of the PROPHETS in the Hebrew scriptures was to PROPHESY about Jesus, and Jonah DID THAT by being in that fish for 3 days and 3 nights, prophesying about the DEATH AND RESURRECTION of Jesus. That is how you SPIRITUALLY DISCERN.

        Carnal teaching of Jonah is gonna learn ya that Jonah was a BAD MAN cuz he didn’t want to go to Nineveh, so OBEY GOD!

        Ya, right, okee dokee. The ONLY “tampering” that God did was in order to have Jonah PROPHESY about Jesus, so God USED Jonah’s own will for not wanting to go, in order to FULFIL God’s will of that fish SO THAT it would be a prophesy of Jesus.

        The topic of salvation regarding Jonah has nothing to do with it. The topic of Nineveh, or that Jonah didn’t want to go also has nothing to do with it. It was that 3 days and 3 nights that had everything to do with it.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Jtlesala
        1. Genesis 11:6-8 in this passage the people’s will to build a tower has been aborted by God by Confusing their tongue. Man becomes helpless when God decides to override Man’s will. Isn’t this a proof in scripture that God invalidates Man’s will?

        br.d
        FALSE
        According to Theological Determinism – man doesn’t have a will of his own to invalidate.
        He functions ROBOTICALLY –
        NOTHING is “UP TO” man since all is determined by Calvin’s god.

        Jtlesala
        2. Exod. 9:12 = in this verse it says that God is the one responsible of hardening Pharaoh’s heart that caused his resistance not to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?

        br.d
        Same answer as above – man does not have any will of his own to nullify.

        3. John 15:1-2 = Jesus is speaking in these verses telling the readers that God the Father is the One who trims the branches (believers) without asking permission to say yes to God nor to cooperate with the trimming. God the Father will surely trim the branches even if they don’t like it. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?

        br.d
        Same answer as above – man does not have any will of his own to nullify.

        Jtlesala
        Man’s possession of his will given by God was not absolute or not even it will surpass the Creator Himself.

        br.d
        Same answer as above – in Theological Determinism there is no such thing as man having any possession of his own will.
        Calvin’s god has possession of *ALL* things without exception.

        Jtlesala
        Even satan who attempted to surpass God was a failure.

        br.d
        John Calvin
        -quote
        “The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly….can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor…move a single finger to perpetrate, …..unless in so far as He COMMANDS…..they are even *FORCED* to do Him service.
        Institutes I, 17, 11.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        “Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He *INSPIRES*.
        – A Defense of the secret providence of god – PDF version pg 190

        Jtlesala
        God is the only One who is supreme above all and He is not accountable to anyone else even to those who keeps on protesting about God’s decrees.

        br.d
        Understanding Calvinism is straight forward
        A Calvinist is a Determinism – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.

    3. jtleosala,

      Personal question, jt:

      Do you have CHILDREN?

      Pretend that YOU are God for a moment. You have your SOVEREIGNTY.

      What do you wish for your own children?

      Does your children have a CHOICE to obey you, and a choice to disobey you?

      Do you love EVERY CHILD, or just one of them?

      THIS LIFE that you live, and YOUR desires FOR your children’s well being, etc., and YOUR LOVE for ALL of your children is a REFLECTION (A LOOK IN A MIRROR), OF WHAT God is to HIS creation.

      Calvinists have a strange take on God…THE FATHER (just like YOU are a father to your PRO-CREATED little beings).

      When is the Calvinists gonna realize that they take what was MEANT for the Jews ONLY, and make it their own? You are not a Jew, therefore, you are not the elect. Gentiles CAN’T be the elect, therefore, God does not manipulate our BEHAVIOR, or actions, but the Jews…they are a different story altogether. And the only reason that God manipulates their behavior is because God has something to say…THRU THEM, to all of us.

      It’s so simple.

      Ed Chapman

    4. Jtleosala
      1. Making man become more sovereign than God the Creator is a proof that Man-Centered theology is bad.

      br.d
      Yes – a man who creates a god in his own image is a “man-centered” theology.

      It is said God made man in his image – and John Calvin decided to return the favor :-]

      Jtleosala
      2. Idolizing the fallen man by giving him an absolute empowerment in the use of his freedom while denying God’s capability to tamper man’s will – This is an example of Man-Centered bad theology.

      br.d
      A graven image of a deity to who commands his creatures to obey – deceiving them into believing he will PERMIT them to obey when the TRUTH is the opposite is a “man-centered” theology.

      1. A theology that requires its believers to be DOUBLE-MINDED – and to become experts at DOUBLE-SPEAK is a “man-centered” theology.

      2. br.d posted this one:

        “FALSE”
        “According to Theological Determinism – man doesn’t have a will of his own to invalidate.
        He functions ROBOTICALLY –”
        NOTHING is “UP TO” man since all is determined by Calvin’s god.”

        br.d
        “A graven image of a deity to who commands his creatures to obey – deceiving them into believing he will PERMIT them to obey when the TRUTH is the opposite is a “man-centered” theology.”

        ——-Here;s My Response——-

        1. Br. D, I am responding concerning what Scripture says, not to your according “Theo Determinism” that I don’t care…
        Scriptures both teach that Man possess a level of free will and at the same time God can override it if He wants or not want it = Because of this you are too quick to accuse me of “double speak”.
        You seem to absolutely inforce to me that “robotic doctrine on man” which I never claim here ever since. If man is a “robot” according to you, then that is your problem.

        2. Woe, Woe to you. You are despising the same God the creator of the whole universe and mankind including yourself whom John Calvin worshiped and served. You are accusing the Calvinist of worshipping a foreign god, just because you are in deep trouble of God’s decrees which are revealed Scripture.

        Calvinist are the ones who consistently adhere to God as the One who is supreme above all and that God is not accountable to anyone else including to those who keeps on barking and protesting His decision not to pick all humanity and not to put them all in heaven.

      3. jtleosala,

        So, what you are saying, is that when we go to a restaurant, God ALLOWS us free will to decide as to either have Bacon and Eggs for breakfast, or a bowl of cereal. But we don’t have a choice of NOT BEING SAVED if God already decreed that you would be saved.

        Well, at least he gave me a choice to have bacon for breakfast that he won’t let the Jews eat. And, I understand that you guys roast pig at various celebrations? Is that by CHOICE, or was that decreed? God said, NO SHELLFISH, and the Filipino’s say…? God said NO BACON, and the American’s say…?

        But if God decreed that YOU, JT, would be saved, YOU don’t have the will to say NO? But…you can eat pig that God told the Jews was an OBAMA-NATION? Something doesn’t smell right with that.

        Ed Chapman

      4. Ed Posted this one:

        “But if God decreed that YOU, JT, would be saved, YOU don’t have the will to say NO? But…you can eat pig that God told the Jews was an OBAMA-NATION? Something doesn’t smell right with that.”

        Ed Chapman

        ——-Here’s My Response——-
        The offer becomes irresistible to the elect because even though there could be a possibility for them to resist for a time using the will, but the final end result is that the Elect cannot really resist. Just like to a prophecy that it was once prophesied already, but its realization is still future and it will really come to pass otherwise its a false prophecy. We should always look at the final end result of God’s decree and refrain from a quick accusation of double speak or double minded.

        By the way Ed, Obama was your past president and the media reveals his full support on the LGBT same sex marriage. He also appeared inside a methodist church hailing the success of the legality of LBGTQI same sex marriage. Is by your joke OBAMA-NATION a hint that you are not in agreement with granting OBAMA’s blessing to legalization LBBTQI’s same sex marriage?

      5. jtleosala,

        Irresistible is the same that that I said in OTHER WORDS. You don’t have the OPTION of saying NO if God decreed it, right? Someone is PULLING the strings of your mouth to say YES, when your actual will is NO. kINDA SOUNDS LIKE A DATE WITH A GIRL, which we call ASSAULT, or RAPE.

        Regarding God pulling the strings about PROPHECY, that’s got a purpose of TELLING A STORY about Jesus, NOT ABOUT YOU (PRIVATE, AS IN PRIVATE INTERPRETATION, MEANING, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! IT’S ABOUT JESUS). Joseph is my great example. 2nd in Command of Egypt, gave MERCY to his brothers, HID his identity from his BRETHREN, etc.

        Ya, Obama plays the POLITICAL game. He was AGAINST LGBTQCDEFGHIKLMNOP before he was for it.

        But, we still bring home the BACON here! WHY oh WHY wont the Jews sell HAM Sandwiches in Deli’s? Isn’t that DISCRIMINATION against us Gentiles?

        Ed Chapman

      6. jtleosala
        The offer becomes irresistible to the elect because even though there could be a possibility for them to resist for a time using the will, but the final end result is that the Elect cannot really resist

        br.d
        Let everyone take note how much Calvinist statements work to make Calvinism *APPEAR* as IN-determinism.

        In Theological Determinism – it is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY for the creature to falsify or negate the DECREE (i.e. the SECRET will)
        There is no such thing as the creature NOT OBEYING the SECRET WILL.

        And that is not limited to salvation.
        Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT or make available to the creature – any alternative from the SECRET WILL in *ANYTHING*!.

        But isn’t it interesting how Calvinists work so hard to make the system *APPEAR* like IN-determinism?
        What you are seeing is the Calvinist’s love-hate relationship with Determinism.

        Understanding Calvinism is straight forward
        A Calvinist is a Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.

      7. Excellent post BR.D.

        When the Calvinist is talking about the man choosing to sin it sounds like he believes man really does have the genuine ability to choose.
        BUT in that exact same situation ask him “What Part does God play?”
        Then you can see the hand inside the puppet… When they answer the question what part does God play? It totally undoes everything they said that made it sound as if man had free will.
        If we let them just talk about man they can almost get away with it. BUT in every situation if we ask “What part does God play?” then and only then do we get the truth and of course DOUBLE-SPEAK quickly emerges.
        But to cover that blatant contradiction out comes the “MYSTERY” blanket and paradox blanket to cover the contradiction with spiritual sounding terminology. It is a system of deception that leads the unsuspecting astray.

      8. Yes I think that’s true but with an added difficulty.

        Calvinists are smart enough to know where your questions are leading.
        They will find ways of diverting or evading – getting to that point.
        That’s why you see rhutchin coming up with all sorts of wild ad-hoc inventions.
        And the IRRATIONAL one like:
        An attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature – and on into infinite regress.

        The closer the Calvinist follows his system’s causal chain back to its SOURCE/ORIGIN the more terrified he gets.

        For me – the process is all to often like chasing a greased pig! :-]

      9. Hello GraceAdict. Concerning ‘free will’ I would be interested in reading your thoughts on this;

        “This is my opinion concerning the free-will of man: In his primitive condition as he came out of the hands of his creator, man was endowed with such a portion of knowledge, holiness and power, as enabled him to understand, esteem, consider, will, and to perform the true good, according to the commandment delivered to him. Yet none of these acts could he do, except through the assistance of Divine Grace. But in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of and by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good; but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine Grace.”

        Would you agree or disagree?

      10. I find A.W. Tozer’s wording helpful on this issue:
        A.W.Tozer “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

        SPS writes: “…it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will…”

        GA: This sounds like you are assuming the T of Total Inability. Therefore one needs to be regenerated first to believe…
        That I believe, is putting the cart before the horse.

        I do not assume the Total Inability of Calvin…yes man is a sinner, he is separated from God, he cannot earn his way to God, and he is not the one who first pursues God. God pursues man and man responds to God but scripture does not say the person must first be regenerated to understand, see and have an intellect capable of understanding the gospel.

        Likely your understanding of the term dead in scripture is influencing where you are going with this.
        I believe
        Death is better understood as separation.
        Physical Death is Separation of the Soul/Spirit from the Body – even in hell or heaven man sees, understands Luk 16:19-31
        Spiritual Death is Separation of Man from God’s fellowship – NOT corpse like (See scripture below)
        Second Death in Revalation is the Eternal Separation of Man from God –
        Once again Separation best describes all of these realities —Not corpse

        Adam and Eve — already sinned – already separated from God’s fellowship – let’s see if they are really like a corpse in the cemetery: Do they hear God? Do they have the ability to interact with God? Do they know Good and Evil? or are they a corpse? Like Calvin claims.

        Gen 3:9-11 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me… Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.

        Now let’s look at Cain who is also separated from God he is spiritually dead but can he hear God, interact with God, understand God? Or is Cain a corpse in a grave?
        Gen 4:5-7 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Gen 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Gen 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Later we see v13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear… (Cain speaks to the Lord – Not very corpse like- however “separation” explains everything perfectly. )

        Now what does the New Testament say? Is this spiritually dead person able to know things about God? Has it been shown to him by God and has he seen and understood it? Can he Clearly see some things about God? Or is he a corpse that cannot see, hear or understand?
        Rom 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse.

        Does a corpse have a conscience? Does a corpse have the law of God written on their hearts? Does corpses conscience accuse him? Or need to excuse himself?
        Rom 2:14-15 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

        Notice below in Acts Paul is preaching to Pagans, he says they should seek God, feel their way towards him and find him…he also says God commands All people everywhere to repent. Not wait for a regeneration to happen first.

        Act 17:26  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 
        Act 17:27  that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 
        Act 17:28  for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 
        Act 17:29  Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 
        Act 17:30  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 
        Act 17:31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 

        A careful reading of ACTS 10 shows that Cornelius was responding to God way before he was regenerated.

        I don’t find the Calvinist definition of being “spiritually dead” to align with scripture.
        Death is best understood as separation OT and NT: Isa 59:2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you.
        Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time Separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
        Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

        NOTICE the Words used in scripture to describe our condition: Separated, Alienated, Strangers, no Hope, Without God, Far off…
        This is a better way to understand our condition rather than John Calvin’s idea of Corpse only…Just think about it when a person dies we don’t believe the only thing that exists is the Corpse. NO we believe the real person exists separate from the corpse and that person is very aware and still “alive”… either in heaven or hell.
        Here is a video by Leighton that could also help it is 5 minutes long
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t9PayTvCvo
        See what you think…
        Blessings GA

      11. I didn’t either!

        Does anyone have a link for material from Arminius online with that quote?
        I would really like to capture it!

        Thanks in advance!

      12. jtleosala
        1. Br. D, I am responding concerning what Scripture says, not to your according “Theo Determinism” that I don’t care…

        br.d
        Well that won’t do you any good – since when you embraced Calvinism – you embraced Theological Determinism – in all of its splendor!

        jtleosala
        Scriptures both teach that Man possess a level of free will and at the same time God can override it if He wants or not want it

        br.d
        And guess what?
        Every verse in scripture that affirms that man possesses his own free will – is a verse that affirms IN-determinism.

        jtleosala
        …..you are too quick to accuse me of “double speak”.

        br.d
        Actually – every time you affirm IN-determinism which is mutually excluded by your theology – you are speaking DOUBLE-SPEAK.

        jtleosala
        You seem to absolutely inforce to me that “robotic doctrine on man” which I never claim here ever since. If man is a “robot” according to you, then that is your problem.

        br.d
        Of course no one here ever said in Theological Determinism man is a robot ONTOLOGICALLY.
        But in Theological Determinism man FUNCTIONS ROBOTICALLY – as his every neurological impulse is determined by the divine potter who DESIGNS his every impulse.

        John Calvin
        -quote
        Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what He *INSPIRES*.
        A Defense of the secret providence of god – PDF version pg 190

        jtleosala
        2. Woe, Woe to you. You are despising the same God the creator of the whole universe and mankind including yourself whom John Calvin worshiped and served.

        br.d
        And why would Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – RENDER CERTAIN that come to pass?
        And who are you oh Calvinist to judge Calvin’s god’s DECREES?

        jtleosala
        You are accusing the Calvinist of worshipping a foreign god, just because you are in deep trouble of God’s decrees which are revealed Scripture.

        br.d
        Well that argument turns right around on you – if in fact Calvin’s god is a foreign god.

        And we have a few very good indicators.
        Calvin’s god DESIGNS the vast majority of his creation for eternal torment in a lake of fire
        Calvin’s god deceives the vast majority of Calvinists into believing they are elect – so he can -quote “hold out salvation as a savor of condemnation and then strike them with greater blindness”
        Every FALSE perception that appears in the Calvinist’s brain is specifically determined by Calvin’s god.

        How am I doing so far?

        jtleosala
        Calvinist are the ones who consistently adhere to God as the One who is supreme above all and that God is not accountable to anyone else including to those who keeps on barking and protesting His decision not to pick all humanity and not to put them all in heaven.

        br.d
        Congratulations – you’re right on target – the Greeks would say the same exact thing about Zeus – (excluding the heaven part). :-]

    1. Carl
      Man. Centered.
      Must. Reject. Calvin. Augustine. Plotinus.

      br.d
      BULLS-EYE!
      And let us not forget Augustine’s remnants of Manichaeism

      Thank you Carl :-]

  14. Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

    There is none that understand, none that seek God. Psalm 14:2, Psalm 53:2, Romans 3:11

    Beware of false prophets (teachers) who come to you dressed in sheep clothing (theologians/clergy) – you will know them by their fruit…for bad trees cannot produce good fruit. By their fruit you will know them. Matthew 7:15-20

    Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

    When will believers understand Christ’s meaning for “perfect” and when will they identify these false prophets by looking at the “bad fruit” produced by them?

    We receive understanding directly from God when we ask Him in faith (James 1:5) without doubting He will reply (James 1:6).
    We become enlightened through discernment, given by the in-dwelling Holy Spirit, after we persevere through trials of faith. James 1:3, 4

    We discern to learn – not in ANY other way – including bible study, reading commentaries and books, attending divinity schools, etc.

    But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

    In fact, if we could understand Scripture from the teaching of others, then the Holy Spirit would not be our teacher and we would not be trusting in the Lord, but instead leaning on our own understanding. Scripture cannot be broken. There is none who understand includes everyone, even the apostle Paul. For example, Paul could not have understood Revelation, since it was written after he died.

    1. Hello George – welcome and thanks for your post.

      You posed a few scriptures which everyone is already aware of.
      It is assumed they are posed with some interpretive presuppositions – but since those are not stated – the thinking behind them is unclear.

      George:
      if we could understand Scripture from the teaching of others, then the Holy Spirit would not be our teacher and we would not be trusting in the Lord,

      br.d
      This statement can be responded to since it is posed as RATIONAL reasoning.
      However, you might want to double-check the LOGIC behind the conclusion.

      We read: “all scripture is given by inspiration” – which everyone identifies as the Holy Spirit.
      But there is an obvious human vehicle for the distribution of much of that inspiration.
      The teachings of the Apostolic ministry who were the authors of the text for example.
      So discounting that human element is not going to be an easy task for a RATIONAL mind.

      Jesus is fully man and yet fully God.
      And Scripture follows that same pattern – being God’s word expressed via the conceptions of human beings.

      Obviously readers of the text anticipate direct inspiration in ascertaining the correct understanding of the text.
      But we see a variance of interpretations – with some being extremely radical
      And we know of groups that claim inspiration which we in fact deem false.

      Additionally, the practice of Grammatical and Contextual Exegesis shows – man is still required to use what intelligence and understanding he already has in his handling of any data. There are good practices and erroneous practices. And an erroneous practice has the probability of producing and erroneous interpretation.

      Jesus asks the Lawyer who tempted him two questions
      1) What does scripture say?
      2) How do you read it?

      Obviously Jesus understands the human mind interprets any data in accordance with what that mind already embraces as truth.
      And in the process interpretations are heavily reliant upon internal biases.

      So I think reality forces us to realize the whole process of understanding scripture is plagued with human idiosyncrasies.
      And that is a fact we are not going to be able to escape any time soon.

      Finally – Paul tells us of the “Teacher” within the five-fold ministry designed to bring the body of Christ to maturity.
      The Greek word Paul uses for this functional role is where we get our word “Scholar”.
      So for me, its clear that handling scripture is imposed upon us as a responsibility.
      And we are expected to handle that responsibility with as much wisdom as possible.

      1. br.d

        Jesus would say, “Have you not read?”
        There is none who understand, none who seek God.

        I would argue none, not even one, understands the meaning of “perfect” in Matthew 5:48 unless and until they ask God in faith or discern the meaning which they were given by the in-dwelling Holy Spirit as a result of persevering through trials of faith.

        I would argue no one understands the biblical meaning of “godly” and “godliness” either. Do you trust in the Lord or rely upon bible dictionaries for definitions of words you read? If you trust Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, you violate Proverbs 3:5. Perhaps the bible scholars have it right, perhaps not. How would you know if you can’t discern and won’t ask God in faith?

        Furthermore, how effective was Paul’s teaching to Timothy? Timothy became the pastor at Ephesus. John and Mary lived there. Yet, by ~95 A.D. the Ephesians had left their first love. Revelation 2:4 Was Timothy godly?

        Eschatology is another mystery no one understands and there are many other subjects I could name whereby churches teach error.

      2. Hi George,
        Of course those arguments have all been mad before.

        The interesting thing history shows us – is the one’s who are most likely to make claims of inspiration are the ones who are most likely to end up going off the deep end.

        No one is arguing against inspiration of course
        But I would hope the both of us are mature enough to find the balance.

      3. br.d

        Are you seeking balance or compromising your faith?

        We will all be tested in our faith as to whether we believe the Word of God is inerrant and infallible or not?
        You have to choose between believing what the Word says and what theologians have said the Word means.

        Choose any theologian you want, but none understand and none seek God according to Scripture.

      4. George Fitt,

        Luke 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

        5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

        ***********6 And they were both *****righteous***** before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

        You had said:
        “but none understand and none seek God according to Scripture.”

        In a previous comment, you had said:
        “In fact, if we could understand Scripture from the teaching of others, then the Holy Spirit would not be our teacher and we would not be trusting in the Lord, but instead leaning on our own understanding. Scripture cannot be broken. There is none who understand includes everyone, even the apostle Paul. For example, Paul could not have understood Revelation, since it was written after he died.”

        My response:

        WOW.

        My research indicates that the famous, “but none understand and none seek God according to scripture”, needs to be RESEARCHED to ascertain the CONTEXT in order to conclude a direct meaning. Why do I say that?

        First, let’s bring in the WHOLE Romans context, THEN do some research:

        What you brought to the table:
        Romans 3:11
        There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

        Those “NONE” PEOPLE, isn’t everyone.

        Verse 12 “THEY”
        Verse 13 “THEIR”
        Verse 14 “WHOSE”
        Verse 15 “THEIR”
        Verse 16 “THEIR”
        Verse 17 “THEY”
        Verse 18 “THEIR”

        So, what Paul is discussing here, in Romans, is the DIFFERENCE between the RIGHTEOUSNESS of THE LAW, vs. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS of God WITHOUT THE LAW.

        Those who are UNDER THE LAW are seeking RIGHTEOUSNESS under the law. And THEY are the ones who are NOT SEEKING GOD, because they are TOO BUSY seeking RIGHTEOUSNESS, which, by the way, GOD TOLD THEM TO DO, by seeking it THRU THE LAW.

        THEY (JEWS) don’t have time to seek God, since they are trying to be PERFECT by obeying THE LAW. THEY are walking on EGG SHELLS TRYING to be PERFECT, and they can’t seem to figure out, that the law is NOTHING MORE than a SET UP to MAKE them fail.

        It’s the difference between LAW vs. FAITH.

        The NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS is THE JEWS WHO ARE SEEKING RIGHTEOUSNESS by THE LAW.

        Forgive the caps…just for emphasis, not shouting.

        But, I can SURELY show you from scripture of THOSE who SEEKS GOD from the OT…to wit:

        2 Chronicles 14:7
        Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

        2 Chronicles 15:4
        But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.

        2 Chronicles 17:4
        But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.

        2 Chronicles 26:5
        And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

        Exodus 33:7
        And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.

        Psalm 34:4
        I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

        Zephaniah 1:6
        And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him.

        And I can surely show you from scripture of those who were RIGHTEOUS, IN ORDER to counter THERE IS NO ONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE:

        Noah:
        Genesis 7:1
        And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

        Abraham:
        Genesis 15:6
        And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

        Many men:
        Matthew 13:17
        For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

        Abel:
        Matthew 23:35
        That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

        And regarding the HOLY SPIRIT in TEACHING US. The Holy Spirit SPEAKS thru those who have the Holy Spirit TO OTHERS, as well as talking to YOU. Paul talks about this in the topic of SPEAKING IN TONGUES, too. So, it isn’t just by way of YOU waiting to hear an AUDIBLE VOICE of instruction, like Abraham did…but there was what, about 13 years that went by and Abraham didn’t hear a word from God for all that time?

        And I can guarantee that Paul KNEW A TON of information regarding eschatology. He talked about the Last Day’s quite a bit, and told us not to be ignorant, BRETHREN.

        Ed Chapman

      5. Ed Chapman,

        The apostle Paul is saying there are none righteous BECAUSE there is none who understand, there is none who seek God.
        Read Job. Job was righteous, but didn’t understand and didn’t seek God. Noah was righteous in his generation, but didn’t understand and didn’t seek God. We can be righteous by doing what is right, but still not understand fully our God and all His teaching in Scripture.

      6. George Fitt,

        You had said:
        “The apostle Paul is saying there are none righteous BECAUSE there is none who understand, there is none who seek God.
        Read Job. Job was righteous, but didn’t understand and didn’t seek God. Noah was righteous in his generation, but didn’t understand and didn’t seek God. We can be righteous by doing what is right, but still not understand fully our God and all His teaching in Scripture.”

        My response:

        Uh, NO NO AND NO AGAIN. I revert back to my previous response to you in its fullest context. I stand by what I already said, giving examples that REFUTE what you said.

        Do you REALLY think that you have been given a GIFT of discernment? OUCH! The ONLY book that I would recommend is…THE BIBLE.

        I don’t recommend books, cuz John puts on his pants the same way that I do, and he makes a TON of $$$$$$$$ by giving his OPINION on scripture.

        If ya want to hear scripture…the Bible is FREE. John CHARGES you a fee on Amazon!

        Ed Chapman

      7. Ed Chapman,

        I recommend books that are helpful for Christians to understand principles for understanding Scripture.

        The things of God are spiritually discerned. Yes, I have received the spiritual gift of discernment.
        Are you saying believers do not receive spiritual gifts or are you saying there is no gift of discernment?

        Are you calling this servant of God a liar?

        Why don’t you ask God whether or not I’m telling the truth?

      8. George Fitt,

        You had said:
        “I recommend books that are helpful for Christians to understand principles for understanding Scripture.

        The things of God are spiritually discerned. Yes, I have received the spiritual gift of discernment.
        Are you saying believers do not receive spiritual gifts or are you saying there is no gift of discernment?

        Are you calling this servant of God a liar?

        Why don’t you ask God whether or not I’m telling the truth?”

        My response:

        Just read ONE BOOK to understand BIBLE scripture…the Bible. That book is ALL YA NEED.

        NO, I do not concur that you have any gift of discernment. I acknowledge only that you THINK that you do, but I do not think that you do.
        I do not call you a liar, because that would require some kind of malice on your part. I just think that you are still a BABY Christian, attempting to TEACH those who have a bit more knowledge than you do. That’s all.

        Ed Chapman

      9. Ed Chapman,

        I have been writing to the finest bible teachers for more than twenty years and never received a reply disputing what I said.
        NEVER have I deviated from EXACTLY what Scripture says.

        Either ask God for wisdom or don’t – it’s your choice. But stop claiming I’m wrong when you don’t know ANYTHING about me.

        God chose to give me a spiritual gift and chose to give you ____________.
        .
        Apparently, you think you were short changed by God and so you will take out your resentment on me. Who do you think you are?

        I should point out to you that I do not think I was worthy to receive the honor of receiving a gift of discernment. Like you, I’m a sinner.

        Nevertheless, I have received the gift of discernment and have an obligation to help my brethren as best I can.

      10. George Fitt,

        Well, I am disputing what you said. You seem a bit prideful.

        But I dispute using SCRIPTURE show that your conclusions are wrong.

        ANYONE can quote a verse, that no one is righteous, no not one. But scripture can be taken out of context, and the only way to prove that is to SEEK SCRIPTURE (THE WORD OF GOD, AKA JESUS, AKA GOD-…OH, THAT IS SEEKING GOD, ISN’T IT?), to bring forth PROOF of your inconsistency.

        Jesus is the WORD OF GOD, spoken. The Bible is…THE WORD OF GOD, written.

        The only way to SEEK God is by the WORD OF GOD, and where do you suppose that place is? THE BIBLE…the word of God.

        Ed Chapman

      11. Ed Chapman,

        If I state facts, you claim I am prideful.

        You claim I’m taking Scripture out of context, which is a lie.

        There is none righteous, no not one BECAUSE (implied) here is none who understand, none who seek God is the teaching of the apostle Paul based upon Psalm 14: and Psalm 59:2 as written in Romans 3;10-11..

        If you do not discern this fact, then ask God in faith for wisdom in the matter.

      12. George,

        You haven’t stated any facts. You are taking Romans 3:11 out of context. I proved it by showing you scripture that there is indeed people who seek after God. So you can’t tell me that NO ONE SEEKS GOD, you can’t tell me that there is NO ONE RIGHTEOUS NO NOT ONE, when scripture plainly shows you MANY RIGHTEOUS people.

        THOSE verses alone tells you that you are taking Romans 3:11 out of context. End of story. You can’t defend that.

        I will say it again, Romans 3:11 has NOTHING TO DO with EVERYONE, it only has to do with a CERTAIN SET OF PEOPLES that are UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES attempting to EARN their RIGHTEOUSNESS by attempting to be obedient to the LAW, and if you would read and UNDERSTAND ALL of Romans 3, you would see that.

        As a matter of fact, MOST of the book of Romans is about the DISTINCTION between Jews under the law, attempting to earn righteousness by being obedient to the law, that God told them to obey, and Gentiles who never had the law to begin with, such as Abraham, that all he had to do was to BELIEVE *(faith), and BOOM, RIGHTEOUS.

        But until you READ THE WHOLE BIBLE as a novel, you will never get it, and you will continue to BUILD A THEOLOGY on Romans 3:11, which is COMMON among the Calvinists, and some Baptists.

        And you will claim that you have a gift when you really don’t. THAT is what I mean by prideful.

        Ed Chapman

        Ed Chapman

      13. Ed Chapman,

        You are:
        Wrong on every level. Spiritually blind as a bat.

        The proof is right in front of you, but you deny the truth of God.
        Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

      14. George,

        Apparently, you didn’t get the memo, so I will transmit it to you again:

        Luke 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV)

        5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

        ***********6 And they were both *****righteous***** before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

        2 Chronicles 14:7
        Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

        2 Chronicles 15:4
        But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.

        2 Chronicles 17:4
        But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.

        2 Chronicles 26:5
        And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

        Exodus 33:7
        And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.

        Psalm 34:4
        I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

        Zephaniah 1:6
        And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him.

        And I can surely show you from scripture of those who were RIGHTEOUS, IN ORDER to counter THERE IS NO ONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE:

        Noah:
        Genesis 7:1
        And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

        Abraham:
        Genesis 15:6
        And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

        Many men:
        Matthew 13:17
        For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

        Abel:
        Matthew 23:35
        That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

        I REST MY CASE:

        Ed Chapman

      15. George,

        I always LOVE when people reference:

        DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING.

        So, what they are really telling me is to LEAN ON THEIR understanding instead. LOLOLOLOL. Funny!

        Ed Chapman

      16. Ed Chapman,

        I was troubled by “there is none who seek God” so I did some research on the Internet.
        The word “seek” in English has two Hebrew words. One is inquire and the other has a sense of urgency.

        You are at the mall with your wife and two year old daughter. Suddenly you discover you daughter is missing. You thought she was with your wife and your wife thought she was with you. So, you both “seek” your daughter. That is how we are to “seek” the Lord and why God says there are none who seek Him.

      17. George Fitt,

        Well, you can do all the research on the internet that you want, and do word studies, too. But I provided verses in which people actually sought God.

        BUT, I learned, from the Bible alone, what RIGHTEOUSNESS was all about, and THAT is the whole subject of Chapter 3 of Romans.

        Righteousness UNDER THE LAW, called WORKS, vs Righteousness WITHOUT THE LAW, called FAITH.

        Abraham was NOT under the law, and he was justified by FAITH (WITHOUT THE LAW (WORKS), AND DECLARED Righteous.

        FAITH vs. THE LAW, and last I recall, only the JEWS are under the law, and it is THEY who do NOT seek God, and THEY are not righteous, because THEY do NOT seek the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD by FAITH…BUT SOME HAVE, and I have listed those particular Jews who are righteous by FAITH.

        The WHOLE bible is about FAITH, and God “inserted”, if you will, THE LAW for the Jews, in order to TRIP THEM UP.

        You can either earn righteousness thru the law…and fail, or seek righteousness by JUST BELIEVING GOD’S PROMISE, like Abraham did, without the law of do’s and don’ts, and be justified.

        Again, I provided verses to PROVE those who were indeed seeking God, and those who were righteous. But you keep telling us that NO ONE seeks God. So no, I do not concur with you. Sorry!

        Ed Chapman

      18. Ed Chapman,

        You do not believe what Scripture clearly says three times.
        There is none who understand, none who seek God.

        Obviously you believe Scripture is wrong. That Scripture can contradict itself.

        Therefore, you believe God is a liar and claim proof – in Scripture! You are unapologetically wrong.

      19. Georg Fitt,

        George, really?

        You had said:
        “Obviously you believe Scripture is wrong. That Scripture can contradict itself.

        Therefore, you believe God is a liar and claim proof – in Scripture! You are unapologetically wrong.”

        My response:

        Romans 3:11 has a CONTEXT that does NOT equate to what you are bringing to the table. The “NO ONE” is for a PARTICULAR set of PEOPLE.

        Did you NOT read the verses that I provided THAT SHOWS people who actually sought God?

        Here it is again:

        2 Chronicles 14:7
        Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

        2 Chronicles 15:4
        But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.

        2 Chronicles 17:4
        But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.

        2 Chronicles 26:5
        And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

        Exodus 33:7
        And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.

        Psalm 34:4
        I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

        Ed Chapman

      20. Ed Chapman,

        Again you are saying Scripture contradicts Scripture, which is like claiming mathematics contradicts mathematics
        You refuse to admit you are wrong. Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and ANYONE claiming otherwise is wrong.

      21. George Fitt,

        NO I am saying that YOU contradict scripture. I am saying that YOU have taken Romans 3:11 OUT OF CONTEXT, thereby you are contradicting it.

        When the scripture states that there are certainly righteous people, people who understands, and people who really are seeking God, then YOUR TAKE on Romans 3:11 is WRONG. YOUR INTERPRETATION. YOUR CONCLUSIONS. YOUR CONTRADICTIONS.

        I never once indicated that the bible is contradicting itself. I am indicating that you are.

        Ed Chapman

      22. Ed Chapman,

        Romans 3:11 has a CONTEXT that does NOT equate to what you are bringing to the table. The “NO ONE” is for a PARTICULAR set of PEOPLE.

        So, you contend Scripture deceives. Have you ever read the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy?

        The Lord looks down from heaven
        on all mankind
        to see if there are any who understand,
        any who seek God.
        3
        All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
        there is no one who does good,
        not even one.

        Psalm 14:2,3 and Psalm 53:2,3 NIV

        “There is no one righteous, not even one;
        11
        there is no one who understands;
        there is no one who seeks God.
        12
        All have turned away,
        they have together become worthless;
        there is no one who does good,
        not even one.”

        Romans 3:11,12 NIV

        All mankind does NOT apply to a particular group.

        I feel sorry for you, because you are so incredibly blind to the truth!

      23. George,

        Did you read the CONTEXT of THOSE verses, too? During that time frame, God was a God to the JEWS ONLY, and not to anyone else. WE GENTILES WERE NOT A PEOPLE.

        The Jews believed in God, but they were under the law of Moses. The LAW is a BARRIER to FAITH, because you are spending ALL OF YOUR TIME trying to obey that law of Moses, that you don’t have TIME to seek God.

        The SUBJECT AND TOPIC of Romans 3 is about RIGHTEOUSNESS, and HOW it is obtained, either WORKING, aka EARNING, aka WORKS, aka JEWS or…BY JUST BELIEVING, GENTILES.

        CONTEXT of Romans 3 is important, and you can’t build a theology on Romans 3:11. Sorry, but ya just can’t.

        Ed Chapman

      24. George Fitt,

        Nehemiah Chapter 8

        Count how many times the word UNDERSTAND(ing) is in that chapter. And what it takes to UNDERSTAND!

        Nehemiah CHAPTER 8, and one reference in chapter 10, too

        Nehemiah 8:2
        And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

        Nehemiah 8:3
        And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

        Nehemiah 8:7
        Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.

        Nehemiah 8:8
        So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

        Nehemiah 8:12
        And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

        Nehemiah 8:13
        And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.

        Nehemiah 10:28
        And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

        Ed Chapman

      25. Ed Chapman,

        There is none who understand doesn’t say “There are none who understand ANYTHING.”

        You are looking for ANYTHING to attack me? Do you have a bias against God?

      26. George
        Choose any theologian you want, but none understand and none seek God according to Scripture.

        br.d
        Well if you take that as absolute – then that would also include you and I since we are human.
        And that would also include everyone else other than the authors of the texts since they are also human.
        So on that thinking no one in church history understands and no one seeks god.

        Or perhaps you want to argue that you alone are the only exception? :-]

      27. br.d

        Like the apostle Paul, I do not claim to understand everything in Scripture. However, I do claim to have been given the spiritual gift of discernment.

        I highly recommend you read Dr. John MacArthur’s book entitled “Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will To Discern” which is currently out of print. Find one used on Amazon.

        Dr. MacArthur is a dispensationalist, baptist, Calvinist. I disagree with his teaching on these and many other things, but he is spot on at times. I highly recommend this book and “Why One Way.” Both, along with the ICBI book “Inerrancy” should be read by every Christian.

      28. George
        Like the apostle Paul, I do not claim to understand everything in Scripture. However, I do claim to have been given the spiritual gift of discernment.

        br.d
        Now you’re contradicting yourself.
        So far you’ve argued – no man has understanding – at pain of breaking scripture

        It thus LOGICALLY follows – since you are a man – according to you – you don’t have understanding of god and don’t desire god.
        If you did have understanding or did desire – then according to you scripture would be broken

        George
        I highly recommend you read Dr. John MacArthur’s book entitled “Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will To Discern” which is currently out of print. Find one used on Amazon.

        br.d
        You just got done arguing that no man understands god – and now you want me to read a book written by a man who doesn’t understand god?

        How is that supposed to be RATIONAL?

        George
        Dr. MacArthur is a dispensationalist, baptist, Calvinist.

        br.d
        Oh so he is now “Dr.” which makes it even worse – because he is then a theologian – and remember what you stated about theologians.
        Not one theologian can be named who understands or desires god.

        According to your reasoning so far – John MacArthur is in the same boat as every man who doesn’t understand god or desire god at pain of scripture being broken.

        George
        I disagree with his teaching on these and many other things, but he is spot on at times.

        br.d
        How can MacArthur – a man who doesn’t understand god and doesn’t desire god be “spot on at times”?
        And how can you – a man who doesn’t understand god – have any understanding about what is “spot on”?

        How is that supposed to be RATIONAL?

        George
        I highly recommend this book and “Why One Way.” Both, along with the ICBI book “Inerrancy” should be read by every Christian.

        br.d
        My first response to your initial post was to ask you to examine your conclusion because the reasoning was fallacious.
        Fallacious reasoning always results in a fallacious conclusion.
        I don’t think you did yourself any favors in ignoring that suggestion. :-]

      29. br.d

        You said:
        Now you’re contradicting yourself.
        So far you’ve argued – no man has understanding – at pain of breaking scripture
        It thus LOGICALLY follows – since you are a man – according to you – you don’t have understanding of god and don’t desire god.
        If you did have understanding or did desire – then according to you scripture would be broken

        My reply:
        You’re not quoting correctly what I said and I have not contradicted myself.
        1) We’re talking about understanding – not omniscience. There are many levels to understanding a subject matter.
        In mathematics, a student may understand basic math and algebra quite well but be lost in trigonometry, calculus.and solving differential equations.
        2) Discernment is the ability to distinguish between truth and error. I have been given the spiritual gift of discernment. Others may have been given the gift of leadership, wisdom or prophecy. The body of believers are supposed to work together in using their gifts, but because I do not have the gift of wisdom I don’t know how to make that happen.

        As for all you said about Dr. MacArthur and two books of his I recommended:
        Even a broken clock is right twice a day..

      30. George
        You’re not quoting correctly what I said and I have not contradicted myself.

        br.d
        Go back and read your post for yourself – here it is:

        George Fitt
        November 9, 2019 at 1:53 pm
        Scripture cannot be broken. There is none that understand, none that seek God….none who understand includes everyone, even the apostle Paul.

        br.d
        If you did not mean that statement literally – then you should have taken the time to qualify it.

        George
        We’re talking about understanding – not omniscience.

        br.d
        You said nothing about omniscience – you only made absolute statements about no one understanding and desiring god. And no theologian could be named who does.

        George
        There are many levels to understanding a subject matter. In mathematics, a student may understand basic math and algebra quite well but be lost in trigonometry, calculus.and solving differential equations.

        br.d
        Oh so now there are people who have understanding – just not understanding about god I suppose?

        George
        Discernment is the ability to distinguish between truth and error.

        br.d
        We can have a conversation later about whether or not it LOGICALLY follows that in Theological Determinism a person can know the difference between truth and error. That is another conversation – and I can show you LOGICALLY how that assumption is LOGICALLY false.

        George
        I have been given the spiritual gift of discernment.

        br.d
        If a person *REALLY* has a gift of spiritual discernment that person doesn’t have to go around telling people he does.
        And a Calvinist with spiritual discernment is even more unlikely
        Considering the lack of wisdom so far – what I suspect we have here is a vain imagination.
        Or someone who is simply hiding IRRATIONAL thinking behind some imagined superior knowledge.

        George
        Others may have been given the gift of leadership, wisdom or prophecy. The body of believers are supposed to work together in using their gifts, but because I do not have the gift of wisdom I don’t know how to make that happen.

        As for all you said about Dr. MacArthur and two books of his I recommended:
        Even a broken clock is right twice a day..

        br.d
        Sure – that would be fine for anyone who wants to lean upon the understanding of a broken clock.
        But I certainly wouldn’t be recommending a broken clock to anyone.
        Is that an example of spiritual discernment?

        Look George – here is the RATIONAL bottom line – and I’m not sure you are going to want to accept it.
        If you can claim to have spiritual discernment – then any professing Christian can do likewise.
        And that blows your statement that no Theologian can be named who has understanding.

        Again – I suggest you go back and re-examine your reasoning processes
        Fallacious thinking will always result in a fallacious conclusion.

        The other thing I would suggest you do is be more precise in your statements – so that people don’t waste a half dozen posts before they realize what you are actually saying.

      31. br.d

        I’m not a Calvinist.

        I said the apostle Paul did not have full understanding of Scripture, since Revelation was written after his death.
        There is none who understand, none who seeks God.

        Rather than continue to question me, why don’t you ask God in faith for His meaning?

        Or, does your unwillingness to ask as God says speak volumes about your faith?

      32. George
        I’m not a Calvinist.

        I said the apostle Paul did not have full understanding of Scripture, since Revelation was written after his death.
        There is none who understand, none who seeks God.

        Rather than continue to question me, why don’t you ask God in faith for His meaning?

        Or, does your unwillingness to ask as God says speak volumes about your faith?

        br.d
        And now we’re assuming “unwillingness to ask god” – inability to understand meaning – and the Apostle Paul can’t understand scripture because the book of Revelations was written after his death.

        Are those supposed to be more examples of spiritual discernment? :-]

      33. AH – I see that you stated Paul did not have “FULL” understanding of scripture – because one book of scripture was written after his death. Well even so – that is a very unique and bold claim.

        It would be LOGICAL to say Paul can’t have intellectual understanding of some things presented in a book written after his death. However there may in fact be things written in the book of Revelations that Paul would have had understanding of if we assume Paul was inspired by the same Holy Spirit that inspired the text of Revelations.

        And there is no way you would possibly know what all of those things are.
        Unless of course the Holy Spirit has told you personally all about it – which I doubt.

        So I think to make an emphatic argument out of something you can’t possibly know – is just fallacious thinking.

        At this point I’m starting to suspect this “no one has understanding” business is a gig someone has been playing – and has had at least a little success in fooling some people with.

      34. There ya go again, with that NO ONE stuff again, when I showed you that YOUR conclusions are FLAWED regarding Romans 3. Apparently, you didn’t READ the verses that I provided that showed that PEOPLE WERE INDEED ACTUALLY SEEKING GOD, and that people were actually righteous.

        I did some research on your comments, and I see that even YOU ONCE PREVIOUSLY just a couple years back said yourself that there are indeed RIGHTEOUS people in the bible, but NOW you changed your mind, now concluding that there is NO ONE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE?

        Hmmmm. I think you are being disingenuous in this conversation regarding what you ONCE posted on other threads, that contradicts what you are NOW posting here.

        Ed Chapman

      35. Ed
        I think you summed it up excellently – when you said to George:
        “Lean not unto your own understanding – but you can lean on mine” :-]

      36. Hey, George, were you known as the call sign, 1Saved back in 2004? I found a blog that you frequented dividing Calvin and Servantis (spelling could be off), and they kinda kicked ya to the curb. Was that you?

  15. Food for thought.

    The Bible, in lets say the King James Version, contains around 2426 verses and 2737 matches to the word “man”. If we search for the word “men” we find it has 1512 verses and 1677 matches. These references multiplied add up to 4414 matches to man and men. If we take into account the other references to individual men such as Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Peter, John, and every person mentioned in the Bible, the number will massively increase.

    The name “God” is used in around 3893 verses and has around 4473 matches. If we add the word “Lord” there are 6749 verses and 7970 matches and many of these may be used in the same verses as the name of God is referenced.

    My point is this: if it is “man centred” to focus upon the role of man in salvation and in his relationship to God, does that mean the Bible is also man centred? God has kept focused upon man since the beginning of time. After all, Christ did die for man and God has sought after man since the beginning of creation. What then is wrong with keeping focused upon those whom God has no desire to see perish?

    It seems to me that the Bible is quite focused upon God and man, so if our theology is Bible based, surely it will be the same.

    1. Excellent post – and point well taken Simon!

      I think in the case of Calvinists making the “man-centered” claim – there is a specific implicature they load onto that term.

      Since Calvinism is predicated on Universal Divine Causal Determinism – what is implied in the accusation – is any deviation in the UNIVERSALITY or scope of things determined by the THEOS.

      However the problem the poor Calvinist is then faced with – is his own internal distress he experiences from it.
      And the accompanying blindness to that distress – and the inherent hypocrisy that comes along with it.

      As Ravi Zacharias notes
      Believers who embrace radical absolutes will be eventually plagued with a psychological need to escape them – and we will find such believers working to SMUGGLE IN escape mechanisms.

      That is exactly what we see with Calvinists
      And their primary escape mechanism is DOUBLE-THINK.
      When you learn to look for it – you’ll discover Calvinism is saturated with DOUBLE-SPEAK.

      For example, John Calvin writes:
      Men can deliberately do nothing unless he *INSPIRE* it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

      And Calvinist Paul Helms writes:
      Not only is every atom and molecule, every thought and desire, kept in being by God, but every twist and turn of each
      of these is under the *DIRECT CONTROL* of God

      These are clear assertions of the UNIVERSALITY (the scope of things determined by the THEOS) in the systematic.
      However this comes with LOGICAL conclusions the average Calvinist finds extremely distasteful.
      It LOGICALLY concludes the THEOS as the AUTHOR of evil and his intentions for the believer unknowable.

      The Calvinist strategy for evading those conclusions is a library of DOUBLE-SPEAK designed to SMUGGLE various forms of IN-determinism back into his system.

      In order to accomplish the back-peddling without detection – he becomes an expert at equivocal language.
      Detecting the patterns of DOUBLE-SPEAK becomes the primary key to identifying the conundrum.

      We all have camels we’ve probably swallowed in our life – but we can be thankful the Lord protected us from that one! :-]

      1. Thank you br.d I agree with you entirely concerning the logical implications of the Universal Determinism theory. 110%. I realise that when a Theologically based Philosophy has progressed beyond the plain text of Scripture, it is not easy to return the debate back to the original authority and the plain meaning of Scripture. I find that modern day Calvinism, and its revival of Owenism, confuses the reader with ideas that no one would ever think about from a plain reading of the Bible. It supersedes the canon and relies far too heavily upon argumentation and Calvinistic rhetoric. It confuses any Christian who thinks about the Bible when he or she reads it, and when its followers are presented with the Scriptures it is found at variance with the philosophy and there is nowhere left to run but to withdraw into a self-centred vacuum of echo chambers, argumentation and belief.

        For extreme Calvinism, God is not the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4: 12), but it the determiner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. If I were a Calvinist, I could never honestly evangelise. I could never offer Christ to anyone, since I may be found a liar on judgement day. If I were a Calvinist, I would hesitate to pray for anything, or the salvation of souls, I may well be predetermined to pray against the will of God, since He has already determined every soul who will be saved and has limited the atonement of Christ to the chosen few. I may never even attain any temporary or full assurance of Salvation since I have not yet persevered to the end. I would be found in constant turmoil, unknowing whether or not I were elect.

        The logical implications to Calvinism that are presented, would make God the author of the violation of Dinah (Genesis 34) only to rectify the event by placing Jesus at the same location in John 4. It would make God out to be the ultimate and universal playwrite and even the ultimate performance artist. It would present the lawgiver, the prophets, the apostles, believers and unbelievers as actors in the predetermined and universal globe theatre of Calvinism.

        If we take Calvinistic Determinism to its logical conclusion, we may all be ticket holders in the arena of universal theatrics. Never truly knowing which side we are on.

      2. Yes absolutely!
        And for me it even goes farther and becomes even more IRRATIONAL than one would initially realize.

        The thesis is that an external mind determines every neurological impulse that appears in the brain.
        That would LOGICALLY entail every FALSE perception that comes to pass within every person’s brain.

        Now a FALSE perception by definition is a perception the person cannot know is FALSE.
        So according to the scheme – each person is given a subset of TRUE perceptions and a subset of FALSE perceptions.
        And since the THEOS determines the person to have FALSE perceptions – then it LOGICALLY follows – that person cannot know which perceptions are FALSE. And therefore cannot distinguish a FALSE perception from a TRUE one.

        The THEOS determines the person to hold all perceptions as TRUE – and have no ability to discern otherwise.

        For example, Calvin teaches that the THEOS deceives a -quote LARGE MIXTURE of Calvinists to believe themselves elect.
        According to Calvin he -quote “Holds out salvation as a savor of condemnation”
        And he will eventually -quote “Strike them with greater blindness”.

        So on that scheme – these Calvinists have the FALSE perception of election – and he thus gives them FALSE perceptions that the promises in scripture to the believer apply to them. All of their perceptions of being and living as Christians are FALSE.

        So on Calvinism we have a LARGE MIXTURE of believers walking around in a world of FALSE perceptions which the THEOS determines them to have – and no ability to know the difference between a FALSE perception and a TRUE one.

        Thus it LOGICALLY follows – according to the doctrine – no Calvinist has any ability to discern between TRUE and FALSE.

        And yet they go about *AS-IF* the opposite is the case.
        So we can see – the only way they can maintain their doctrine is to be DOUBLE-MINDED.

        The deeper one goes into that rabbit hole – the more IRRATIONAL it gets! :-]

      3. br.d I agree. These topics and logical conclusions are a series of reflections of a singular gigantic elephant in the room. I say that because most Calvinists do not even believe such things and hardly even think about them. Yet when they are mentioned, there is either an odd silence in the room, or an outright denial that the Calvinist believes such things.

        But of course, these are the logical conclusions and exhaustive expositions of TULIP. This is why some Calvinists present open theism as the only alternative.

        For me, I see these logical conclusions to this type of Calvinistic determinism as a kind of blood vessel, the life of the flesh is running its course, the flow to the brain, the brain to the thoughts and library of the mind contains nothing more than what is determined to become part of the archive. All the filth, sin, and depravities that the flesh is heir to are no mere inheritance, but a functioning organism where even the deceptions and the truths are all part of a pre-written providence that does not merely guide the soul, but neurologically is the function of the anatomy.

        If I speak the truth, it is not I. If I believe, it is not I. If I do not believe, it is not I. If my am misguided, it is not I. If I am lost, I am in the city of providence. Either way it is not I. Never the less, I live, yet not I.

        It is a logical conclusion to ‘Limited Atonement’ to affirm that if God had predestined and elected a particular people, based upon His own choice rather than any foreseen knowledge, He must have not only governed the will and pre-written the entire life of the person, but also designed and governed the unbelief of the none elect and hated His own determinism at the same time. It not only makes the maintainers of the doctrine to the “DOUBLE-MINDED” but it makes God out to be the author of doubled-mindedness and the actual provider and Imputer of it. Finally, the judge and condemner of those who are found guilty of being and doing what the determiner has imputed them to be.

        I accept and understand that it might be comforting for some to imagine that such a determinism exists, if the person only views God as the determiner of the good things in life. But the flip side is also a necessary conclusion, which makes God responsible not only for the good that humans will to do, but the bad also. Anything else, they would say, would imply open theism.

      4. Wonderful post!
        Yes – and we can see that Calvinists are forced to put their focus on the “good” rather than the “evil” part of the doctrine.
        For example – by calling it “Doctrines of grace” – when the truth is it is doctrines of “Good-Evil”.

        I think Calvin’s system evolved via Augustine who synchronized elements of Manichaeism and NeoPlatonism into Catholic doctrine.

        English historian, Theodore Maynard, in The story of American Catholicism writes:
        “It has often been charged… that Catholicism has been overlaid with many pagan incrustations. Catholicism is ready to accept that charge – and to make it her boast. The great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized.”

        Manichaeism spread with extraordinary speed through both the east and west, from North Africa to China. Being widely promoted by apostles, it reached Egypt at around 240 A.D., and Rome at around 280 A.D. The Roman Emperor Galerius issued the Edict of Toleration in 311 A.D., which ended the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity. Manichaean monasteries existed in Rome in 312 A.D. during the time of the Catholic Pope, Miltiades.

        Both Manichaeism and NeoPlatonism held a doctrine of “Good-Evil” DUALISM. The belief that good and evil are Co-Equal, Co-Necessary, and Co-complimentary.

        The NeoPlatonist Christians in Augustine’s day conceived of “evil” to be beautiful.

        Augustine:
        -quote
        “And because this orderly arrangement maintains the harmony of the universe by this very contrast, it comes about that evil things must need be. In this way, the beauty of all things is in a manner configured, as it were, from antitheses, that is, from opposites: this is pleasing to us even in discourse”. (ord 1.7.19)

        Jonathon Edwards
        -quote:
        [Without evil] the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect both because the parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the other do……nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.” – Works of Edwards

        R.C. Sproul
        -quote
        Even though evil is evil, it is good, or else it couldn’t be here.

        So we have two very unique constituents within Calvinism.
        1) Theological Determinism
        2) Moral Dualism.

        Both of these make Calvinism stand alone as a “one-off” theology within Christianity

      5. I have enjoyed reading SIMON PET SUTH and BR.D As you go back and forth you are both making great points.
        I love it when people are so capable of “taking the spin off” of what Calvinism teaches…so much of the time Calvinism uses lingo that covers over what is really taught.
        We have to state clearly what Calvinism actually teaches and not let them get away with the lip stick that they use to cover over the Ugly of their doctrines. Keep it up… keep bringing to the light that which is hidden in darkness… when the light is shed on that which is tucked away in darkness it becomes very evident that Calvinism is a system that dishonors God. Not only that it is a very “I/Me Centered Theology” to the Exclusion of MOST of the Rest of God’s creatures created in His image.
        It is no wonder that it is so frequently accompanied by the attitudes that we so often see coming from that camp. Pride, and a Better than Thou condescending look… Oh God I thank you that I am not like others (non-elect)… Reminds me of: Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed within himself in this way: God, I thank You that I am not as other men are…

      6. GraceAdict,

        There are two sides to every coin.
        Do not think John Calvin was completely wrong.
        Do not think Jacobus Arminius was completely right.
        Discernment is the ability to distinguish between truth and error.
        A discerning person would notice pronouns used in Scripture.
        Allow me to give Ephesians 1:3-14 NASB as an example:
        …just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [d]Him. In love 5 [e]He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the [f]kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In [g]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He [h]lavished on [i]us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He [j]made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His [k]kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration [l]suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things [m]in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 [n]also we [o]have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in [p]Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In [q]Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also [r]believed, you were sealed in [s]Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is [t]given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

        A Calvinist would say EVERYONE saved was chosen by predestination before the foundation of the world and when it comes to salvation, NO ONE has free will.
        An Arminian would say EVERYONE has free will and the pronoun “we” refers to Jews while the pronoun “you” refers to Gentiles. Thus, Jews were chosen before the foundation of the world while Gentiles may be chosen provided they believe.

        Both lean on their own understanding rather than trusting in God.with all their hearts to provide His meaning. Proverbs 3:5

        Since you lack wisdom in this matter, Scripture says you are to ask God in faith. James 1:5, 6
        Will you ask God in faith for the answer to Ephesians 1: 3-14 – specifically who are the “we” and “us” and who are the “you” and “our?”

      7. George
        A Calvinist would say EVERYONE saved was chosen by predestination before the foundation of the world and when it comes to salvation, NO ONE has free will.

        br.d
        Well – I’ve been around here for a number of years and many hundreds of statements by Calvinists – and I can tell you – not one Calvinist has every stated here “NO ONE has free will”

        On the contrary, the preponderance of Calvinists hold to what is called “compatiblistic” free will.
        The thesis that FREEDOM is compatible with Theological Determinism.

        Is that an example of spiritual discernment?

        George
        An Arminian would say EVERYONE has free will and the pronoun “we” refers to Jews while the pronoun “you” refers to Gentiles. Thus, Jews were chosen before the foundation of the world while Gentiles may be chosen provided they believe.

        br.d
        Hmmm – that distinction about Jews and Gentiles as Arminian distinction is news to me
        Do you have any authoritative quotes from Arminius or from current Arminian voices of influence to show that to be the case?

        George
        Both lean on their own understanding rather than trusting in God.with all their hearts to provide His meaning. Proverbs 3:5

        br.d
        And what is inferred with this statement is that some special person here is the exception to that.
        I’ve seen this one before! :-]

      8. br.d

        George
        A Calvinist would say EVERYONE saved was chosen by predestination before the foundation of the world and when it comes to salvation, NO ONE has free will.
        br.d
        Well – I’ve been around here for a number of years and many hundreds of statements by Calvinists – and I can tell you – not one Calvinist has every stated here “NO ONE has free will”

        My reply:
        …when it comes to salvation Calvinists claim TULIP
        T – Total Depravity
        U – Unconditional Election
        L – Limited Atonement
        I – Irresistible Grace
        P – Perseverance of the Saints

        Nothing about anyone having free will or choice in their salvation according to John Calvin.
        No, I don’t wish to explain basic concepts of Calvinism with you further.

        br.d
        Hmmm – that distinction about Jews and Gentiles as Arminian distinction is news to me
        Do you have any authoritative quotes from Arminius or from current Arminian voices of influence to show that to be the case?

        Yes I do.
        http://evangelicalarminians.org/does-ephesians-1-1-11-support-calvinism/
        You’re welcome.

      9. George
        A Calvinist would say EVERYONE saved was chosen by predestination before the foundation of the world and when it comes to salvation, NO ONE has free will.

        br.d
        Well – I’ve been around here for a number of years and many hundreds of statements by Calvinists – and I can tell you – not one Calvinist has every stated here “NO ONE has free will”

        George
        My reply:
        …when it comes to salvation Calvinists claim TULIP
        T – Total Depravity
        U – Unconditional Election
        L – Limited Atonement
        I – Irresistible Grace
        P – Perseverance of the Saints

        br.d
        Everyone knows Calvinism has the TULIP and that doctrine came much later in the Reformed time-line.
        The underlying principle in Calvinism is Universal Divine Causal Determinism (aka Theological Determinism)

        Theological Determinism – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
        -quote
        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.

        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: the view that everything is ultimately determined by God…..take it for granted as something on which the vast majority of Calvinists uphold

        George – you’re spiritual discernment is not doing to well! :-]
        Do you have any authoritative quotes from Arminius or from current Arminian voices of influence to show that to be the case?

        George
        Yes I do.
        http://evangelicalarminians.org/does-ephesians-1-1-11-support-calvinism/
        You’re welcome.

        br.d
        Well – your spiritual discernment seems to have failed once gain.

        Here is the first statement in that article:
        -quote
        The following is from Dr. Jack Cottrell….. he is neither a member of SEA or a self-declared Arminian…..

        You’re spiritual discernment is really striking out these days George.
        Perhaps what we have here is the wrong spirit – or just the carnal man with vain imaginations.

      10. BR.D responds to George: “You’re spiritual discernment is really striking out these days George.
        Perhaps what we have here is the wrong spirit – or just the carnal man with vain imaginations.”

        GA: I totally agree…
        with George “Discernment” was never one of the words that came to my mind. I think George needs our prayers.

      11. I’ve certainly seen my share of religious flesh in the church!

        Years ago there was someone in a bible study who claimed to be the only person alive who knew how to pray to Marry.

        Well they set that person straight on the praying to Marry part.

        But they didn’t realize what might have been at work there was a religious spirit working with the lusts of the flesh.

        And indeed that believer simply went on to become more subtle – fooling people with different spiritual claims.

        Nothing to see here – move along – move along :-]

      12. George,

        Here ya go spouting off nonsense again, falsely accusing people that they are too stupid to understand a BOOK.

        Regarding your famous EPHESIANS, I have said it before, that NO ONE was chosen at the foundation of the earth for ANYTHING at all.

        What was CHOSEN was that CHRISTIANS would be holy and blameless. People were not CHOSEN in Ephesians, the BEHAVIOR is what was CHOSEN.

        Learning how to read ENGLISH determines what was CHOSEN.

        How so, you might ask? THE WORDS, “TO BE” are the KEY WORDS, not “YOU”, and not “WE”.

        I’m non-denomination, so I don’t follow ANY reform doctrine, nor Catholic doctrines, so I could care less what any of those dead people have to say.

        I only read the WORD OF GOD, and WHO is the author of that? I don’t even care what John MacArthur wrote. He is not the author of my salvation, either. How rich is that guy anyway? Selling books? How many books did the Apostle Paul sell on Amazon?

        If ya WRITE A BOOK, and SELL IT, it’s to KEEP PEOPLE AWAY FROM READING THE BIBLE.

        Ed Chapman

      13. George are you for real? I feel like you are just play acting on this site, some of your self promotions are so outrageous, it seems like you just want to create a stir. However this may be the real you. In that case:

        You remind me of a 18 year old kid I knew who went away to JMac’s school in California after one year he came back claiming he now had the wisdom and discernment to disciple the elders in the church and he wanted a platform to do just that. He had another buddy about his own age and they claimed they were the only spiritual people that they knew of.
        His head was so puffed up with pride and he thought himself very discerning and wise, however those around him could just feel the Self-Righteous pride oozing off of him.

        One of the things that has always impressed me about JMac and those who follow him is the pride that they absorb from him. They end up having a self-righteous pride but in their own minds they see themselves as discerning and a cut above everyone else.

        George I have know many a person who had the actual gift of discernment and it was very different than what you are selling here.
        First of all they were all humble and none of them were thumping their chests proclaiming “I have the gift of discernment you need to listen to me”.
        You also failed to discern that most of the people on this site do not hold to Calvinism or Arminianism, many of us believe that they both missed the boat.

        George I think it is very likely that pride has blinded you however you see yourself as very discerning. You keep stating that “Discernment is the ability to distinguish between truth and error.” George that is not really the test of discernment most anyone can tell the difference between Black and White…the test of discernment is “If one can discern the difference between Truth and 97% truth.” I hope you can discern what your problem really is.
        I will pray for you.

      14. Graceadict,

        I use my real name, so yes I’m for real.
        I deny I promote myself, I merely warn unwary believers to not “lean on their own understandings” or anyone else’s.
        I point out that Scripture says none understand and none seek God.
        I point out that Scripture says the things of God are spiritually discerned and not learned through bible study, commentaries, divinity schools, etc.
        I recommend books I’ve read that are helpful to understand principles for understanding Scripture.
        Most often I tell believers to ask God in faith for wisdom in confusing matters – not that they need to listen to me.
        I told you to ask God for wisdom and I didn’t tell you the meaning of “we”, “us”, “you” and “our” in Ephesians 1:3-14.
        You didn’t ask and they won’t ask God. Instead, you and they attack me by saying I’m lying, I think I know everything, I’m prideful and I’m self-righteous.

        What clergy will admit they could be wrong? Dr. MacArthur claims he’s “unleashing God’s truth one verse at a time.”
        I told Dr. MacArthur he’s a hypocrite based upon Matthew 7:3-5 more than 20 years ago, because of his false teaching on divorce left him with a log in his eye..

        FYI 97% truth is error in my book and God’s too. We are to rightly divide the Word of God.
        What church does rightly divide the Word? The answer is none, because none 100% understand his Word.

      15. George
        I merely warn unwary believers to not “lean on their own understandings” or anyone else’s

        br.d
        From statements made – its obvious there is more to it than that.
        I think SOT101 readers have enough spiritual discernment to eventually see through the facade. :-]

      16. George,

        And I point out scripture that MANY have sought God. And I point out Nehemiah that THEY UNDERSTOOD. And I point out scritpure that MANY were righteous.

        But, to you, NO ONE SEEKS GOD, NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE!

        I might concur that NOT ONE was righteous, since there were MORE THAN ONE mentioned. More than one is the same as saying NOT ONE, right?

        Funny how you IGNORE those verses. You pretend as if they don’t exist. Selective. Build a theology on Romans 3 that makes it into something that it never was meant to be.

        What it was meant to be was RIGHTEOUSNESS:

        self righteous by obeying THE LAW (JEWS =NO ONE SEEKS GOD…NO TIME TO SEEK GOD WITH 613 COMMANDMENTS TO KEEP TRACK OF AND OBEY!

        Ed Chapman.

      17. George writes: “I point out that Scripture says the things of God are spiritually discerned and not learned through bible study, commentaries, divinity schools, etc.”

        GA: I agree I am different than you I am involved in bible study, I believe outside of the bible one only thinks he has the truth and one only thinks he has discernment.

        Allow me to give a few verses below as an example

        Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. 

        2Ti 2:15  Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. 

        Pro 26:12  Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 

        A discerning person would notice the link between truth, the bible and studying the bible.
        George, Since you lack wisdom in this matter, Scripture says you are to ask God in faith. James 1:5, 6
        Will you ask God in faith to show you where you have gone wrong?

      18. GraceAdict,

        What bible translation do you read?
        I’m not finding “Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”

        2 Timothy 2:15
        15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. KJV
        15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. NKJV
        15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. NASB
        15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,[a] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. ESV
        15 Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. CSB
        5 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. NIV

        No, I don’t agree with your rendering of 2 Timothy 2:15 that human endeavor leads to bible understanding.

        We are not self taught, we are taught by the indwelling Holy Spirit through discernment as a result of persevering through trials of faith.

        Throughout human history many have “studied” Scripture their way and leaned on their own understanding. How has that worked out?
        Christians are to have the mind of Christ and be in agreement on all doctrine. Yet, there are more than 30,000 Christian denominations.

      19. The Reverend Jim Jones of Indianapolis – originated the Peoples Temple – himself, his leaders all core Pentecostal believers.

        Jones claimed to have various spiritual gifts which garnered him a significant following.

        Biographers note that as a child Jones had a serious devotion to the Bible and an obsession with spiritual things.

        Jones traveled to Baltimore, and there he met an itinerant preacher named Samuel Morris, a tall and light-skinned black man who was like minded in taking up his spiritual calling.

        Jones had various methods of convincing people to believe in his spiritual gift – which resulted in the development of a congregation of around 900 people.

        The rest is history.

      20. To answer your question George it is: MKJV

        Also No one said “self-taught” — You are the only one that has used the words ‘self taught”.
        But you did say regarding truth it is “not learned through bible study” You made the claim that truth is “not learned through bible study”. You did NOT say “not learned through bible study ALONE”. If that was your mistake and you did not discern the importance of the word ALONE to make your case, I can understand that, it takes discernment to see the importance of a word like ALONE.

        I simply say that God’s Word is truth and one must study the WORD if one wants TRUTH, which you seem opposed to doing.
        Of course depending on the Holy Spirit is required…NO ONE said it wasn’t. You are the one that invented the idea that we do not need the Holy Spirit and then projected it on those who disagree with you.

        You can keep doing that if you want but it lacks honesty and truth-telling. Which are both an important part of discernment.

      21. GraceAdict
        invented the idea that we do not need the Holy Spirit and then projected it on those who disagree with you

        br,d
        I do appreciate you’re clarity and ability to enunciate!

      22. George,

        The Bereans…searched the scriptures daily to see if what they were being told was true or not.

        The scriptures was the Hebrew scriptures, aka, the law, the prophets , and the psalms.

        Ed Chapman

      23. Hi George – Here is some grammatical, contextual understanding of Eph 1:4 that might help you see how determinists read too much into this verse.
        Eph 1, 4

        Determinists have always tried to read too much into that verse that Paul wrote in a context about blessings we now have, now that we are in Christ. Some of those blessings were given to Him (the only Elect one) before creation, to be shared with all who would later be joined to Him and become one of the elect in Him.

        The pronoun “us” is being used in a general reference, anachronistic sense, like me saying – “We chased the Native Americans before the Revolution so that they would live west of the Appalachian Mtn range.”

        Another similar example would be the Levites in David’s day who were chosen to carry the ark. David said, as recorded in 1Chr 15:2 – “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”

        Any Levite that day could have said to another Levite – “God chose us in Aaron, before Israel entered the promised land, to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.” Of course, he would not have had the ridiculous thought that God had his name written down in a book during Aaron’s time, along with the names of all future Levites. He would not think that he individually or physically would be ministering before the Lord forever in this special task as a priest. He would just be using the “us” as a pronoun of reference with a corporate connection because of the promise made to Aaron, and because of his being added into Aaron’s lineage by physical birth.

        We say, with Paul, we have the same privileges granted to the Son of God before creation that go to any in His lineage, since we are now joined to Him by spiritual birth through our personal faith. We now have the blessing to stand holy and blameless before God as one of God’s chosen in the Chosen One – Christ.

        ********
        Questions to ask a determinist:
        When God supposedly “chose” you before creation, where you unchosen at some point and then chosen? What did God see when He supposedly chose you… just your name, your life up to the point where He decided He wanted to get involved noticeably to you, your whole life forever and all His involvement in it already? What did “you” mean when He chose “you” back then before you existed?

      24. Brian,

        I would strongly suggest that reformers need to re- study and re-identify the word, ELECT.

        In addition, what you guys conclude as to the subject of what was chosen at the foundation of the earth, that needs a fresh look, too.

        Reason, I don’t see people as being chosen, but the words to the right of, “to be”, or whatever like words are used, is what was chosen.

        In other words, God choose Christians TO BE…

        I CHOSE YOU TO COOK FOR ME.

        It’s not that I chose you, it’s that I chose a cook. You just so happened to be a cook.

        Do you see what I’m getting at?

        And, I regard only the Jews as being elect, which changes context of all references referring to ELECT.

        Ed Chapman

      25. Yes Ed, God chose us in Christ to be holy. And that includes this Gentile, praise His Name! But he didn’t make the choice before creation of this individual Gentile to be holy later. No specific individuals were in His mind back then when He made that choice. The “us” is general reference with an anachronistic use.

        And no, I don’t wish to discuss with you again that the word “elect” sometimes includes Gentiles in the NT. 😉

      26. Brian,

        I never said that SOMETIMES the word elect means Gentiles. I said that the word elect NEVER means Gentiles.

        It began with the Jews in the Hebrew scriptures, and there is no scripture that states that elect means Gentiles.

        In simpler terms, a Gentile Christian is not the elect.

        A Jew Christian is the Elect.

        A Jew Non-Christian is the elect.

        Bottom line there is no such thing as a Gentile Elect, whether they are a Christian or not.

      27. Brian Wagner,

        I respect you.
        We have differed over doctrinal issues in the past. I remember discussing with you who are the false prophets dressed in sheep’s clothing. Matthew 7:15
        You said they are the Pharisees and I said they are Augustine, Luther and Calvin and known because of their bad fruit (followers).
        However, we were civil to each other in our discourse.

        So again we disagree. This time on the meaning of pronouns used in Ephesians 1:4-14.
        I could tell you their meaning, but you wouldn’t believe me this time either. So, I’ll just suggest you ask God in faith knowing that if you don’t doubt He will answer – He will.

        GraceAdict wouldn’t ask, will you?
        You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking and knowing you will receive His answer, as promised (Matthew 7:7, James 1:5).

      28. George
        I could tell you their meaning, but you wouldn’t believe me this time either. So, I’ll just suggest you ask God in faith knowing that if you don’t doubt He will answer – He will.

        GraceAdict wouldn’t ask, will you?
        You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking and knowing you will receive His answer, as promised (Matthew 7:7, James 1:5).

        br.d
        The Spirit does not vaunt itself.
        It does not blow a trumpet before it prays in order to be seen of men.
        It does not seek a chief seat in the synagogue.
        It does not κατακυριεύοντες other believers

        Those behavior patterns reveal a different gift at work.

      29. George, I already asked God a while back and I gave you the answer He showed me. All the best.

      30. Brian,

        I appreciate your civility, but still disagree with your understanding of the pronouns used in Ephesians 1:4-14.
        Nevertheless, I believe your motives are genuine.

        I won’t go into my understanding of these pronouns here.
        If you wish, you can email me directly at worship_in_wisdom@charter.net

      31. Ed,

        The way I see it, is that God determined before the foundation of the world where every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places would be found, i.e. (In Christ). And that God’s eternal purpose since before the world began, included this “blessing” of where the “chosen” would be found, namely, “In Christ”(v.v. 3-4). And that this “eternal purpose” of God before the world began included the Gentiles (Eph. 3:1-12).

        Respectfully,

        Aidan

      32. Aidan,

        I agree with your premise. The only thing that I will add, tho, is that specific PEOPLE were not chosen. Abraham’s seed was chosen for a specific purpose, tho, I order to tell is the story. That’s why Israel is so important, because Abraham’s seed inherit land. Spiritual discernment, however, shows that the promised land is not just a small piece of real estate for the Jews, but heaven for believers.

        And. . the Jews are blind, whereas Gentiles are not.

        Jews have a role to play, being blind, and that role is to reveal Jesus, that they don’t know, to us.

        That’s why they are elect, and we are not. That’s why they get mercy, as Paul got mercy. . Igor ance in unbelief. That’s what Paul said about himself, then in Romans 11, he also states about his own people.

        Paul wants them saved NOW, but they won’t be, until Jesus reveals himself to the Jews, just like Joseph revealed himself to his brothers.

        So when we discuss spiritual discernment… when Jesus healed the blind, it wasn’t just physical, but also spiritual. Pharisees asked of they were blind.

        What did Jesus answer?

        He said, if you were blind, you should have NO SIN, but since you claim to see, your SINS REMAIN.

        So for all the sins the Jews habe racked up, they will be removed, and you can find lots of references to that in the Hebrew scriptures.

        This life is only a test for the rest of us, for us to discover God, thru the Jews. We do see Jesus in the Jewish feasts that are only for the Jews, right? But they think it’s just a meal to remember them leaving Egypt.

        That’s spiritual for us leaving sin. But your premise, yes, I agree. But I see Jews only as the elect for the reasons that I stated .

        Respectfully,

        Ed Chapman

      33. Ed,
        “The only thing that I will add, tho, is that specific PEOPLE were not chosen.”

        Aidan:
        Yep, I remember when I first became a Christian that I had this argument with my (literal) brother, who was suggesting – from Ephesians 1 – that God had “chosen” him “to be” in Christ. I had never heard of this before, and it was the first time I heard of TULIP. But I remember looking at the passage in the middle of the argument and the phrase “in Christ” jumping out at me. And telling him that Paul didn’t say, “He chose us (to be) in Him”, like we were specially chosen as individuals above all others; but rather, He chose us “in Him.” Like some circle as the place you designate that anyone found in that circle if they so choose to enter in, will receive a million dollars. I doubt if anyone would misunderstand it, if that was the case. But, that first encounter has stuck with me very powerfully ever since.

        But I would add, through parallel passages, we learn in 2:13 and 2:16, that the expression, “in Christ,” as it is commonly used, denotes relationship and means to be in the spiritual body of Christ, which is the church.

      34. Aidan,

        Yes, Calvinism has caused me to learn a different Christianity than all the cults combined with their strange teachings…approx just over 10 years ago, after spending about ten years before that studying JW’s, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, etc., I finally learned three existence of Calvinism. Never heard of it before. Never heard the strange doctrines or vocabulary. I’m not now, nor have ever been a Catholic, so I have nothing to protest, therefore, I’m not a protestant, and I’m not trying to reform anything.

        But being versed in my cult studies, I learned to listen for strange catch phrases. Irresistable grace was the first. So, I knew from that, something isn’t right here. Then I learned the REFORM take on Ephesians 1:4, being interpreted that only some people are chosen for heaven, and the rest are chosen for hell… at the foundation of the earth. Then came TULIP.

        And I’m like….NO…That isn’t what my years of study reveals. And I’m sticking to it.

        Ephesians 1:4, does not interpret that anyone was chosen. But REFORM folks thinks it does, no matter of you are Calvinist or not.

        I’m not reform, so I do not concur with either side. Reform lingo is not what I learned from bible study. Especially the Calvin lingo.

        And I was extremely surprised and disappointed in the Baptists, because Baptists have done so much for America since our founding, and now, most Baptists hate being in the GOD AND COUNTRY mantra, thinking that Christians need to stay away from politics, cuz, to them, that’s secular, sms not the kingdom of God.

        I’m a US Navy Vet that does not understand why NATIONALISM is a dirty word now.

        Ed Chapman

      35. Ed,

        It is interesting what certain words can evoke in different cultures. I was raised in old Catholic Ireland with all its traditions etc.. When I first came onto this site, probably about six months ago, I was encountering a different world that I was never immersed in. Theologies and ideologies with words that I had to look up, and still do, in order to find out what is this word supposed to be teaching. Like yourself, when I see this it has ‘man-made’ written all over it for me.

        But I too, spent time in the military, fourteen years. Unlike some of my friends and family, I never did any stints overseas for the UN. But I did do quite a number of stints during the troubles here, doing prison duties where they kept the political prisoners locked up. They would last for about three months at a time, and it wasn’t always a pleasant experience. But the word ‘NATIONALIST’ would certainly have become a ‘dirty’ word here because of the troubles in Northern Ireland.

        Unionism in Ireland is a political ideology that favors the continuation of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. … Irish nationalism is opposed to the ideology of unionism. Most unionists come from Protestant backgrounds; most nationalists come from a Roman Catholic background.

        And that’s one of the fears here over BREXIT, that if that border is resurrected between North and South, it will re-ignite the war between the terrorist groups that see themselves as representing their community.

        Not everyone understands the dangers that are involved in this thing.

      36. Aidan,

        Ya, I remember a number of years ago a lot of stuff going on in your neck of the woods, and it always seemed to center around religious stuff, and I never could figure out why. But I was too young to understand. I was never in any wars. It was always peace time. Ronald Reagan was president when I joined, and George W Bush was president when I got out…several months before 9/11. The closest I came to anything Europe was Siganella Italy, just for intransit purposes for a couple weeks. We saw the Rock of Gilbralter from a distance at sea. Went thru the Suez Canal to get to the Persian Gulf. But I was mostly in the Pacific most of my career, starting off with Hawaii, then Japan, and have been to various places, such as the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Tazmania, South Korea, Diego Garcia, Dubai, Bahrain, and more. I miss the travel, but don’t miss the 24-7 on call work. My job…PAYROLL. Not exactly a COURAGEOUS RAMBO type of story…but I had fun.

        Ed Chapman

  16. In response to JTLEOSALA. Forgive any delay, it is not easy to keep up with the amount of reply’s on this page.

    JTLEOSALA wrote: “Simon Peter Sutherland posted this one:

    “Thus, I challenge you to present to me a single passage of Scripture in the Bible where God “tampers” with a mans will, in any context of salvation, without the individual persons cooperation?”

    ——–Here’s My Response——–

    1. Genesis 11:6-8 in this passage the people’s will to build a tower has been aborted by God by Confusing their tongue. Man becomes helpless when God decides to override Man’s will. Isn’t this a proof in scripture that God invalidates Man’s will?”

    SPS: Here is my response to JTLEOSALA.

    Simon Peter Sutherland: 1. A. No. This text only speaks of God overriding mans wants and wills by judging them. This judgement did not change their will or condition. They remained just as sinful as before. These actions by God serve to bring man to repentance or judge them. It did not change their wills, nature or bring them to repentance prior to their willingness to surrender to God.

    JTLEOSALA wrote: “2. Exod. 9:12 = in this verse it says that God is the one responsible of hardening Pharaoh’s heart that caused his resistance not to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?”

    SPS: Here is my response to JTLEOSALA.

    Simon Peter Sutherland: 2. A. No. This is not evidence of God “tampering” or altering or changing mans will prior to the present condition or the individual acceptance of the will of God or a surrender to Him. Exodus 8: 32 already records that Pharaoh had hardened his heart prior to God taking things a step further. Exodus 9: 12 proceeds Exodus 8: 32, not the other way about.

    JTLEOSALA wrote: “3. John 15:1-2 = Jesus is speaking in these verses telling the readers that God the Father is the One who trims the branches (believers) without asking permission to say yes to God nor to cooperate with the trimming. God the Father will surely trim the branches even if they don’t like it. Isn’t this another proof in scripture that God nullifies man’s will?”

    Simon Peter Sutherland: 3. A. Your use of John 15: 1-2, is confusing to say the least. This passage is speaking about people who have already turned to Jesus and surrendered to Him, but are not abiding in Him and thus not bringing forth any fruit. Jesus states this already in verse 2; “Every branch IN ME that beareth not good fruit he taketh away.”. Note, the branch is already IN HIM.

    I fail to see how any of those verses prove any of your claims? None of those passages prove or add anything to the debate in response to my asking for a single passage of Scripture where God tampers with mans condition (will) and changes it or saves someone without their prior cooperation?

    1. Simon Peter Sutherland posted this one:

      “I fail to see how any of those verses prove any of your claims? None of those passages prove or add anything to the debate in response to my asking for a single passage of Scripture where God tampers with mans condition (will) and changes it or saves someone without their prior cooperation?”

      ——Here’s My response——-

      I’m just curious of the woman pics you’re using here. Are you a formerly Adam that was converted into a mujer through the use of Modern Technology?. Sorry, this is too personal and I don’t expect an answer anyway.

      You said, you don’t see from those verses that I cited God’s act of overriding man’s free will. An opponent sometimes become color blind, unlike the bat that their sight is only activated at night due to their nature as nocturnal mammals. Sorry for that if you have not seen it… that I choose not to give more time for that anymore. Maybe the bat can ask someone who posses “spiritual gift of discernment” to lead this poor bat to perceive the light at daytime.

      I’m generous enough to provide additional verses. These are found in John 6: 37, 44, 65
      v. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

      The drawing act done by the Father comes first before a person can come to Jesus not the opposite. This means that No one can come at their own expense or will without God’s will of Drawing them to the Son. Even without their own cooperation God can do it.

      v. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

      Jesus have already said his final words here, that : “NO ONE can come to the Son unless the Father decided to act whom He will draw not to draw to the Son.”. It is so obvious from Jesus statement that the human will is not superior and can be tampered by God.

      v. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that NO ONE can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.
      This is the 3rd time in verse 65 that Jesus repeats what he has said.

      Claiming that ALL of the Fallen Man (including the goats, swine, tares, false prophets, cults) can come to Jesus freely at their own will without divine intervention is a lie. It is a man-centered Theology that this thread say here as BAD.

      1. Hello jtleosala, having read your response, I think it is necessary to start again.

        Hello jtleosala, my name is Simon Peter Sutherland, I am a Conservative Evangelical Christian of the Church of England, and I affirm the 39 Articles of Religion.

        Article X of the 39 Articles of Religion, London 1562 says the following:

        “The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.”

        jtleosala) wrote: “You said, you don’t see from those verses that I cited God’s act of overriding man’s free will.”

        My response is this: Wrong. I never mentioned “free will” neither have I at any time affirmed that doctrine. I believe what Article X says. Man has a will, but I have at no time said or wrote that it is “free”. On the contrary, mans will is to sin. That however, does not make him incapable of responding to the call of God, with Divine Assistance.

        As you say “An opponent sometimes become color blind, unlike the bat that their sight is only activated at night due to their nature as nocturnal mammals.”. I think you might do well to rethink that and take the plank out of your own eye before you attempt to criticise the spec in your brothers eye.

        Anyway, let us continue:

        You mention “John 6: 37, 44, 65, v. 37”.Good. John 6: 37 says all who “cometh” to Christ. Yes, but they still have to come to Him. Even though He draws them, they still come to Him. But how does that verse or any of the other verses imply that those mentioned have been changed prior to they response?

        Again you do the same with the John 6: 44 as you do with Exodus 9: 12 and Exodus 8: 32, you rightly affirm that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, yet you failed to see that Pharaoh hardened his own heart first. Just as you hear do not mention that in John 12: 32 Jesus Himself says that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.

        John 6: 44 is proceeded with John 12: 32. The reference to “all men” is not limited in any way.

      2. Simon Peter Sutherland posted this one:

        “Man has a will, but I have at no time said or wrote that it is “free”. On the contrary, mans will is to sin.”

        ——Here’s My Response——

        So… I guess you don’t totally throw out into the garbage the will of man, only that according to you, that will is absolutely inclined to do sinning. Well, Ed Chapman might slip in here to counter – argue with you because He is espousing a doctrine that there are humans born righteous on this planet.

        On the other hand, Br. D in most of his posts, he is always putting charges on me forcibly that man according to his determinism, man becomes a “robot” and has no will at all. I never buy that to him. He can sell it to the readers but not on me. Because of my refusal, I know that he will write round and round again the word, “double think” or “double speak”.

      3. jtleosala: What I believe is practically the same as what the majority of early 16th century reformers believed. What I do not believe is the doctrines that were usurped at the Synod of Dort in 1618. Modern day Calvinists, such as John Piper, James White and so forth are affirming what Theodore Beza (Calvins successor) believed and the Dutch reformers of the 17th century.

        I have at no time denied that man has a will or that he is able to believe or have the ability to do something. Total Depravity does not disable a man so that he is incapable of even responding to God or asking “what must I do to be saved”. Man is simply incapable of ceasing from sin without Christ, but that does not mean that man is unable to believe or do anything. The 16th century Articles of Religion, London, 1562 are clear on this matter.

        Article X: “The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.”

        As I have already shown you, Jacob Arminius also believed a very similar thing. Believe it or not, Arminius was actually a Dutch reformed Theologian. He challenged the Belgic Confession, which was a standard of the Dutch branch of the reformation. This provoked the later Synod of Dort. It is this Synod where TULIP was first formed. But it was nothing directly to do with the 16th century reformation, it was a later controversy. The reformation was long over by 1618.

        I quote Arminius again:

        “This is my opinion concerning the free-will of man: In his primitive condition as he came out of the hands of his creator, man was endowed with such a portion of knowledge, holiness and power, as enabled him to understand, esteem, consider, will, and to perform the true good, according to the commandment delivered to him. Yet none of these acts could he do, except through the assistance of Divine Grace. But in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of and by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good; but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine Grace.” Jacob Arminius, V 1. 111. https://ccel.org/ccel/arminius/works1/works1.iii.vi.iii.html

      4. jtleosala
        I know that he will write round and round again the word, “double think” or “double speak”.

        br.d
        YUP!

        To claim [A] is TRUE
        And then to claim [A] is FALSE
        Is DOUBLE-THINK.

        So then the outward expression of DOUBLE-THINK would then be DOUBLE-SPEAK :-]

      5. jteleosala
        Claiming that ALL of the Fallen Man (including the goats, swine, tares, false prophets, cults) can come to Jesus freely at their own will without divine intervention is a lie. It is a man-centered Theology that this thread say here as BAD.

        br.d
        In Theological Determinism Calvin’s god determines *EVERY* micro-aspect of man before man is created.
        Leaving man no say in the matter of ANYTHING.

        With that – it LOGICALLY follows – to also believe that man has a will of his own is simply DOUBLE-THINK

        And DOUBLE-THINK is not man-made?

      6. br.d. Thank you for your comment. It is simply ridiculous to imagine that man is totally incapable of even believing when God (in Scripture) has called so many people to repentance, to turn to Him, to repent and believe. Even if a person believes in Total Depravity or simply the Depravity of man, or not, it does not logically need to follow that his depravity renders him incapable of even turning to God, surrendering to His call and believing the Gospel. Calvinism, for all its faults, does not need to logically, or Scripturally, resolve to determinism. There are plenty of reasons why God in Scripture draws and calls people to Himself, and even brings Salvation to pass.

        Take for example John 1: 12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”. The verse seems to imply that God gave power to people who “received Him” to “become” what God had called them to be. But we cannot miss the point that the people mentioned in this text, had already received Him.

        We can explore what that passage means, as Christians, agree or disagree with each other. That’s ok. We all have the right to agree or disagree. But if we truly believe, we are still one in Christ.

      7. I totally agree

        And William Lane Craig puts it this way:
        -quote:
        “It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an *INTERPRETATION* of Scripture.
        An interpretation that some Reformed divines themselves regard as irreconcilable with other clear teachings of Scripture.

        When one’s INTERPRETATION leads one into this sort of Cul-de-sac (i.e. A LOGICAL DEAD END), it is a good idea to reasses whether one has indeed rightly interpreted scripture.”
        – Four Views on Divine Providence –

        IRRATIONAL thinking will always result in an IRRATIONAL interpretation of any data.
        Whether or not that data is scripture does not change that fact.

        John Calvin specifically taught this:
        “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        That is pure DOUBLE-THINK.

        The Calvinist is taught to halt between two opinions.
        And that is why we see the consistent stream of DOUBLE-SPEAK posted here. :-]

      8. br.d, I agree with that. There are many views on Providence, Predestination, Election, Sovereignty etc. So many that when people ask me if I believe them, I must first spend a few moments clarifying with them what they mean by their question. Once clarified I will answer. If my answer is wrong, I will listen to reasons why a person might think so. But if the reason is lot logical or assumptive, or just plain incorrect, I have to state that although someone may well believe something, that belief does not make it true. That rule applies to me too.

        I can see the level of conversation and argumentation posted here (that is on this website), it seems to be reactionary. This is of course consistent with Christian history, that much of Christian history is a response to something. Either a heresy arises, or a cult rises or an extreme interpretation one way or another, probably by some allegiance to some preachers format or position, or some book or books or cult. This is why so many divisions and denominations have been caused in Christian history, and why so many people were either burned, imprisoned, executed or made a heretic in some way, because someone somewhere had some disagreement with some position or someone somewhere had such an axe to grind that anyone who appear to near the sharp end got cut. All because people rarely attempted to listen to a position someone had, and see if that position had some or any vestige of truth.

        What I see here is a position that has developed in response to an unnecessary situation created by New Calvinists or Calvinists in general. Every story must have a good old fashion villain and the Calvinists have made the Arminian the bad guy. They did the same thing in the 18th century with John Wesley. Wesley was merely responding to the extreme views of Calvinism that had developed in his day. They too were fearful of even remotely giving any credit to man whatsoever. But guess what; according to determism, it logically had to be God who made every fragment of it happen. Every spec of dirt thrown in the face of any preacher, or spit, or strong language or cursing, or violence, determinism makes God out to be the author and finisher of every inch of it.

        I don’t like to point the finger at anybody or misrepresent anyone, but because of the influence of so many American Calvinist preachers, I have seen too many Christians (in the uk) become fearful at the very thought or idea that things can happen without God being the one who made them happen. Perish the thought that I should do as Paul said: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, YOU WILL SAVE BOTH YOURSELF and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16.)

      9. yes you are correct.
        Although I can say I’ve browsed Calvinist blog sights hosted by Calvinists who don’t allow aggressive behavior from any of their participants and who are civil.

        But I think since SOT101 is inherently focused on a critical examination of Calvinism – that makes for an environment (along with what you’ve indicated about how Calvinists tend to be aggressive, combative and/or belligerent) – results in a higher probability of bad behavior patterns from them here.

        You may not be aware – but in the U.S. at least – we also have a problem with Calvinist ministers using deceptive means in order to get a foot-hold into unsuspecting churches. In some cases lying or otherwise not being honest about their intention to convert a non-Calvinist church into Calvinism. This more than not results in a church split – and can also facilitate a Calvinist organization gaining acquisition of church properties by stealth.

        So the patterns observed can go beyond the general milieu of DOUBLE-THINK and belligerent behavior – and can fall into tactics that would be deemed dishonest.

        Personally – I think all of those patterns point an earthly principality and power.
        And that from a group that claims to be Holy Spirit inspired.

      10. br.d Thank you for clarifying. I had no idea that Calvinist ministers are “using deceptive means in order to get a foot-hold into unsuspecting churches.”. That sounds more like the tactics of deception on their part than openness. That explains the emphasis here of the “DOUBLE-THINK.”. If that is really happening, then I understand this work more now.

        That’s helpful.

        Christianity in England has become very complicated and mixed up. Most of the time Christians are huddling together to keep warm (metaphorically speaking) despite differences. However, I have known some Calvinists in the uk to look down on any believers who do not hold to TULIP. even view them as lesser Christians, ignorant, or as potential converts to that system, but not (to my knowledge) to any such extreme as a church split or infiltrating other churches to secretly convert them. However, those Calvinists and ministers only listen to the likes of Paul Washer, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper, James White, Wretched, and so on, so maybe you have opened my eyes to something. To my knowledge, they will not read anything that challenge those views.

        Yet at the same time those Calvinist ministers have high regard for Leonard Ravenhill, and also have no issue with singing Wesley’s hymns. It’s odd, and I can’t figure that out?

        Maybe I am simply at an age in my Christian life where I am becoming more tolerant of different positions and tired of seeing Christians arguing. Maybe that is why I returned to the Church of England, since we practice worshipping together despite our minor differences. However, the Church of England may actually split in the future, since liberalism is corrupting her.

        Maybe out of nostalgia or my love of history, view Calvinism as a valuable part of reformation history. When I read John Calvin’s Commentaries, I am blessed by them. When I read Jacob Arminius, I am blessed by him. When I read John Wesley, I am blessed by him. When I read 16th century reformers, I am blessed by them. When I read Luther, I am both blessed and amused. Yet if I read books by the New Calvinists from America, I get nothing?

      11. Hi S.P.S. I am not really a part of your conversation with BR.D. but just wanted to comment quickly then I will back out.

        SPS writes: “Maybe I am simply at an age in my Christian life where I am becoming more tolerant of different positions and tired of seeing Christians arguing.”

        The problem I see on this side of the pond is that all the Calvinists that I know are anything but “tolerant of different positions”, they are absolutely brutal. D.A. Carson has said – I heard him at a conference – he does not believe he can call a person a brother who does not believe in “Gift Faith and Regeneration preceding Faith” because if you do you believe you are saved by your good work.
        There is a lot of deception and harsh treatment of those who are not Calvinists. I lived under it for years, it is abusive in nature.
        Now I am sure there are some churches where that is not the case but the trajectory here is they are becoming more radical and even mean spirited. The likes of Piper says he is a 6 or 7 point Calvinist. (Now Piper I have learned from but he is becoming more extreme as he gets older and more of what he says is more extreme.)
        The Calvinists in general are no friend of Arminians or anyone who is not Calvinist. It is sad to say.
        This change has taken place in the past 15 years.

      12. Hello GraceAdict, thank you. I had no idea that Calvinists in America “are absolutely brutal”. I detest any kind of bullying or pulpit attacks, the Bible and Christianity is strong enough to stand its own without the help of overstated preachers who may think more highly of their positions than they ought. Preachers are not apostles. They have no authority on doctrine whatsoever.

        In the uk throughout the 1980’s -90’s, I never heard a single reference to the doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved or Limited Atonement or anything like that. But in the early to mid 2000’s I started noticing things coming into Churches from American preachers via the internet and books. These were from the likes of Piper and Sproul.

        Generally, British Christians are more open to interpretations, and in many Churches, differences are not even a concern. The Bible is a very complex Book and Christians have disagreed on some interpretations of secondary doctrines for centuries. However, I am slowly beginning to see certain things which are agreeing with what you say, especially in independent churches. That is partly why I have left them once and for all and gone to the Conservative Evangelical wing of the Church of England. It is more safe and governed by the relevant diocese and a plurality of educated leadership.

        I am now concerned over what you have said about D.A. Carson because I know people, and ministers who read him.

        All I can say is that I have listened to many of the YouTube videos from Leighton Flowers and I haven’t had any issues with his challenge of Calvinism. He has a right to challenge whatever doctrines he sees fit. It is our reformation heritage. I personally welcome the challenge. Leighton Flowers correct observation that the reason Jesus spoke to the people in parables was that they would not believe, is an excellent point. Rightly bringing to my attention that man must have an ability to believe by himself, or Jesus would not have needed to do that. It’s a great point.

      13. My experience may not be everyone’s but I have plenty of friends who have experienced much the same thing.

      14. I always enjoy the sincerity and insight in your posts Simon.

        Dr. Flowers here at SOT101 will say that the biggest weakness the Calvinist has is his embrace of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        This is not only a problem for the Calvinist – but it was cited as the same problem for the Greek Stoics who were also Theological Determinists.

        In Determinism – everything is said to occur within a causal chain. And for the Stoic – if one follows each link of that chain back to its source/origin it leads to a deity.

        Here is a quote from – “Traditional Stoicism – a timeless way of life”
        -quote
        The Stoic god is an ALL-PERVASIVE, immanent, active FORCE in the cosmos, and is equivalent to and often called “Zeus”.
        Pneuma”, universal Reason and logos are also used to refer to this active FORCE.”

        Can you see the similarities between Stoic theology and Calvinism?

        As a result – the Stoic believers had the same problem with evil that Calvinists have.
        If his god is the source/origin of everything – then it follows the source/origin of sin and evil is his god.

        In order to evade this – the Stoics tried to manufacture various intellectual inventions.
        For example – arguing that when it comes to good events the causal chain leads directly back to Zeus.
        But when it comes to evil events – Zeus did not cause these – because some mysterious brake occurred within the causal chain and they can therefore be blamed on man.

        If you watch Calvinist arguments here on the issue of sin and evil you will find them following the exact same pattern.

        So Theological Determinism forces the Calvinist into a major problem with theodicy.

        Secondly – it is not humanly possible for a person to go about perceiving their every thought as having been planted into their brain by an external deity.

        The human mind has a perception of being able to make one’s own decisions. But according to Calvin’s doctrine – after a Calvinist sins – he is to conclude that that sin was DECREED by an immutable decree at the foundation of the world – and him committing that sin was RENDERED-CERTAIN – and thus inescapable. While scripture says the opposite – that God makes a way to escape sin.

        In other words Theological Determinism is an unlivable theology
        And like the Stoics the Calvinist is left trying to manufacture inventions to try and get around scriptures that point in the opposite direction of his belief system.

        Its totally understandable that Calvinists are DOUBLE-MINDED.

      15. JT I deleted your last post – as at the end of it you used inappropriate language again – attacking a person rather than addressing a position.

        Try to make your points using language that reflects respect for Christ
        This is a Christian web-site.

  17. JTLEOSALA, it is quite possible (reading your response to my challenge or question,) that, 1) Either you have misunderstood the meaning of my question. 2) I have not clarified the meaning of my question with enough distinction or clarity. 3) Your understanding is, well, found wanting.

    Permit me to aks the question again, this time with a little more emphasis and clarity:

    I challenge you to present to me a single passage of Scripture in the Bible where God “tampers” with (a) A mans will, meaning an individual, meaning: I am asking for you to provide a single text, where God changes the condition of an individual, turning or changing the individual will from the will and condition of being sin and following after sin, to suddenly finding him or her self as a person who suddenly wants God and wants to do the will of God, in in any context of salvation, without the individual persons prior cooperation? That is, where an individual person suddenly finds him or her self being changed, by some kind of deterministic power, PRIOR, to that person individually responding to the call of God for him or herself to repent.

    1. Excellent clarification. There is, of course, no such narrative recorded in scripture; such a process was invented by men seeking to defend their views. I have appreciated your measured, thoughtful posts, and hope to enjoy many more.

  18. Hi George,
    You have made claim to having a spiritual gift, and others having spiritual gifts such as wisdom or prophecy, which as I understand it, are miraculous gifts. Here’s what you said:

    George:
    “I have been given the spiritual gift of discernment. Others may have been given the gift of leadership, wisdom or prophecy.”

    Aidan:
    Except for “leadership” I recognize the spiritual gifts of discernment, wisdom, and prophecy from 1 Cor. 12, as among some of the miraculous gifts given by the Spirit. I’m sorry to say, George, but I doubt if you, or those others whom you have mentioned, have actually been given these “spiritual gifts.” I say this because the scriptures reveal that the miraculous “spiritual gifts” have ceased, and are no longer needed.

    Therefore, if you truly do, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” (Prov 3:5) then you would give up this claim that you “have been given the spiritual gift of discernment.”

    1. One answer George could give to the “cessation” argument is that it is a late arriving doctrine – attributed heavily to Calvinist B.B. Warfield in the mid 1800s. Curiously enough George recommends John MacArthur – a known cessationist.

      Calvinism is known for its high emphasis on indoctrination – with negligible to negative emphasis on spiritual gifts.

      If George were in MacArthur’s congregation he would be required to stop promoting the idea of a spiritual gift of discernment.
      That’s why I stated earlier that that gift for a Calvinist is even more unlikely.

      Disputed doctrines have a way of bringing about cyclical never-ending debates don’t they. :-]

      1. I thought George said he wasn’t a Calvinist? Either way, if he truly does trust in the Lord, then he will want to know the truth on this issue and not lean his own experiences.

        Isn’t it amazing how many different groups make claim to having the Spirit, and yet teach such differing and opposing doctrines? I didn’t know that the Spirit could contradict Himself so much! There’s only one way to “discern” who they are, and that’s by comparing what they teach to what the apostles taught.

        “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
        They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
        We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 Jn. 4:1,5,6).

        Funnily enough, we have to be “discerning.”

      2. Br.d,
        I agree with you when you say, “I don’t think the word “spiritual” in this article is being used to infer a gift apart from an individual’s inherent personality and character.”

        George, so far, seems to have evaded answering the real question that I’m asking, which is to give a scriptural account for the claim that he and others have these miraculous gifts today? Especially when passages like (1 Cor. 13: 8-13; Heb. 2:1-4; and Acts 8:12-18) would suggest that miraculous gifts have already ceased.

      3. I have a suspicion that dialog won’t produce any resolve.

        I think we’ll find the preponderance of evangelical Christianity does accept miraculous gifts in some way shape or form.

        Additionally, if church growth statistics continue their trend – they show the Pentecostal segment of evangelicalism as the fastest growing. So I think one will generally receive a cold shoulder response trying to forward cessationism.

        However even with that – what George boasts about is generally considered over the top.
        It always postures an inference of superiority – and having the inside scoop on all things divine.
        Such a person is likely to have vain imaginations about being a prophet without honor.

        I think GraceAdict summed it up well when he described it as posturing the idea that no one (minus himself of course) relies on he Holy Spirit. And that posturing is specifically projected towards anyone who disagrees with him.

        I think we can sum that up as religious flesh. :-]

      4. Aiden,

        11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV

        No building up of the whole body of Christ yet, no unity in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God yet, no becoming mature yet, no attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ yet. So, the spiritual gifts are still given to prophets (one being the end time Elijah), pastors and teachers to equip God’s people for works of service.

        Maybe you should check with GraceAdict. She has several friends who have received the spiritual gift of discernment.

        I looked at your biblical citations – nothing there about spiritual gifts ending. Please stop wasting my time.

      5. ohhhhh, George has NO TIME to waste! What’s he doing here then? He’s wasting HIS TIME commenting, because no one is buying what you are selling, George.

        Maybe you can start your OWN church, and be the 300,001st denomination? And, remember, TEACHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE their congregation. So make sure the coffee is fresh, and I like my eggs over easy. SERVE ME!

        Ed Chapman

      6. George wrote:

        “I looked at your biblical citations – nothing there about spiritual gifts ending. Please stop wasting my time.”

        Aidan:

        That’s no way to give a defense for what you believe to be the truth. If the miraculous, spiritual gifts, are still around today then you need to not only prove it scripturally, but also encourage people to pursue them for the greater good. That’s a shameful way to refute evidence presented to you. Maybe there are some looking on who would like to know what the scriptures teach on this issue. Its no good saying, “I believe in the spiritual gifts today because that’s just simply what I want to believe.” Everything has to be based on what the Bible teaches, or else we ARE just wasting our time.

        The passage you cited (Eph. 4:11-13) says nothing about “spiritual gifts.”

        11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV

        Note carefully that this passage does not say that Christ gave “spiritual gifts” to men. It says, rather, that He gave “gifts” to men (vss. 7,8). Christ gave the gifts that are here considered to the whole church.

        The gifts were not “spiritual gifts,” but consisted of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (vs. 11).

        Each of the gifts, workers, or functionaries, specified by Paul in Ephesians 4 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) have in common the function of teaching for the purpose of equipping the saints. It is true that some of these workers had “spiritual gifts” in New Testament times, but that is not the thrust of what Paul says here. These workers ARE the gifts of Christ to the church in order to make it sufficient for His purpose.

        But then you make the assumption that prophets are still around today! This does not qualify as any kind of proof whatsoever!

        Apostles and prophets: These laid the foundation of the church through their teaching (Eph. 2:20). These “prophets” were chosen by the laying on of the apostles’ hands (Acts 19:6). We now have their work in the completed revelation of the New Testament (Eph. 3:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Jude 1:3). But they, themselves, are all dead.

      7. George,

        Let me speak to you about the duration of the “spiritual gift,” if I may. I will try to give an explanation of the three main passages I cited, namely, (1 Cor. 13: 8-13; Heb. 2:1-4; and Acts 8:12-18) to give reason as to why I believe that the “gifts” are not around today.

        The reasoning is therefore basically threefold:
        1. From 1 Cor 13:8-13; we learn that the “spiritual gifts” were to cease when the “completeness” of truth came. In other words, when the New Testament canon was completed the gifts were done away with.

        2. From Heb. 2:1-4; we learn that God helped “confirm” this “great salvation” through the various “signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.” But once that word was – confirmed, its truth and divinity was established and proven beyond all doubt (Mark 16:20). Once the signs fulfilled their purpose they were not needed anymore. God doesn’t need to re-establish His word over and over again.

        3. Passages like Acts 8:12-18; reveal that it was only by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands could “spiritual gifts” be imparted to other Christians. Which would logically mean then that – ‘when the last person on whom the Apostles had laid their hands on died, then spiritual gifts ceased.

        I am convinced that there is more than enough evidence here to prove that we no longer have, or need, the gifts today. In further posts, I will try to prove each one of the above, one by one, so that its not seen as just a mere assertion on my part.

        Aidan

      8. Aidan,

        May I inquire as to what Bible version that you use? I use KJV pretty exclusively, but do compare with others.

        Reason I ask is due to 1 Cor 13 from your version reads much differently than mine does regarding the ceasing of gifts. Yours is past tense, while the KJV is future tense.

        And since Paul is preaching, the Gospel had been around for quite a number of years already, so it would make no sense to have gifts cease at any time at all, since Paul was discussing them in a present tense. Based on what you lay before us, the gifts ceased long before Paul discussing them. Remember, Paul came on the scene many years after the Gospel began, and he didn’t start his preaching for a few years after that.

        Compare my KJV of 1 Cor 13 to yours, and you’ll see a difference.

        Future vs. Past. Thanks in advance.

        Ed Chapman

      9. Aidan,

        My LUV 1 Cor 13:10 states,

        “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

        Shall be is future. I’m seeing that you interpret, “perfect”, as meaning Matthew thru Revelation, in written form.

        I’m wondering where you learned that from.

        We interpret “perfect” as “Jesus”, in a future tense.

        Lastly, in Acts 8, the Holy Spirit is the gift that was received by the laying on of hands, not spiritual gifts.

        That’s why the dunking in water doesn’t now save. It never did. In order to be born again, that Holy Spirit must LIVE in you, and the means by which that Holy Spirit was given was by the laying on of hands, not Johns water baptism.

        Spiritual gifts is a different topic in Corinthians.

        If you read everything regarding Baptism, you will see that some people got the Holy Spirit BEFORE being dunked in water, while others never were dunked in water at all, yet had the Holy Spirit.

        We are immersed (Baptised) with the Holy Spirit.

        Spiritual gifts are given later by the Holy Spirit after the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, received by the laying on of hands.

        We are only saved by the baptism of Jesus, not John.

        Ed Chapman

      10. GEORGE:
        I will now deal with the first point – below – as its getting too clouded above.

        Aidan

      11. Ed,
        Sorry, I’ve been so busy I only saw your post just now. No, you’re right, It is “future tense” in both the NASB, and the NKJV too. Maybe I said something that brought that confusion? I would clarify it by saying, logically from the Corinthians’ perspective it would be future, because the New Testament canon was not yet completed at that point when Paul was writing to them. But, by the end of the first century when God’s complete revelation of truth (that which is perfect), the entire New Testament had come, then it would be in the past from our perspective
        .
        This was point number I had made above.
        1. From 1 Cor 13:8-13; we learn that the “spiritual gifts” were to cease when the “completeness” of truth came. In other words, when the New Testament canon was completed the gifts were(would be) done away with. Again, from the Corinthians perspective they (would be) done away with. But from our perspective, if I’m correct, they “have been” done away with, since the time of the last book of the N.T. was revealed.

        If you scroll down near the bottom, I have made a post which expands on this first point from 1 Cor. 13:8-13. Its called “The duration of the gifts” you can’t miss it.

        I hope that gives better clarity to what I’m trying to say? And you were right to ask.

        Thanks,
        Aidan

      12. Aidan,

        Ok, thanks. I would only add a repeat, I that we non reformers believe that the word, PERFECT is Jesus, and then there will be no need for the gifts. Not before Jesus returns.

      13. Ed,

        Yeah, I knew a lot of people believe it has reference to Christ’s return. But have a read of my position anyway. Also, If you go back on the Rom 8 site, I made out two nice long replies to you on Saturday dealing with the baptism issue we were “politely” discussing. Have a look at them as well and see if you can give a response over there as well. They are right near the bottom, if you scroll down.

        Thanks again,
        Aidan

      14. Hey Aidan,

        Yes, I did read your explanation in its entirety. I also did a Google search, and found pretty much, your exact wording that you used in several Google references. It appears that your stance is extremely popular for those advocating the ceasing of spiritual gifts. And that seems to be coming from reformers.

        Like I revealed, I’m not from your line of interpreting scripture.

        The topic of spiritual gifts begins in 1 Cor 12, and ends in chapter 14.

        It has much to say, and does not limit the gifts to those listed, stating that there are a diversity of gifts, and that everyone has a gift of some sort, but not everyone speaks in tongues, not everyone can prophesy, not everyone has knowledge, not everyone can discern, etc., but he wants us all to COVET gifts, especially the gift of prophesy, and that gift edifies the church.

        So, the word prophesy here is not discussing eschatology, or John’s book of revelation, but about people in the church. It’s not about gaining knowledge of God, but to EDIFY, or UPLIFT members of the church.

        And that’s what the gifts are all about. Even speaking in tongues will edify someone who understands, cuz that is for the unbeliever, not the believer.

        So, I don’t, and can’t use the references that you, and your tribe, so to speak, use, because from my study, those references are unrelated topics.

        Eternal life is THE gift, which is the same as saying grace is THE gift, which is the same as saying that the holy spirit is THE gift, also known as, the gift of the Spirit.

        But, spiritual gifts is an unrelated topic and gift.

        In other words, the gift of the Spirit is not spiritual gifts. The spirit is THE gift. Spiritual gifts come later.

        Also, read Acts 10. They got the Holy Spirit FIRST, and then later, after that, went swimming (dunked in water). That proves that water baptism doesn’t save.

        Thanks Aidan.

        Ed Chapman

      15. No worries Ed,

        I’m not a reformer either. Are they the Protestants? I’m no longer a Catholic either, but I have too much Irish Catholic blood in me to ever become a Protestant.
        Well at least you read and considered what I had to say. You can bring the Navy man to the ship, but ya can’t make him get on it.

        I just have something short to say on the function of the New Testament prophets. The gift of prophecy is sometimes understood to refer only to the ability to foretell the future. Although this is one aspect of prophecy, the gift included much more than that. The prophet was the spokesman of God; he imparted divine revelation. The man was as much a prophet of God when He revealed God’s will regarding an ethical matter or a matter of the faith as when he foretold some future event.

        The importance of this gift can be fully appreciated only when one remembers that the early Christians did not have a New Testament and that God was in the process of giving new revelation to the church at that time. If they did have complete revelation (Eph. 3:1-5; Jude 3; Acts 20:20,27,32), they needed to have it in its completed form.

        But in any congregation, like in Corinth, when no apostle was present, and in the absence of the completed written record, the early church had spiritual gifts (such as prophecy and knowledge) to supply them with the information they needed. Such edifying information, by the very nature of its piece-meal method, was “in part.” When the word was eventually all put in written form, it could then be preserved for future generations. And therefore, these spiritual gifts were no longer needed. We now have all we need in the “written record” to build us up. Just a few gentle examples below.

        “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32).

        “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

        “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

        I will get to answer that Acts 8 section you referred to. I will put it down near the bottom again. Also have you gone over to the Rom 8 blog to see how I answered the baptism issue on Saturday? Its down near the bottom as well.

        And It looks like George did a runner!

        Respectfully,
        Aidan

      16. Aidan,

        Yep, I think George is over and out. But we’ll see. He might come back on another post sometime. He’s been here on the blog before, I noticed.

        I have learned some lingo regarding Luther and Calvin, and that they were the original “Protestants”, I suppose, because they were PROTESTING the Catholic Church.

        And all Luther wanted them to do was to REFORM, and so, since the Catholic Church refused to REFORM, they split from the Catholic Church.

        I’ve spoken to some Baptists, and some Calvinists, and since they take the positions of what they still call “CHURCH FATHERS”, they call themselves REFORM because they still align themselves as CATHOLICS, in a very real sense, because of the POSITIONS held by those EARLY CHURCH FATHERS, aka Catholics.

        I once debated a Catholic, for a couple months about 15 years ago, on a website that we both debated on against the IGLESIA ni Cristo. jtleosala would know exactly what I am talking about here, because they are a Filipino CULT, with much of the same teachings about Jesus as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, except their founder, now dead, is considered not only a prophet, but THE LAST prophet before Jesus returns. They have a LOT of differences from mainstream Christendom. They think that since the Philippines is in the FAR EAST, that the book of Isaiah is referencing them, as Isaiah states something about a bird, eagle, or something, COMING FROM THE EAST, from a FAR COUNTRY. Anyway, all this Catholic guy wanted to talk to me about was the CHURCH FATHERS. He didn’t have a mind of his own, he would only quote CHURCH FATHERS. So I began learning the IMPORTANCE of the CHURCH FATHERS with ANYONE that I speak to in a debate, when they go down that road.

        And the reformers do the same thing, with their CONFESSIONS, i.e. Westminster, etc. So, I said to myself, self, DO NOT QUOTE CHURCH FATHERS. Read and study for yourself, and REASON with others, rather than DICTATE to others WHAT to believe.

        Imagine this, Catholics and reformers have DEAD PEOPLE, DICTATING to them what to believe. No wonder the atheists have fun with us Christians, telling us that we don’t have a mind of our own. Reformers are told what to believe, and they don’t know why they believe it, but they believe what they don’t understand. It’s MIND BOGGLING to say the least.

        They might say, “Well, John Mac said…, and I believe him”. Hence, George!

        Now, regarding your take on the gift of prophesy…THIS is where people don’t want to touch this topic with a ten foot pole, because the cessationalists take it to the extremes. You mention the words, ” he imparted divine revelation. The man was as much a prophet of God when He revealed God’s will regarding an ethical matter or a matter of the faith as when he foretold some future event. ”

        Do you know what THAT sounds like? It sounds like the person having THE GIFT OF PROPHESY is nothing more than a TATTLE TALE, pointing fingers at someone, such as Nathan to David regarding his adultery.

        NO NO NO NO. The GIFT of prophesy is to EDIFY, not to TEAR DOWN. It’s NOT for the purpose of ETHICS, or FAITH. So that’s NOT what the gift would be all about. People seem to have a serious misconception of GIFTS. We all have SOME KIND of gift. But ya gotta USE IT. If you have NO IDEA that you even have a gift, THEN YOU CAN’T BE USED by the Holy Spirit with that gift.

        So, in short, there are TONS of gifts that are not even listed…

        1 Corinthians 12:4
        Now there are diversities of gifts,

        1 Corinthians 12:31
        But covet earnestly the best gifts

        1 Corinthians 14:1
        desire spiritual gifts,

        From the KJV, COUNT HOW MANY TIMES THE WORD “EDIFY” SHOWS UP.

        Diversities of gifts, and only a FEW were mentioned as EXAMPLES by Paul, therefore, THE LIST IS LONGER than just speaking in tongues, and prophesying, etc.

        EDIFY, that’s the PURPOSE of the gifts, and EDIFYING thru the various gifts, has NOT CEASED!

        Ed Chapman

      17. Hi Ed, It is interesting that to talk about the church fathers they don’t go back to the first or second century only back to the time period of Calvin 15-16th century and then jump 1000 years to Augustine. They cherry pick even “church fathers”. Just like they cherry pick scriptures. Why? because the first and century church fathers fought against their doctrines, calling them pagan beliefs.

      18. Good morning GA! Ya know, I’ve always wondered that myself. Rome didn’t invent Christianity, either. But it seems that Rome took over for the rest of the world, as if the empire itself never ceased to exist. Christianity did exist outside of Rome.

        I think that debate of Christianity would be more interesting of both sides would reason from scripture only, instead of what dead people decided for them.

        Wouldn’t it be interesting if 16th century names were never mentioned? Ever?

        The only names needing mentioned are Paul, Peter, John, James, Jesus, Isaiah, Moses, etc., etc., etc. NO AUGUSTINE, NO CALVIN, NO LUTHER, etc., etc.

        But, I know… That’s just my fantasy, wishful thinking.

        Ed Chapman

      19. Hey Ed,

        You wrote: “….he would only quote CHURCH FATHERS.” And, “They might say, “Well, John Mac said…, and I believe him”.

        Do you know something, Ed, I think a lot of people are more interested in sounding like they are an intellectual than in knowing the truth. “You mean you haven’t studied philosophy, and the manifold theologies, etc..? Well, I have a Phd in the church fathers, Psychology, and Eastern Greek Orthodoxy, who have you read, what have you studied?”

        I say, “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!” In other words, I can quote John McEnroe. Don’t get me wrong, there is much we can glean from others, and from studying things like church history etc.. But there is no greater source than the source itself, aka, the Bible. We are told to examine everything carefully. So, by all means, listen, and read, and even quote, if what they are saying is scriptural, but first examine everything carefully against the word of God. Here’s what the early Christians did and is what should be “stedfastly” followed in every generation. And, it keeps it so simple.

        “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

        Which is how they were edified and grew spiritually. A primary source of edification is in the “teaching” of the word of God. That’s why Jesus gave us the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, which are all teaching functionaries. It was, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Eph 4:12). And, “..according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16). But it all starts and continues through “teaching” which is why the prophets were put there on that list.

        Here’s what Vine says about edification in terms of “building up” – “It expresses the strengthening effect of teaching, 1Cr 14:3, 5, 12, 26; 2Cr 10:8; 12:19; 13:10, or other ministry, Eph 4:12, 16, 29 (the idea conveyed is progress resulting from patient effort)”

        But since the gifts could only be imparted through the hands of an Apostle, read (Acts 19:6), we don’t have them anymore. But I will deal with this issue in more detail further down the line.

        But you know as well as I do, having been in the military, that they have to discipline you, and tear you down,(in a positive way), so that they can build you up, and mould you into the soldier you can be. And that too can be an ongoing process, just like the Christian soldier. God disciplines His children to help them grow because He loves them. The scriptures themselves reprove, rebuke, instruct, exhort and admonish for the purpose of perfecting the man of God. Paul did a lot of ethical teaching through his God-breathed word.

        “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

        Its all about, ED-IFICATION.

      20. Good Morning Aidan,

        Yes, everything you said, especially ED-ification. It’s all about me! LOL. Just kidding. I agreed with everything you said, except for THIS ONE:

        “But since the gifts could only be imparted through the hands of an Apostle, read (Acts 19:6), we don’t have them anymore. But I will deal with this issue in more detail further down the line.”

        As I said yesterday, you might have missed it, but Acts 19 has nothing to do with SPIRITUAL GIFTS at all.

        Acts 19 is about the Holy SPIRIT ONLY. And THAT receiving of the Holy Spirit IS the Baptism that Jesus gives. (water baptism doesn’t save…SEE ACTS 10…HOLY SPIRIT RECEIVED BEFORE THE ACT OF DUNKING IN WATER). In Acts 10, Cornelius was GENTILE, therefore, he never would have participated in John’s WATER Baptism to begin with.

        All Peter did here, was to EXPLAIN, they believed, and GOT THE HOLY SPIRIT (BAPTIZED). LATER, AFTER THAT, THEY WENT DOWN TO THE WATER. So, therefore, it wasn’t the water BAPTISM that DOTH NOW SAVE. It was the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT which Jesus gives.

        Spiritual gifts are mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, and continue to the end of chapter 14.

        There is a difference between the terms, “Gift of the Spirit”, and “spiritual gifts”. Two different conversations because they are UNRELATED topics.

        Ed Chapman

      21. Aidan,

        To clarify my last, in Acts 2 and Acts 19, when they spoke in tongues and prophesied, that was as a result of receiving the Holy Spirit, and NOT considered GIFTS as how 1 Corinthians chapters 12 thru chapter 14 states. So I do not consider the references to be the same topic at all.

        In other words, I do not equate Acts 2 and Acts 19 with 1 Corinthians 12-14.

        Hopefully that clarifies things.

        Ed Chapman

      22. Thanks Ed,

        I’m trying my best to keep away from the water baptism stuff in this thread/bloggy-site. I want to concentrate here on the “gifty” stuff and not mix the two. I have a bit more to say on the spiritual gifts before pulling it all together. Have you gone over to the Rom.8 blog to look at what I said there about water baptism which you never answered. Go over there and “immerse yourself” in my ‘un-watered’ down version of the truth. And we can keep the water answers over there, and the gifty answers over here.

        Maybe you just like talking about water because you are a navy man.

        Simplify.

      23. Okay Ed,

        I see that its 10:15 am where you are, but its 16:15 pm over here. I’ll be at church tonight after work. Will talk to you when I can.

        Drive careful
        Aidan

      24. Ed,

        I believe you, but your posts must go through some weird time zone before they get to me. Your previous post had come up as 10:06 am? So there’s an 8.hr time difference, not 6.

        Do you get sleepless in Seattle?

    2. Aidan,

      Spiritual gifts have not ceased. When that which is perfect comes, then they will cease. Then there will be no need. In other words, when Jesus returns, then they will cease.

      The verse states, when that which is perfect comes…

      Respectfully,

      Ed Chapman

      1. Hi George,

        Again, the site that you referred me to, simply confirms that “he who leads” is not a miraculous gift. How do you scripturally account for the claim that the miraculous gifts are still in existence today? How would you explain passages such as (1 Cor. 13: 8-13; Heb. 2:1-4; and Acts 8:12-18) which suggest otherwise?

        Aidan

      2. Aidan
        I don’t think the word “spiritual” in this article is being used to infer a gift apart from an individual’s inherent personality and character.
        I think its being used as a generic reference to human talents being put to use in a specific capacity.

        Solomon was given a gift of wisdom that was above and beyond his natural state.

        Although I don’t think this article will discount that type of gifting – I doesn’t appear to specifically infer that form of enablement.

        It follows the pattern I’ve seen pretty much universally – that leadership is observed by an individual’s giving and/or self-sacrificing character.

      3. Aidan,

        Perhaps you’d like an overview of all God’s spiritual gifts from wikipedia:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_gift Yes, the gift of leadership is listed.

        The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues was no longer needed and ended with the early church; much to the chagrin of Pentecostal and some Charismatic churches.

      4. That of course is a local teaching.
        We won’t find that teaching wide-spread – even within in the Pentecostal denominations.

        The principle of the talents:
        There is nothing that prevents the Lord from using the inherent personality and talents of any individual – just as that person is by nature along with the maturing process the Lord brings that person through – from having an outstanding leadership role in the body of Christ.

        Its just a matter of each individual walking in the unique talents the Lord has cultivated within.

        And sometimes the Lord will use a person as a special ministry by virtue of sufferings – ministering to those who are likewise suffering.

        That is what you will generally find as the consensus view on leadership.

        Additionally, it would not be unusual for a parent ministry (i.e., someone who watches over pastoral ministries) to keep a watchful and wary eye out on persons who claim to have special spiritual gifts because of the historical abuses that have come with that claim.

        And that will especially be the case when a parent ministry observes any individual claiming any spiritual gift whose contribution is consistently observed as sophomoric.

        When people play spiritual games in churches vulnerable believers get hurt.
        The church has seen way to much abuse to not take such matters with a mature degree of caution.

      5. br.d

        Your wrote, “Additionally, it would not be unusual for a parent ministry (i.e., someone who watches over pastoral ministries) to keep a watchful and wary eye out on persons who claim to have special spiritual gifts because of the historical abuses that have come with that claim.
        And that will especially be the case when a parent ministry observes any individual claiming any spiritual gift whose contribution is consistently observed as sophomoric.
        When people play spiritual games in churches vulnerable believers get hurt.
        The church has seen way to much abuse to not take such matters with a mature degree of caution.”

        Gee. Let’s take a look at historical abuses of the church..

        We should trust the church to provide a watchful eye over doctrine? Which one of 30,000+ denominations do you trust?
        We should trust churches to recognize correct doctrinal debate? How did that work out with Augustine of Hippo and Pelegius?
        We should trust churches to keep the faith? How did that work out with the Reformation, French and Spanish Inquisitions? Or, Oliver Cromwell’s treatment of Irish Catholics?
        We should trust churches that have a long history of persecuting their brethren? The Eastern Orthodox, Anabaptists and Arminians were persecuted by Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists. Michael Servetus was burned at the stake for disagreeing with John Calvin on the concept of the Trinity and William Tynsdale was burned at the stake for translating and printing the Bible in English. The bones of John Wycliff were dug up and burned for his bible translation.

        “Oh”, you say, “that was a long time ago and nothing like that happens now.”
        Try pointing out their obvious doctrinal compromises to accommodate their congregations and see what happens.
        Welcome is a word they use only for those who agree with their pastor’s doctrine. Find another church if you disagree or start a new denomination, but they will never change an iota, especially if you suggest they ask God for wisdom. Why? It’s because they lack faith.

        Their faith is reckless faith as skillfully pointed out by Dr. MacArthur, because they have no will to discern. “Reckless Faith: When The Church Loses Its Will to Discern” is a book I recommend you read, but you would much rather reject me and Dr. MacArthur.
        So, remain ignorant or read the book – it’s your choice, because you have free will.

      6. Ed
        I took not of a comment where it was said “they” accused of lying, and being proud etc.
        I don’t think the “they” in that statement was a reference to anyone here because – to my knowledge – no one has made any of those statements. So you may be on the right track.

      7. George – are you upset?
        If so – let the peace that passes all understanding rule in you’re heart.

        Religious flesh comes in many different forms.
        It is estimated that the Catholic church perhaps murdered over 64 million believers throughout its history.

        And the leader of that movement is one who claims to be the bridge-builder between heaven and earth and speaks ex-cathedra.
        How about that for a spiritual gift claim.

        People in churches who play spiritual games follow that same pattern – but the damage is generally localized.
        The Jones-town massacre stood out as a stark example because of the number of people who died.

        Religious flesh is much more dangerous for the church than lascivious flesh.
        Because lascivious flesh is fairly easy for the average believer to spot
        While religious flesh can present itself as an angel of light.

        It takes advantage of sincere believers who aren’t mature enough to discern or recognize what is at work behind the mask..
        I have seen its danger and I have watchful eyes.

      8. George,

        Its a very simple question to answer. You mentioned gifts such as “discernment and prophecy” which I gather are “miraculous gifts.”
        The question is how do you scripturally account for the claim that you and others have these miraculous gifts today? Especially when passages like (1 Cor. 13: 8-13; Heb. 2:1-4; and Acts 8:12-18) would suggest otherwise?

        Are you able and willing to give an answer to this question?

      9. Aidan,

        I can, I can, can I, can I, huh, huh? Purty pahlease?

        Although, George won’t have the same answer that I do, but I already revealed my answer this morning, and also in past comments to you. So, you already know what my response will be. I know that you disagree with me but…that’s my answer anyway.

        Ed Chapman

      10. George,

        THE DURATION OF THE GIFTS (1 COR. 13:8-13):
        1. The gifts definitely to cease.
        a. Prophecies, Knowledge; to be done away with (v.8,10). To cease, pass away, be done away:
        b. Tongues shall cease: Greek means to cease, leave off.
        c. The three gifts, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, evidently stand for the whole group of spiritual gifts.

        2 It is worth noting: That which is “perfect” is in contrast to that which is “in part” in (vss. 9-10). Because these two phrases are put in contrast with each other, they must be used together in defining what each is.
        a. “LOGICALLY, (to teleion) must refer to completeness or perfection in the same realm as that referred to by (ek merous)-[the thing in part]. Since to ek merous [the thing in part] refers to the transmission of divine truth by revelation, the other term to teleion [the perfect thing] must refer to God’s complete revelation of truth, the entire New Testament (taken of course with its foundational book, the Old
        Testament)” (Weaver, quoted in Gromacki, 126).

        b. the word “perfect” (Gk. teleios) means ” brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing to completeness; perfect…” (Thayer, 401).

        c. We are now under the (teleios) PERFECT law of liberty (Jas. 1:25).

        Let me give this illustration to further clarify this. Let us suppose that we have a pie of unknown kind. If I can identify one part of it, I will then know what the rest of the pie is. If I can identify the one slice of pie as cherry pie, I will know that the whole pie is cherry pie. Similarly, if I can identify the – to ek merous [that which is in part], I will know what the – teleion is [that which is perfect].

        Again, since – to ek merious refers to the “in part revelation,” then – to teleion must be identified as the “completed revelation” just as surely as I identified the one piece of pie as cherry pie guarantees that the rest of the pie is cherry pie.

        Hence, Paul is saying that when God’s revelation was completed, the miraculous spiritual gifts would cease. The completion of the revelation can be identified with the closing of the canon of the New Testament.

        Here are other passages which say that what once was known only partially, because it was given in piece-meal fashion, was now being fully revealed: (1 Pet. 1:10-12; Rom. 15:25-26; Eph. 3:2-5). Prior to the completion of the revelation of the will of God, men knew only “in part” and, therefore, sought and searched diligently to perfectly understand God’s revelation. But now that His will is completely revealed, we can fully understand it. This is the main point that Paul is making in v.12.

        Aidan

      11. To whom it concerns,

        Since George has done a runner, I think Ed is the last man standing. In my last post from 1 Cor 13:8-13; we learned that the “spiritual gifts” were to cease when the “completeness” of truth came. In other words, when the New Testament canon was completed the gifts were done away with. One just needs to stick to the text in order to see this.

        ANOTHER REASON WHY THE MIRACLES AND GIFTS HAVE CEASED:
        From Heb. 2:1-4; we learn that God helped “confirm” this “great salvation” through the various “miracles, signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.” But once the word had been confirmed and established by the “accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20), they were no longer needed, they had fulfilled their purpose.This new revelation, the faith, has been once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

        “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” ( Mk. 16:20 )
        “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
        God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”( Heb. 2:3-4, KJV)

        MIRACLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS.
        A. Performed by Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:28; cf. Lk. 11:20). See Jn. 2:11; 4:48; Mk. 6:2; Acts 2:22.

        B. There were also the “signs” of apostleship that seemed to have set them apart them from everybody else ( 2 Cor 12:12) “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles” [NASB].

        C. The word was “confirmed” by signs, miracles, wonders, and by spiritual gifts. The “signs” were to accompany “those who have believed” (Mk 16:17-20). It says they would cast out demons, speak with new tongues, pick up serpents, were able to drink deadly poison and not be hurt, and lay hands on the sick and they would recover. When the apostles went out preaching the word the Lord worked with them confirming the word with the signs (v.20). In Acts 8:13, we also have another example of “signs” accompanying other believers. “Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:13).

        D. Again, note that (Heb. 2:3-4) explains the purpose of the signs; they confirmed the preached word. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told the apostles that when the Holy Spirit came He would guide them into “all the truth” (John 16:13). This certainly meant that by the end of the apostolic era, when the full canon of the New Testament had been revealed, ALL of God’s word, ALL of the truth, had been confirmed and established through the signs etc.., that He gave.

        E. We don’t need to see signs today to believe in Jesus. Every “sign” needed has been put into the written record so that we may read and believe. One might as well ask for a re-resurrection of Christ as to request that the other signs be repeated today. “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). So, if people demand a sign before they will believe in Jesus, I point them to the written record as being sufficient for us today.

        Many who say that we need the miracles, signs, wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit today, do not understand what their purpose was for. Nor do they understand that the “Gospel is the POWER of God to salvation for everyone who believes,..” (Rom. 1:16) And that we have all that we need in the established revealed WORD to build us up and make us complete,.. (Acts 20:32; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). THE MIRACLES AND THE GIFTS HAVE CEASED.

        Aidan

      12. Aidan,

        As you know, Aidan, I don’t interpret scripture as you do. But this isn’t you interpreting this anyway. You’ve taken what someone else concluded, and made it your own, disseminating that to others. The proof is just a Google search to see that your stance is the same as others that of others that don’t believe in gifts are for today.

        Never would I ever conclude that the word PERFRCT is describing Johns eschatology, finishing a cannon.

        The Catholics boast that they put together the cannons anyway. We know Paul wrote more letters than what is included in the cannon, because he mentions them.

        But, I don’t see Paul warning anyone that their gifts will be taken away from them when John gets done writing revelation.

        The whole bible id’s about JESUS.

        Matthew 19:21
        Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

        Philippians 3:12
        Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

        Colossians 1:28
        Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

        Hebrews 13:21
        Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

        1 Peter 5:10
        But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

        Bottom line: Jesus is PERFECT, and he is the only one PERFECT. Apparently, you don’t think Jesus is perfect? You think Jesus is flawed? Needs some work?

        I reject your conclusions to the fullest extent possible.

        Ed Chapman

      13. Aidan,

        Imagine, if you will:

        Someone with the gift of PROPHESY, in which, Paul states is the BEST OF ALL gifts, is in the middle of giving prophesy to someone IN THE CHURCH (EDIFYING THOSE IN THE CHURCH), and in the middle of saying something, he just…STOPS. Transmission from the HOLY OFFICE above was CUT OFF, mid stream.

        Meanwhile, back at Patmos, the Apostle John penned his LAST WORD.

        The person to whom the prophesy was being given blurts out, “Dude, really? Seriously?

        The ONLY thing that the one giving prophesy can do in order to save face is to say: “THUS SAITH THE LORD?”

        Ed Chapman

      14. Aidan,
        I’m not done running.
        I just believe what the Word says. The Word says, “…lean not on your own understanding.”
        So, you waste my time with your self-derived exegesis.
        Obviously the gifts haven’t ended, because the gift of prophecy is given to the end time prophet Elijah.
        Malachi 4:5,6 tells us Elijah comes before the day of the Lord to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
        Mathew 17:11 tells us Elijah comes first and restores all things.
        If you lack wisdom in understanding these verses, you are to ask God in faith and He will tell you. James 1:5,6.
        Attempting to figure out Scripture on your own violates Proverbs 3:5 – so stop doing it. We discern to learn (1 Cor. 2:14) and the in-dwelling Holy Spirit of God is our teacher.
        The noble Bereans searched the Scriptures to confirm what they heard from Paul. You should do the same with what I’m writing here.
        Confirming whether a doctrine is true is very different from what you are attempting to do.
        The laws of mathematics, postulates and axioms are known truths, which can be used to “prove” a theory is false, but won’t prove a theory true. For example, how do we know “For every A and every B, A + B = B + A?” Can you think of an example where this is wrong?
        I can. In chemistry, we’re taught to always add acid to base and never base to acid. So in that instance, A + B is not equal to B + A.
        Your theory of the spiritual gifts ceasing is false. Thus, all your arguments can’t make it true and you are wasting everyone’s time trying.

      15. George,

        Your A+B thing sounds like most of the drug addicts that I know, talking about acid and base, and how precise that they are in their scientific experiments with meth.

        But it won’t pass the smell test in an Excel Spreadsheet!

        I agree with you regarding the gifts, however, I never knew that bible talk was considered a waste of time, no matter what the other side states.

        What else ya got to do? Are you that busy? As busy as I get, there is no such thing as wasting my time. My time isn’t important.

        The bible does discuss FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, and one of those fruits is PATIENCE. God is SLOW TO ANGER, not fast.

        Is God wasting his time on us?

        Ed Chapman

      16. A person who imagines himself divine will not want to lower himself down to the level of earthly people!

        Interesting how that isn’t the model of Jesus
        But it is the model of religious flesh – now isn’t it :-]

      17. Years ago in my youth I was away from home and a certain sister invited me to her parents for Thanksgiving.
        Her mother was a seriously staunch Catholic.
        She cornered me in a room alone wanting to start up a conversation on how Catholicism was the true religion.

        I remember her saying to me “You can disagree with me if you want to – but if you do you are wrong!”

        I’m essentially hearing the same message from George.

        Perhaps we’re being visited by a Catholic spirit :-]

      18. George
        So, you waste my time with your self-derived exegesis.

        br,d
        If Aiden can have self-derived exegesis – then George can have a self-derived gift of discernment :-]

      19. Ed,
        That which is PERFECT DOES NOT REFER TO A PERSON. If you ignore what’s being contrasted in the immediate text, you will miss it. Please forgive me if I now take advantage of what Vine concluded here and disseminate it to you.

        Vine says that the word “PERFECT” here “signifies “having reached its end” (telos), “finished, complete, perfect.”
        Vine says: (II) of “things, complete, perfect,” Rom 12:2; 1Cr 13:10 (referring to the complete revelation of God’s will and ways, whether in the completed Scriptures or in the hereafter); Jam 1:4 (of the work of patience); Jam 1:25; 1Jo 4:18.”

        Do I agree with everything that Vine has said here in regard to 1 Cor. 13:10? No! But only in so far as he said that it refers to “things, complete, perfect,” and certainly that it is ( referring to the complete revelation of God’s will and ways,…. in the completed Scriptures) Why? Because, what Vine is saying is in keeping with the text of 1 Cor 13:9-10, as referring to a THING, and not a PERSON.

        “For we know in part and we prophesy in part” (v.9)
        “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (v.10)

        To say that the word “PERFECT” refers to the (Parousia) return of Christ is simply imposing it into the text. Such is neither a logical, or necessary inference, from the contrast that is demanded between these two verses.

        Do you see faith and hope continuing after Jesus returns? If not, then you would logically see them ending together with the spiritual gifts when He returns. This interpretation doesn’t seem to square with (v.13): “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
        Nor would it seem to square with Rom 8:24- “but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?”

        Respectfully,
        Aidan

      20. Hi Aidan,

        I’m am curious about the cessation theory

        I agree that the Greek word “telos” is a reference to completion.

        So cessation theory takes from this that there will be a point in time when the gifts will cease.

        One question I have is at what point in time do the cessation theorists believe the gifts ceased?

        And how do they ascertain that they have identified the correct point in time?

      21. Aidan,

        With all due respect, Aidan, I don’t really care what Vine has to say on the matter. As far as I am concerned PERFECT is a person, not a place or a thing:

        Matthew 5:48
        Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

        God is PERFECT, and Jesus will return, so when Jesus comes back, there will be no need for gifts.

        Logic tells me Matthew 5:48.

        JESUS is the SUBJECT of the whole bible, not CANNON.

        WHO came up with THIS idea of yours anyway, to promote the idea that PERFECT is the compilation of the NT Cannon, which, is NOTHING MORE THAN LETTERS that REVEALS OT stuff.

        Your conclusions make no sense whatsoever.

        Just so you know, I do NOT consult commentaries on ANYTHING, except to gather information as WHY they believe the strange things that they believe when doing research for debate.

        In other words, I studied the Jehovah’s Witnesses in order to debate the Jehovah’s Witnesses AGAINST their own belief system…certainly not to be one, or to be convinced of their doctrines.

        It’s always good to know the tactics of your adversaries. Sean Connery said that in The Hunt for Red October.

        Regarding faith and hope and love, they will continue THRU ETERNITY, never ceasing. Those are NOT GIFTS. You think LOVE is a gift?

        The gifts WILL CEASE, the gifts are for a purpose for the EDIFICATION of the church, and what you are saying is that the church NO LONGER NEEDS EDIFICATION.

        Furthermore, gifts are NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING A TATTLE TALE as Nathan was to David, to expose his moral failing. If the gift does not EDIFY the church going people, then it’s NOT A GIFT.

        I’m sorry, Aidan, but I cannot accept your interpretations, that really aren’t yours, but Vines, or SOMEONE ELSE’s. But WHO started that strange belief anyway, that the gifts ceased?

        Ed Chapman

      22. Aidan,

        In my last, I said:
        “Regarding faith and hope and love, they will continue THRU ETERNITY, never ceasing. Those are NOT GIFTS. You think LOVE is a gift?”

        I mentioned LOVE continuing for eternity. But I also mentioned faith and hope, too, continuing. Apparently, you think that love is a gift, as you categorized it as if it were. Our “hope” is also NOT A GIFT.

        Faith is listed as a gift, but the subject of faith, in this context, is the faith to MOVE MOUNTAINS, WALK ON WATER, etc., not faith in Jesus. But faith is nothing more than BELIEVING in something, such as, I have faith that this chair won’t break, I have faith that if I lift the light switch up, there will be light above my head. There is all sorts of faith that is NOT DISCUSSING FAITH IN JESUS. But…

        Love is a COMMANDMENT, am I right? Love can’t cease.

        But why do I say that faith and hope will continue, too?

        Faith is just a matter of BELIEVE. Therefore, I will always believe, even in eternity.

        But why hope, as you say?

        Define HOPE down to the very very very last common denominator. The bible does a great job of defining it without even using a dictionary.

        You mentioned 1/2 of the definition in Romans 8:24, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

        But the other half of the definition is in verse 25, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

        The bottom line definition of hope is ANTICIPATION of an EXPECTATION that you WAIT FOR. Like a CITY BUS.

        When I get to heaven I will HOPE to go snow skiing, and to play a saxophone. I will hope to do many things in Paradise, while in Paradise.

        I will wait patiently for each activity.

        Faith, Love and Hope are NOT gifts in the context of chapter 13. Faith is a gift in the context of:

        1 Corinthians 12:9
        To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

        Keep in mind that the topic of gifts covers 3 chapters, not just one. Many people only discuss “tongues, prophesy, and knowledge”, but there are MORE that chapters 12 discusses, and that is just a SMALL LIST of many that aren’t even mentioned.

        Ed Chapman

      23. BR.D, you wrote:

        I’m am curious about the cessation theory

        I agree that the Greek word “telos” is a reference to completion.

        So cessation theory takes from this that there will be a point in time when the gifts will cease.

        One question I have is at what point in time do the cessation theorists believe the gifts ceased?

        And how do they ascertain that they have identified the correct point in time?

        Aidan’s Response:

        1. Yes, the Greek word “telos” is a reference to completion. But it is the two phrases, “that which is in part” and “that which is perfect” being put in contrast with each other (v.10) is what truly defines it.

        The “in part” in (v.9) is primarily knowledge in the form of divine revelation to man, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” It didn’t all come at once, but came in piece-meal fashion.

        It is then contrasted with the “complete” in (v.10): “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Therefore, it is inferred from that that the “perfect” or “complete” in (v.10) must refer to the complete or perfect revelation of God’s will to man.

        This approach does not go outside of the text, or the immediate context for the answer to this question. Also, it would make sense that there would be no need for – “that which is in part” anymore, once God’s completed revelation had come and had been written down in preservation for future generations.

        2. To answer your first question, I genuinely don’t know. If there are different cessation theories out there, I am not aware of them. But I believe that these spiritual gifts could only be imparted through the laying on of an Apostles’ hands. If this is true, then when all of the Apostles had died, and those on whom the Apostles had laid their hands died, spiritual gifts would also have definitely ceased. So, perhaps on that basis it was more gradual.

        First of all, only the Apostles were promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:48-40; Acts 1: 4,5,8; cf. Acts 2:1-4).

        Secondly, the gifts were then conferred ONLY by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands.
        This is concluded from a study of the following passages (Acts 8:12-18; Acts 6:6; Acts 19:1-7; Rom 1:8-11; 2 Tim. 1:6). If you want to know how that conclusion is made from these passages, I can answer any questions you might have in another post.

        Time for me to go, it is now 01:50 am.

        Regards,
        Aidan

      24. Aidan keeps saying that the gifts were given when the laying on of hands as Acts tells you in Acts 19.

        NOT TRUE. Acts 19 has nothing to do with 1 Cor chapters 12-14.

        But they seem to equate them just because people in Acts spoke in tongues and prophesied after receiving the Holy Ghost.

        How they equate that with gifts is beyond me.

        Ed Chapman

      25. Aidan,

        Isn’t it funny, tho, that in Acts 2, they spoke in tongues, and prophesied, and NO ONE LAID HANDS ON ANYONE. But you equate Acts 19 with 1 Cor chapters 12-14 with Acts 19? Logic would tell you that you would have to include Acts 2 as well and to consider their speaking in tongues and prohesying as gifts as well as Acts 19 and 1 Cor chapters 12-14.

        Acts 2 and 19 is about receiving the Holy Spirit (gift of the SPIRIT) having nothing to do with SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Two different topics, two different scenarios.

        And lets not forget Acts 10, too. You don’t mention that. NO LAYING OF OF HANDS THERE EITHER.

        Acts 2 and Acts 10 there are NO LAYING ON OF HANDS, and yet, they spoke in tongues. So your story is a bit inconsistant regarding your statement of:

        “Secondly, the gifts were then conferred ONLY by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands.”

        You emphasized the word, “ONLY”.

        Ed Chapman

      26. Aidan
        Therefore, it is inferred from that that the “perfect” or “complete” in (v.10) must refer to the complete or perfect revelation of God’s will to man.

        br.d
        Not taking a stand one way or the other – please allow me to ask further questions.

        I find it difficult to see Prophecy limited to just “the perfect revelation of God’s will”
        We must be careful that we don’t try to USE scripture to affirm something just because we’ve embraced it.

        Prophecy for example occurred in the Acts of the Apostles – where Prophets warned Paul about current events.
        That Prophecy could not be construed as “the perfect revelation of God’s will to man”.
        So it doesn’t fit that definition.

        Aidan
        2. To answer your first question, I genuinely don’t know. If there are different cessation theories out there, I am not aware of them. But I believe that these spiritual gifts could only be imparted through the laying on of an Apostles’ hands. If this is true, then when all of the Apostles had died, and those on whom the Apostles had laid their hands died, spiritual gifts would also have definitely ceased. So, perhaps on that basis it was more gradual.

        br.d
        Do you have evidence that the 5-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11 Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, Teachers) has ceased?

        Aidan
        First of all, only the Apostles were promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:48-40; Acts 1: 4,5,8; cf. Acts 2:1-4).
        Secondly, the gifts were then conferred ONLY by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands.

        br.d
        How is that the case when Cornelius and his family were baptized in the Holy Spirit – and the text indicates that Peter was actually surprised when it happened?

        And secondly – if Paul states that the 5-fold ministry was initiated so that the saints be no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine – at what point in the church time-line have the saints stopped being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?

        Again – I don’t have a stake in the matter one way or the other – but I am curious and these questions come to mind.

      27. br.d,

        This one confuses me:

        Aidan
        First of all, only the Apostles were promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:48-40; Acts 1: 4,5,8; cf. Acts 2:1-4).

        My response:

        So, only the Apostles are saved?

        This goes against:

        Acts 19 King James Version (KJV)

        19 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

        2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

        3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

        4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

        5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

        —————–

        Baptized TWICE. Once with water, and the other with the Holy Spirit. The water didn’t do the trick.

        Ed Chapman

      28. BR.D,

        Aidan
        Therefore, it is inferred from that that the “perfect” or “complete” in (v.10) must refer to the complete or perfect revelation of God’s will to man.

        br.d
        I find it difficult to see Prophecy limited to just “the perfect revelation of God’s will”

        AMCM answers:
        Br.d,these are perfectly legitimate things to ask. The gift of prophecy is often believed to refer only to the ability to foretell the future. While this is surely one aspect of prophecy, it involved a lot more than that. The prophet was the spokesman of God; like Moses, like Jesus, and like John the Baptist, he imparted divine revelation and teaching. The Apostles and prophets laid the foundations of the church through their teaching (Eph. 2:20). A primary function of the apostles and prophets was in “equipping the saints” through their teaching (Eph. 4:12). The gift of “prophecy” was used for “edification”, “exhortation” and that all might “learn” in the church assemblies(1 Cor 14:3-5, 31).

        Aidan
        2. To answer your first question, I genuinely don’t know. If there are different cessation theories out there, I am not aware of them. But I believe that these spiritual gifts could only be imparted through the laying on of an Apostles’ hands. If this is true, then when all of the Apostles had died, and those on whom the Apostles had laid their hands died, spiritual gifts would also have definitely ceased. So, perhaps on that basis it was more gradual.

        br.d
        Do you have evidence that the 5-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11 Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, Teachers) has ceased?

        AMCM answers:
        In Ephesians 4:11 Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers are themselves the “gifts.” While some of them may have had “spiritual gifts,” these 5 functionaries are not the gifts being spoken of in 1 Cor 13. That is not Paul’s emphasis in Ephesians 4. But rather, he is saying, when Jesus ascended into heaven, the gifts He gave men WERE, the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers.
        While the apostles and prophets are all dead, we still have them today through their teaching, namely, the New Testament. Hence, none of these “gifts” have ceased, nor were they meant to.

        Aidan
        First of all, only the Apostles were promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:48-40; Acts 1: 4,5,8; cf. Acts 2:1-4).
        Secondly, the gifts were then conferred ONLY by the laying on of the Apostles’ hands.

        br.d
        How is that the case when Cornelius and his family were baptized in the Holy Spirit – and the text indicates that Peter was actually surprised when it happened?

        And secondly – if Paul states that the 5-fold ministry was initiated so that the saints be no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine – at what point in the church time-line have the saints stopped being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine

        AMCM answers:
        In Deut. 4:2 we are told how important it is not to add to, or take away from God’s word. That same principle is taught throughout all the scriptures.
        First of all, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a – promise – given to only a few, not all men. In Mt. 3:11, John’s statement is addressed to a mixed group. Some of whom would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while others, such as the “brood of Vipers” would receive the baptism in fire (vss. 10-12).

        But who would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? We are not told in Matthew 3. But it is revealed much later on as being the Apostles. The statements regarding the Holy Spirit in John 14-16, Luke 24:48-49 and Acts 1:1-5 were all addressed to the apostles after Judas left. Much of what Jesus said there regarding the Spirit and His work were directed to the apostles only, not to all men.

        In Acts 2:33, we see that when the Holy Spirit did come, that it was “seen and heard.” It was not like some “better felt than told” experience, like many are claiming today. In Acts 10-11, Cornelius and his household are a unique case never to be repeated again. The fact that Peter is surprised should tell you something. Peter and the others are surprised, not just for the fact that these are Gentiles, but also because he had to go all the way back to the beginning in Acts 2 to find anything like it. That is some ten years earlier, if I’m not mistaken.

        Notice Peter’s defense in Acts 11:15-16; “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

        Peter couldn’t find anything like it, except what had originally happened to them on the day of Pentecost. And he remembered the Lord’s promise about being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Obviously, baptism in the Holy Spirit was a once off event in Peter’s mind. But why did the Holy Spirit fall upon Cornelius and his household just as He did upon the apostles? Because God needed to give irrefutable proof to the Jews (circumcised believers), that He was also granting repentance unto life to the Gentiles. Such a unique and powerful demonstration as this, was enough to convince and silence the objectors (Acts 11:18).

        This explains why Cornelius and his household were able to speak in tongues without having an Apostle lay their hands on them. They are the only recorded exception to this. Other than that, this is the direct statement of scripture in Acts 8:18: “..through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given,..” And the verses that I gave in my last post show that they received “spiritual gifts” after an apostle had laid their hands on them. I can prove that, no problem.

        Aidan

      29. Aidan,

        TONS of contradictions in your last comment of explanations, Aidan. NO ONE is saved without BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, and you say that it was only promised to the Apostles, and then add an OH BY THE WAY, ya, Cornelious.

        Dude, STOP LISTENING to those crazy commentaries. NO ONE IS SAVED WITHOUT BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

        And receiving that has NOTHING TO DO WITH 1 COR 12-14. But you keep making it that way. Ughhhhh.

        Ed Chapman

      30. Aidan,

        I don’t normally do this, but FOR YOU MY FRIEND, BEST PRICE (JUST KIDDING, Deja Vue Dubai).

        I found this on THE INTERNET. You might be interested in this, because this is how you research things!

        From:
        https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_482.cfm

        The information we have is incomplete with regard to early Christianity, but there is plenty of evidence that the sign gifts did not die out with the apostles.

        Iranaeus (A.D. 130-200) described spiritual gifts in his day:

        Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands of them, and they are made whole (Philip Schaff, Iranaeus Against Heresies Ante-Nicene: 100-325, Vol. 2 of The History of the Christian Church, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973, p. 531).

        In A.D. 257 Novation wrote:

        This is He who places the prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives powers and healings, does wonderful works, offers discrimination of spirits, affords powers of government, suggest counsels, and orders and arranges whatever other gifts, there are of charismata; and thus makes the Lords church everywhere, and in all, perfected, and completed (Philip Schaff, “Treatise Concerning the Trinity, XXIX,” Ante-Nicene: 100-325, vol. 2 of The History of the Christian Church, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973, p. 641).

        There are other early references to the existence and exercise of the gifts by Tertullian (A.D. 160-200) and Bishop Hillary who died in A.D. 367. Thus the idea that spiritual gifts immediately ceased with the apostles is untrue. The sign gifts remained and were exercised to varying degrees in the early church.

        It is true that some church leaders spoke out against the exercise of the sign gifts. But one of them, St. Augustine, changed his mind later in life. He wrote:

        But what I said is not to be interpreted that no miracles are believed to be performed in the name of Christ at the present time. For when I wrote that book, I myself had recently learned that a blind man had been restored to sight . . . and I known about some others, so numerous even in these times, that we cannot know about all of them or enumerate those who know.

        Those who practiced the supernatural gifts during this period are unfairly singled out as extremists and heretics. Iranaeus, Justin, and Augustine, who cite their continued use in the early centuries, are respected church leaders, not cultists.

        No theology of spiritual gifts developed in the church until recently. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, believed the gifts fell out of use because of the spiritual state of the people. He wrote:

        The cause of their decline was not as has been vulgarly supposed because there was no need for them, because all the world were becoming Christians . . . the real cause was: the love of many, almost all Christians so called was waxed cold . . . this was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were no longer to be found in the Christian church; because the Christians were turned heathen again and had only a dead form left (cited by Michael Harper, As at the Beginning: The Twentieth Century Pentecostal Revival, Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International, 1971, pp. 17,18).

        Spiritual gifts were not given much attention in the church until recently. Therefore the lack of their mention should not cause us to draw any premature conclusions.

        We may conclude, therefore, by saying that the testimony of church history shows that the gifts did not cease immediately with the apostles but were used by others after them.

        End

        Ed Chapman

      31. Aidan – thanks for answer the previous questions
        If you don’t mind – I’ll ask a few more questions based on your responses

        AMCM answers:
        While the apostles and prophets are all dead, we still have them today through their teaching, namely, the New Testament. Hence, none of these “gifts” have ceased, nor were they meant to.

        br.d
        I’m trying to follow this LOGICALLY
        I think you won’t want to re-examine the steps in your descriptions so they are not self-contradicting as you explain them.

        If what you say here is true then it LOGICALLY follows ALL of the gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers) ceased with the advent of the New Testament – not just the Apostles and Prophets – because as you say they were ALL gifts.

        You’ll want to address the question of selectively ceasing just the Apostles and Prophets out of the other gifts.
        Because it does appear a little to convenient to just select those two.

        If the New Testament is that which is “perfect” (i.e. completion) in the way it is being claimed – then it would LOGICALLY follow the New Testament has ceased the gifts of Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers also.

        But we have another issue
        How do we know the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries did not go beyond the original Apostles?
        There weren’t any original Prophets
        And Paul speaks of a woman “Julia” who was an Apostle in one of the churches.
        By that text Biblical Historians today acknowledge that the Apostolic ministry extended beyond the original Apostles.

        If they are correct then that blows the claim that the gift of Apostolic ministry ceased with the original Apostles.
        I wonder how the cessation theories deal with that?

        AMCM answers:
        First of all, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a – promise – given to only a few, not all men. In Mt. 3:11, John’s statement is addressed to a mixed group. Some of whom would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while others, such as the “brood of Vipers” would receive the baptism in fire (vss. 10-12).

        Cornelius and his household are a unique case never to be repeated again.
        Because God needed to give irrefutable proof to the Jews (circumcised believers), that He was also granting repentance unto life to the Gentiles. Such a unique and powerful demonstration as this, was enough to convince and silence the objectors (Acts 11:18).

        br.d
        Well I’m again concerned about contradictions in the explanation here.
        This last statement about Cornelius blows the claim that the Holy Spirit was only meant for the Apostles – so that becomes self-contradicting. You’ll want to modify the claim to exclude Cornelius.

        AMCM
        Cornelius and his household were able to speak in tongues without having an Apostle lay their hands on them. They are the only recorded exception to this.

        Well with this statement I wonder if you have another problem
        In Acts 19:2 Paul asks believers “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” and they answered no – this would not refer to the baptism in the Holy Spirit? So what was the baptism Paul is asking about there?

        Lastly:
        I know this theory comes with a lot of quoted scriptures – but it comes off looking suspicious that scriptures are being *USED* to prove a theory. I wonder how the theorists would address that suspicion and show their interpretation is without a shadow of doubt?

      32. BR.D wrote:
        Aidan – thanks for answer the previous questions
        If you don’t mind – I’ll ask a few more questions based on your responses

        Aidan writes:
        I don’t mind answering your questions Br.d, because I know that you are just trying to work them out for yourself.

        BR.D wrote:
        If what you say here is true then it LOGICALLY follows ALL of the gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers) ceased with the advent of the New Testament – not just the Apostles and Prophets – because as you say they were ALL gifts.

        You’ll want to address the question of selectively ceasing just the Apostles and Prophets out of the other gifts.
        Because it does appear a little to convenient to just select those two.

        If the New Testament is that which is “perfect” (i.e. completion) in the way it is being claimed – then it would LOGICALLY follow the New Testament has ceased the gifts of Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers also.

        Aidan writes:
        I think there is a danger here of conflating the “miraculous spiritual gifts” of I Cor 12-14, with the “gifts” of Ephesians 4:11. They are not the same, nor does Paul speak of the GIFTS of Ephesians 4 as passing away. The only “gifts” he speaks of passing away are “miraculous spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 13:9-10). It is both logical and prudent not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). I would NEVER say that the “gifts” of Ephesians 4:11 have passed away, because the scriptures are silent about ‘these gifts’ passing away with completed revelation.

        One of the reasons why I focused just on the Apostles and Prophets in Ephesians 4, was, because, they are all physically dead. Not so with our Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers today.

        If you note back to what I said, you will notice that while the Apostles and Prophets themselves have ALL died, we still have THEM with us today, in the writings of the New Testament. Let us understand then that none of – these gifts – have ceased. We still have their work in the completed revelation of God’s word (Eph. 3:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) – which Paul says, “is able to build you up” (Acts 20:32).

        In your reading of Ephesians 4:11-16, what ‘function’ would you say (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) have in common? The answer to this question may help to understand why the church still needs them today.

        If the spoken word was “confirmed” to us with the aid of the “signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit,”(Heb. 2:1-4):- Why then would we need “miraculous spiritual gifts” today, when we have the complete canon of scripture, as well as these workers in (Eph.4), as the gifts of Christ to the church in order to make it sufficient for His purpose?

        BR.D wrote:
        But we have another issue
        How do we know the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries did not go beyond the original Apostles?
        There weren’t any original Prophets
        And Paul speaks of a woman “Julia” who was an Apostle in one of the churches.
        By that text Biblical Historians today acknowledge that the Apostolic ministry extended beyond the original Apostles.

        If they are correct then that blows the claim that the gift of Apostolic ministry ceased with the original Apostles.
        I wonder how the cessation theories deal with that?

        Aidan writes:
        Do you really believe that that’s the case? Somehow, I doubt it.

        According to Vine, the word ‘apostle’ literally means “one sent forth.” And, perhaps like the word “deacon,” it seems to have had a broader sense applied to it, such as in the case of “Barnabas, Andronicus, Junia, and others. Now, except for Paul, who had seen the Lord, none could be qualified to be His special witnesses in that office of the 12 Apostles, had been they not been specifically chosen by the Lord, and had seen the resurrected Christ (cf Acts 1: 8,22; Acts 22:14-15). That is the only way to quench such theories!

        BR.D quoted:
        AMCM answers:
        First of all, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a – promise – given to only a few, not all men. In Mt. 3:11, John’s statement is addressed to a mixed group. Some of whom would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while others, such as the “brood of Vipers” would receive the baptism in fire (vss. 10-12).

        Cornelius and his household are a unique case never to be repeated again.
        Because God needed to give irrefutable proof to the Jews (circumcised believers), that He was also granting repentance unto life to the Gentiles. Such a unique and powerful demonstration as this, was enough to convince and silence the objectors (Acts 11:18).

        br.d
        Well I’m again concerned about contradictions in the explanation here.
        This last statement about Cornelius blows the claim that the Holy Spirit was only meant for the Apostles – so that becomes self-contradicting. You’ll want to modify the claim to exclude Cornelius.

        Aidan writes:
        What I said was, baptism in the Holy Spirit was a “promise,” made only to the Apostles (Acts 1:4-5), not to all.
        Yet, such a promise did not negate God’s choice in making an exception to the rule. Besides Cornelius, where’s the evidence that anyone else was ever “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” as had happened to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost? That’s the whole point here! Peter couldn’t find anyone else who had received what the Apostles had received. Cornelius, it seems, had proved to be the exception to the rule. But such exceptions do not disprove the rule; they PROVE the rule.

        But I do take your point, that every saved believer has received the Holy Spirit. Just not all in a miraculous way, nor with miraculous powers. That’s something I think is worth clarifying, later.

        BR.D quoted:
        AMCM
        Cornelius and his household were able to speak in tongues without having an Apostle lay their hands on them. They are the only recorded exception to this.

        Well with this statement I wonder if you have another problem
        In Acts 19:2 Paul asks believers “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” and they answered no – this would not refer to the baptism in the Holy Spirit? So what was the baptism Paul is asking about there?

        Aidan writes:
        First of all, look at my statement again. Does Acts 19:6 not prove my statement true? in that, these 12 men received the gift of tongues and prophecy, but only by the laying on of an Apostles hands?

        But you asked; “So what was the baptism Paul is asking about there?” IT WAS BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.
        The answer to that question is found in (v.5) when they were baptized into Christ. “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

        BAPTISM IN HIS NAME is the baptism of the GREAT COMMISSION (Matt. 28:18-20), which is WATER BAPTISM. Note the following verses:
        “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:47-48).
        But then notice what baptism in the name of the Lord does in (Acts 2:38). Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
        I believe this is how one receives the indwelling measure of the Holy Spirit, which is not the same as baptism in the Holy Spirit.

        BR.D wrote:
        Lastly:
        I know this theory comes with a lot of quoted scriptures – but it comes off looking suspicious that scriptures are being *USED* to prove a theory. I wonder how the theorists would address that suspicion and show their interpretation is without a shadow of doubt?

        Aidan writes:
        Its unfortunate that you call something which the scriptures teach, a theory. Especially, since I have quoted scriptures before, to prove something you agreed with, and received your approval in return. The only alternative to proving what the scriptures teach by the scriptures, is to go outside of the scriptures. That’s neither logical, nor scriptural!

        “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).

        If there’s a problem in its reception, I’m afraid the problem is not in the seed, its in the soil.

      33. Aidan,

        I know you are doing your best to keep me out of the conversation, by ignoring me, but you are one confused puppy regarding the topic of gifts, and baptism.

        You are confusing the water issue.

        No one is a Christian without having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. No one gets the Holy Spirit unless they get baptized.

        The acts 19 people got baptized in water, and they were not Christians yet, cuz they didn’t know about a holy spirit.

        Then they got baptised the baptism that Jesus gives, NOT WATER. AFTER THAT, they got the Holy Spirit. Saved at that point.

        Acts 10, no WATER baptism AT ALL until AFTER they were saved.

        Dang, man! Can’t you slow down and look at the order of events?

        Ed Chapman

      34. BR.D wrote:
        If what you say here is true then it LOGICALLY follows ALL of the gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds, and Teachers) ceased with the advent of the New Testament – not just the Apostles and Prophets – because as you say they were ALL gifts.

        You’ll want to address the question of selectively ceasing just the Apostles and Prophets out of the other gifts.
        Because it does appear a little to convenient to just select those two.

        If the New Testament is that which is “perfect” (i.e. completion) in the way it is being claimed – then it would LOGICALLY follow the New Testament has ceased the gifts of Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers also.

        Aidan writes:
        I think there is a danger here of conflating the “miraculous spiritual gifts” of I Cor 12-14, with the “gifts” of Ephesians 4:11. They are not the same, nor does Paul speak of the GIFTS of Ephesians 4 as passing away. The only “gifts” he speaks of passing away are “miraculous spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 13:9-10). It is both logical and prudent not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). I would NEVER say that the “gifts” of Ephesians 4:11 have passed away, because the scriptures are silent about ‘these gifts’ passing away with completed revelation.

        br.d
        Well if that is true then you still have Apostles and Prophets which you now say don’t pass away because they are the “gifts” of Ephesians 4:11

        There appears to be some kind of back and forth at this point where you seemed to be saying the Apostles and Prophets ceased before but not now

        Aidan
        One of the reasons why I focused just on the Apostles and Prophets in Ephesians 4, was, because, they are all physically dead. Not so with our Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers today.

        br.d
        Well that doesn’t make sense because before the New Testament was written all of the Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers also physically died.

        Aidan
        If you note back to what I said, you will notice that while the Apostles and Prophets themselves have ALL died, we still have THEM with us today, in the writings of the New Testament.

        br.d
        Then according to that LOGIC then it follows we also have the original Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers of the early church also within the New Testament – so those gifts also ceased and are now superseded by the New Testament.

        Please observe what I’m doing here – I’m strictly following along with the LOGIC of your arguments
        We’re still left with no real sufficient reason why Apostles and Prophets are singled out.

        Aidan
        If the spoken word was “confirmed” to us with the aid of the “signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit,”(Heb. 2:1-4):- Why then would we need “miraculous spiritual gifts” today,

        br.d
        Well now this is a completely different argument
        Paul would say these things are for the edification of the church just as they were during the early church.
        As it is written – these signs shall follow those that believe in my name….etc
        You see that text no where states these signs shall follow until the “New Testament” (how ever that may be enunciated) shall come.

        Aidan
        when we have the complete canon of scripture, as well as these workers in (Eph.4), as the gifts of Christ to the church in order to make it sufficient for His purpose?

        br.d
        I think you would agree with me that this question can work both ways.
        One could just as easily ask why wouldn’t they?

        Aidan writes on Paul’s reference to an Apostolic ministry “Junia” in one of the churchs:
        Do you really believe that that’s the case? Somehow, I doubt it.

        According to Vine, the word ‘apostle’ literally means “one sent forth.” And, perhaps like the word “deacon,” it seems to have had a broader sense applied to it, such as in the case of “Barnabas, Andronicus, Junia, and others. Now, except for Paul, who had seen the Lord, none could be qualified to be His special witnesses in that office of the 12 Apostles, had been they not been specifically chosen by the Lord, and had seen the resurrected Christ (cf Acts 1: 8,22; Acts 22:14-15). That is the only way to quench such theories!

        br.d
        Romans 16:7
        Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, and who were in Christ before me.

        Scholars are reading Junias as being considered an Apostolic ministry by Paul because of the grammar of the text.
        Before you simply rule it out – you’ll want to do some research.
        You might check Gordon Fee on the subject – I think you’ll find he is an advocate of it.

        Aidan writes:
        What I said was, baptism in the Holy Spirit was a “promise,” made only to the Apostles (Acts 1:4-5), not to all.
        Yet, such a promise did not negate God’s choice in making an exception to the rule. Besides Cornelius, where’s the evidence that anyone else was ever “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” as had happened to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost? That’s the whole point here! Peter couldn’t find anyone else who had received what the Apostles had received. Cornelius, it seems, had proved to be the exception to the rule. But such exceptions do not disprove the rule; they PROVE the rule.

        But I do take your point, that every saved believer has received the Holy Spirit. Just not all in a miraculous way, nor with miraculous powers. That’s something I think is worth clarifying, later.

        Aidan writes:
        First of all, look at my statement again. Does Acts 19:6 not prove my statement true? in that, these 12 men received the gift of tongues and prophecy, but only by the laying on of an Apostles hands?

        br.d
        Aidan you’re contradicting yourself again – you just got done arguing that the laying on of hands was consistent but not required – as per Cornelius. I think you’re going to want to explain things in a way that is not self contradicting.

        Aidan
        But you asked; “So what was the baptism Paul is asking about there?” IT WAS BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.
        The answer to that question is found in (v.5) when they were baptized into Christ. “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

        br.d
        Aidan I don’t believe you just omitted the 9:6 “the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”
        Why would you omit that?

        Aidan
        I believe this is how one receives the indwelling measure of the Holy Spirit, which is not the same as baptism in the Holy Spirit.

        br.d
        Ok – that is a standard teaching in the church and yes – but the cessation theory rules out the baptism in the Holy Spirit
        And it doesn’t seem to me the justification for that is evident from scripture.

        BR.D wrote:
        Lastly:
        I know this theory comes with a lot of quoted scriptures – but it comes off looking suspicious that scriptures are being *USED* to prove a theory. I wonder how the theorists would address that suspicion and show their interpretation is without a shadow of doubt?

        Aidan writes:
        If there’s a problem in its reception, I’m afraid the problem is not in the seed, its in the soil.

        br.d
        Aidan are we not taught to prove all things – hold fast to the good – try every spirit to see if it is of God?
        That the saints may not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?
        I think moving to that type of response perhaps shows that the evidence behind the theory is actually quite weak.
        John Calvin made the same statements against those who disagreed with his theories.

        Perhaps you’ll take note of the fact that most of my responses focused on places in the explanation that were self-contradicting.
        That is at least something good you can get out of our dialog on this I hope.

        Firstly – we can’t say it was limited to the Apostles laying on hands because that was proved true – although we could say that that was the general pattern. Secondly there are Prophets in the church and there is no indisputable evidence these gifts died with those people.
        Thirdly – we have scholars who are sure the Apostolic ministry went beyond the original Apostles.
        So I think at minimum some of the ways of describing this need to be cleaned of the self-contradictions.
        And then I think one would want to address the other questions before simply believing a teaching.
        BTW – do you know when the doctrine of cessation first surfaced in the church?
        I suspect it was in the 1800s

        In any case – I still consider us friends! :-]

  19. Ed,

    Will you stop it! I’m supposed to be having this argument with George, not with you. You’re stealing his thunder. Ya did it to Jt, and now you are doing it to George. Give him a chance will ya? I’d like to hear what he has to say on this point. Don’t worry, I’ll answer your point if he is willing to engage on this issue.

    Also, I did notice that you used the word “Respectfully.”

    Nice one, appreciated,

    Aidan

    1. Aidan,

      Sometimes I feel the need. . the need for speed…I mean, to interject, cuz I see error on both sides.

      The sky is blue, but he states the sky is brown, and you say the sky is green.

      Anyway, that’s why I interject.

      Sorry.

      Ed Chapman

      1. Ed,

        I doubt if he will see it, seeing as I’m on the bottom of the rung here. Actually, I’m told scientifically that the color of the sky is in the eye of the beholder. It has to do how we see certain wavelengths in the spectrum of light. Maybe Prince was right, maybe its purple.

        When having arguments, I used to say to my friends years ago, “You can be wrong if you want to!”

        Aidan

  20. jtleosala wrote: “John 12:32 does not revise what Jesus have said in John 6:44, 65, 37.”

    SPS: Did I mention a revision? No. You assume. Jesus equated Himself One with the Father and says that He will draw “all men” unto Himself. How is that a revision?

    jtleosala wrote: “Are you saying to me that Jesus was just joking in John 6 or He just got a mistake in uttering those statements in John 6?”

    SPS: Those are your words not mine.

    jtleosala wrote: “If you want God’s permanent tampering of man’s will that would still be realized at the second coming of Christ during the “Rapture” ; whereby all believers in Christ will become absolutely perfect being possessing a glorified body, Soul and Spirit ready to reside to the mansions that Christ had prepared for them.”

    SPS: Right. All believers, that is those who believe, will be changed. Unbelievers will not be changed, they will perish. So how does your reference prove anything that you are claiming. Again, show me a single verse where God changes peoples hearts and minds, or will nature, or changes a man by deterministic power, without their agreeing to believe and surrender to Him first?

    1. SPS: Did I mention a revision? No. You assume. Jesus equated Himself One with the Father and says that He will draw “all men” unto Himself. How is that a revision?

      ——-Here’s My Response———

      SPS, please look again your response in your last line comment: i.e. “…the reference to “all men is not limited in any way”

      Jesus is always in ONE accord with the Father and He cannot go against with God the Father’s decision on whom to draw and for those whom not to draw to the Son. When you add John 12:32, you assume that the word “ALL” to mean unlimited. You say “not limited”. If that is true then why there is still a need to screen people to come to the Son if that is the idea of God the Father?, If that idea of yours is true then why is that people are still thrown in hell, when they should be in heaven drawn by the Father to the Son while the Son does not cast them out?

      You have not literally written the word “revision” but I can read that in between the lines.

      SPS have stated this: “Again you do the same with the John 6: 44 as you do with Exodus 9: 12 and Exodus 8: 32, you rightly affirm that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, yet you failed to see that Pharaoh hardened his own heart first. Just as you hear do not mention that in John 12: 32 Jesus Himself says that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.”
      “John 6: 44 is proceeded with John 12: 32. The reference to “all men” is not limited in any way.”

      I have already showed you that the permanent Tampering of Man’s will shall finally occur during the second Coming of Christ. I did not say reprobates (unbelievers) will be changed. You are right by saying they will perish and will remain in their status as reprobates. The elect though sinners also, will be changed (tampered permanently) as the final goal of Salvation that was provided by Christ to them, the elect.

      1. jtleosala,

        Forgive me jt, for interupting, but…

        You had said:
        Jesus is always in ONE accord with the Father…”

        My response:

        Where is the word ACCORD in the bible? My KJV doesn’t have ACCORD inserted after the word “ONE” in John 10:30. I don’t think that Jesus owns a HONDA ACCORD. Jesus drives a CHRIST-LER, the disciples are in the Honda Accord.

        My point, There is a period after the word ONE, so why do people ASSUME to insert a word that wasn’t there to begin with, aka, ACCORD? UNITY?

        The word, ONE, in the case of John 10:30, is defined as…

        G1520: εἷς heîs, hice; a primary numeral; One:

        1, as a numeral, by the dictionary, is defined as…A SINGLE UNIT.

        So, John 10:30 REALLY reads, I and the Father are a SINGLE UNIT (1).

        I want you to see TWO different Greek Words used for the ENGLISH word “ONE” in the following:

        John 10:16
        And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD.

        One Shepherd:
        For the ONE here, it is defined exactly like John 10:30:

        Strong’s Concordance Greek Reference #G1520
        εἷς heîs, hice; a primary numeral; One:

        But

        One Fold:
        This ONE is a bit different.

        Strong’s Concordance Greek Reference #G3391
        μία mía, mee’-ah; irregular feminine of G1520

        And that changes things a bit, because it takes MORE THAN “ONE” SHEEP to make “ONE” FOLD.

        But there is ONLY ONE SINGLE UNIT Shepherd.

        I and the Father are a SINGLE UNIT period.

        But, in order to defend the trinity, you guys have no choice to INSERT “accord” after the word ONE. I understand. BUT, Jesus said, literally, not figuratively, that if you have seen him, you have seen the FATHER, so Jesus, the SON, was indeed claiming to be THE FATHER, too.

        But I drive a FORD FOCUS, cuz I can’t afford to PAY FOR ATTENTION.

        Some humor for ya!

        Ed Chapman

      2. Hi, Ed:

        Based on our previous discussion, I have already understood that you don’t like the doctrine of the trinity. I think that would not hinder in between of us to evade from responding each others post, but not so heavily because we have already pointed out each others stance about the matter.

        I like the Honda Accord and also the Chrisler driven by Christ. I think Ford is common to your country and that’s what you drive. Also, nice to read from your post that you have mentioned the Iglesia ni Cristo in our country. Yes, they are one of the large cult existing in our country. Their major claim is that Jesus Christ is not God but just human. Their soteriology is that: The true church which is the Iglesia ni Cristo according to them – one will be saved if he will get into membership in their church.

      3. Hey jtleosala,

        You had said:
        ” I think that would not hinder in between of us to evade from responding each others post, but not so heavily because we have already pointed out each others stance about the matter.”

        My response:
        I fully agree. The way that I see it, is that we all believe that Jesus is God, that the Holy Spirit is God, that the Father is God. So, NO PROBLEM. The only differences between me, and the REST OF YOU TRINITARIANS, is that you all think that is 3 PEOPLE, whereas I think it is only ONE PERSON.

        Spirit=Father
        Body=Son
        Holy Spirit=”Mind of Christ”

        Knowing that the “soul” and “spirit” are two different “intellects” in ONE BODY.

        I wish that I was invited to that Catholic meeting in Nice in 325 AD. I never got the memo.

        Ed Chapman

      4. SPS posted this one:

        “You have not provided a single proof text to establish your claim.”

        —–Here’s My Response——

        1. I’m done… only that you choose to ignore and refuse to see from those verses. That’s fine…
        2. You have said: “You reject the doctrine of regeneration”, then that is your problem not mine.
        3. You argue with me using John Owen’s position, why not use your own to engage with what I say, i.e :

        jtleosala: “If that idea of yours is true then why is that people are still thrown in hell, when they should be in heaven drawn by the Father to the Son while the Son does not cast them out?”

        4. You said: “There will be countless amounts of souls in hell for whom Christ died.” — Well, don’t complain that’s the problem with what you embrace the word “ALL” to mean the entire humanity on earth. It is incompatible to what Christ have declared that: He only offered His life to the sheep.” – not to the reprobates.

        So… “Is Man-Centered Theology Bad?. — My first response to this can be seen from the top portion within this thread.

      5. jtleosala,

        jtleosala wrote; “1. I’m done… only that you choose to ignore and refuse to see from those verses. That’s fine.”

        SPS: “choose to ignore”. Wrong! Let’s stick with facts, your interpretation of those passages differ with the original authors intended meaning. I have not chosen to ignore anything.

        jtleosala wrote; “2. You have said: “You reject the doctrine of regeneration”, then that is your problem not mine.”

        SPS: Wrong again. I do not reject the Biblical doctrine of regeneration, I just reject the Calvinist interpretation of it. My rejection of 5 point Calvinism is not a “problem” at all. Why would it be a problem?

        jtleosala wrote; “3. You argue with me using John Owen’s position, why not use your own to engage with what I say, i.e :”

        SPS: I think you fail to see my point. John Owen is the source of the modern doctrine of limited atonement, not the Bible.

        jtleosala wrote; “4. “You said: “There will be countless amounts of souls in hell for whom Christ died.” — Well, don’t complain that’s the problem with what you embrace the word “ALL” to mean the entire humanity on earth. It is incompatible to what Christ have declared that: He only offered His life to the sheep.” – not to the reprobates”

        SPS: How have I complained about the Truth? I believe in Jesus Christ who is the Truth.

        Jesus never said that He ONLY laid down His life for His sheep. His verbal inclusion of the minority does not excluded the majority. Yes He did lay down His life for His sheep, but He never mentioned the word “reprobate” in that passage and even your interpretation of that word shows that Calvinists read the same words but we have different dictionaries.

        Prove to me that the word “reprobate” means what you think it means? Other than that you can choose to hide away in your little Calvinistic echo chamber and spineless theological bubble.

      6. jtleosala, wrote;

        “Jesus is always in ONE accord with the Father and He cannot go against with God the Father’s decision on whom to draw and for those whom not to draw to the Son.”

        SPS: He draws us all.

        jtleosala: “When you add John 12:32, you assume that the word “ALL” to mean unlimited.”

        SPS: I do not assume it, I know it. You assume that I have assumed it because you believe otherwise. All is an English word which in the New Testament is translated from Greek. Look it up in a dictionary. The Cambridge English dictionary says “All means ‘every one’, ‘the complete number or amount’ or ‘the whole’. We use it most often as a determiner.”.

        jtleosala: “If that idea of yours is true then why is that people are still thrown in hell, when they should be in heaven drawn by the Father to the Son while the Son does not cast them out?”

        SPS: A standard Calvinist argument propagated by John Owen in Death of Death (1648) I have read the book a number of times, and even researched in the original prints dating to 1648. Its a claim that is formulated around the idea of agreement made between the Father and the Son before the initial moment of creation. It goes beyond Scripture and I do not accept the argumentation. If men go to hell it will be because of their own rejection of Jesus Christ. You assume the Calvinist position and feed that position into the Bible as though you assume that if Christ died for someone, then that automatically makes that person saved. The view is nonsense. There will be countless amounts of souls in hell for whom Christ died.

        Now John Owen’s argument will no doubt come to mind: If Christ died for souls and they end up in hell, has Christ failed? My answer is no: It is not Christ who has failed, it is man that has failed. Failure does not enter God’s thinking. John Owen was the man who came up with that claim and he was the chaplain of Oliver Cromwell. His mind was focused upon military action. But the idea is not a Biblical construct,

        jtleosala: “You have not literally written the word “revision” but I can read that in between the lines.”

        SPS: Those are your words not mine.

        jtleosala: “I have already showed you that the permanent Tampering of Man’s will shall finally occur during the second Coming of Christ. I did not say reprobates (unbelievers) will be changed.”

        SPS: You have showed me nothing. I asked for an example from the Bible where God changes a mans will prior to individual cooperation or agreement. You have not provided a single verse. Believers agree to surrender to the will of God and are changed proceeding that. It seems to me that you are feeding Calvinistic “logic” into that verse, as though man believers are regenerated before conversion. I reject that claim. There is no evidence for regeneration before conversion in the Bible.

        jtleosala: You are right by saying they (reprobate) will perish and will remain in their status as reprobates. The elect though sinners also, will be changed (tampered permanently) as the final goal of Salvation that was provided by Christ to them, the elect.

        SPS: Believers will be changed, yes, but all believers have already surrendered to Christ and abided in Him before that event. The elect are elect because they believe, not the other way about.

        You have not provided a single proof text to establish your claim.

  21. Philippians 2:5-11 is a wonderful example and statement of Christ’s (God’s) love and care for us shown in the humility of His earthly life and sacrifice and how this leads to His ultimate exaltation and glory.

    Philippians 2:5-11
    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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