The Good News of God’s Choice

by Dr. Leighton Flowers

God’s choice of Israel and even specific individual Israelites was not to the neglect of the rest of humanity, but to their benefit!

God’s original promise to Abraham was that through him “all the families of the earth would be blessed” (Gen 12:3).

God’s choice of one of Abraham’s sons or grandsons wasn’t at the expense of another son or grandson. It was for the good of them all, because it was through that chosen lineage that the Messiah and His message of hope for all peoples would be delivered:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” -Luke‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭

Learning that most people are destined for eternal damnation for reasons beyond their control (ie total inability of all, unconditional election/irresistible grace for a relative few) isn’t a cause for great joy. No more so than if God told Abraham that He would hate and damn his first born son and grandson so as to demonstrate His justice. This is not good news!

Israel (and some Israelites) are chosen to be the mouthpiece and lineage through which the Word would come to BLESS all people!

God often picks servants from among His people (namely Israel) to bring warnings, rebukes and good news. His choice of these messengers should not be interpreted soteriologically (ie as if the messenger is being uniquely picked out for effectual salvation to the neglect of the rest). Instead, the messengers are picked out to bring a message to the rest which is to their benefit, if they listen.

Sometimes the messengers are rebellious (like Jonah or Saul) and God may use external means (like a big fish or a bright light) to persuade them to go where He wants them to go so as to ensure the message is delivered. This does NOT mean God has pre-chosen who will or won’t believe their message by some kind of inner effectual means. Nor does it mean that His unique choice of a messenger is to the neglect of others. In fact, it’s just the opposite, His choice (and persuasion) of messengers is to the benefit of all people everywhere!

That is GOOD NEWS which would bring great joy to all people!

1,026 thoughts on “The Good News of God’s Choice

  1. Amen. May all who read this be assured that the good news of which the angels spoke was indeed intended for you – and all people.

    1. TS00 (posted this one)
      NOVEMBER 14, 2019 AT 12:51 PM
      Amen. May all who read this be assured that the good news of which the angels spoke was indeed intended for you – and all people.

      ——Here’s My Response—–

      1. This good News did not work effectively with Judas Iscariot. Jesus Christ identified him as the “son of perdition” and the one whom Christ did not keep from His fold. So… is it really intended for all people on earth?

      2. The Residents of Canaan with the exemption of Rahab: All of them has been annihilated including sucklings under the command of God to Joshua and his army without first providing them that “good news”/any bit of chance. They were considered as enemies, vessels for dishonor intended to be burned in hell. Are they people/human beings too for whom Christ died for as the Universalist claim?. So… is it really intended for all people on earth?

      3. The false prophets during OT times are also human beings, but the command is to stone them to death. Where are they now? Would they get a free ticket in heaven even if they don’t know Jesus Christ at all at the time of their death? There is no more chance in “Post Mortem”. The dividing line to eternal destiny is Physical death on earth. They have No more chance to be saved after physical death. So… it really intended for all people?

      4. How about the wicked woman in the Bible – Jezebel? Did Christ offered His life for her? Was she in heaven now?. Was there a free pass given to her (by whom?) also to enjoy her residence in heaven? So… is it really intended for all?

      If it is really intended for all, then why there is still people thrown to hell? Because of their unbelief to Jesus Christ that made them tormented in hell? – I don’t think so… The Sin of unbelief has been paid already by Christ at the cross of Calvary and still have no effect on them? while it only works to those who genuinely recognize Christ as their Savior – the elect.

      1. “If it is really intended for all, then why there is still people thrown to hell? Because of their unbelief to Jesus Christ . . .”

        This is exactly what scripture teaches. People perish not because God does not love them, but because of their unbelief in his love for them. Which is why it is so wicked for Calvinism to declare that God does not love nor desire to save someone.

      2. TS00 writes, “People perish….because of their unbelief in his love for them.”

        This is what Scripture (and Calvinism) says–

        “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…”

        “…Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;…So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

        “…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

        ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…”

      3. rhutchin
        This is what Scripture (and Calvinism) says–…….etc

        br.d
        William Lane Craig
        -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 –

      4. br.d quotes William Craig, ““It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an *INTERPRETATION* of Scripture.”

        Perhaps br.d could provide us with Craig’s “interpretation” of the following verses to see if he disagrees on them.

        “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…”

        “…Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;…So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

        “…if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

        ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…”

      5. rhutchin
        br.d quotes William Craig, ““It needs to be kept in mind that Universal Divine Causal Determinism is an *INTERPRETATION* of Scripture.”
        Perhaps br.d could provide us with Craig’s “interpretation” of the following verses to see if he disagrees on them.

        “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…….etc

        br.d
        I don’t have Dr. Craig’s interpretation of those specific verses.

        However since Dr. Craig can think RATIONALLY – which requires the ability to choose between multiple options (i.e. a RATIONAL option vs an IRRATIONAL option) then it LOGICALLY follows Dr. Craig in order to do so – must have Libertarian Freedom which is defined as the ability to choose between multiple options.

        This is confirmed by Dr. John Searle – Professor Emeritus of the Philosophy of Mind and Language – Berkeley
        -quote
        “Rationality only makes a difference where there is the possibility of irrationality.
        And all rational activity logically presupposes Libertarian Free Will.

        This becomes obvious when one realizes that rationality is possible only where one has a choice among various rational as well as irrational options.” End quote – Rationality in Action.

        Now since the liberty to choose between multiple options is the quintessential definition of Libertarian freedom, it LOGICALLY follows – where Libertarian Freedom does not exist, neither does the ability to think rationally.

        Based on the this LOGIC – I would assume Dr. Craig’s interpretation of those verses would NOT be predicated upon Universal Divine Causal Determinism – a scheme in which humans are NOT permitted the liberty of RATIONAL thinking.

        Now how in the world is Theological Determinism (in which RATIONAL thinking does not exist) – going come up with a RATIONAL interpretation of those verses. :-]

      6. br.d writes, “I don’t have Dr. Craig’s interpretation of those specific verses.”

        If you come across Dr. Craig’s interpretation of those specific verses, it would be helpful for you to provide citations. I have not found any in my searches on his website.

      7. rhutchin
        If you come across Dr. Craig’s interpretation of those specific verses, it would be helpful for you to provide citations. I have not found any in my searches on his website.

        br.d
        I can understand how you don’t feel able to address the LOGIC it that post.
        Since as a Theological Determinist – Calvin’s god does NOT PERMIT you the ability to chose between a RATIONAL vs IRRATIONAL interpretation of scripture.

        Which means you wouldn’t be able to address any citation RATIONALLY either :-]

      8. br.d writes, “Now since the liberty to choose between multiple options is the quintessential definition of Libertarian freedom, it LOGICALLY follows – where Libertarian Freedom does not exist, neither does the ability to think rationally.”

        Only God has absolute Libertarian Freedom and this by virtue of His infinite understanding of all things. People have a lesser freedom to choose among options as their have limited options from which to choose. Absent infinite understanding, their freedom is influenced by what they do not understand as much as it is by what they understand. In addition, a person who lacks faith will have options not available to a person without faith. Additionally, a person with a corrupt nature would have one set of options while a person without a corrupt nature would have a different set of options. Your explanation of LFW would seem to apply to a choice between a hamburger with mustard and one without mustard but not much else.

      9. rhutchin
        Only God has absolute Libertarian Freedom

        br.d
        Your use of the word “absolute” here serves to make a little wiggle room for Libertarian Freedom for the creature. Which Theological Determinism totally excludes. The only freedom compatible with Determinism is “Compatiblistic” freedom.

        rhutchin
        People have a lesser freedom to choose among options as their have limited options from which to choose.

        br.d
        FALSE
        In Theological Determinism the creature has ever only ONE UNIQUE option from which to choose – that option which Calvin’s god DECREES that person will choose.

        Peter Van Inwagen:
        -quote
        Determinism may now be defined: it is the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.

        So here it becomes obvious the Calvinist has a need to SMUGGLE IN the very thing his theology rejects.

        rhutchin
        their freedom is influenced by what they do not understand as much as it is by what they understand.

        br.d
        FALSE
        Creaturely freedom is TOTALLY determined by the DIVINE DECREE.
        The creature is ONLY free to be/do what Calvin’s god DECREES
        Nothing more and nothing less is PERMITTED or made available

        rhutchin
        Your explanation of LFW would seem to apply to a choice between a hamburger with mustard and one without mustard but not much else.

        br.d
        Since all of your comments above have been proved to be fallacious – this comment simply follows in that direction.

        The closest a Calvinist can come to having Libertarian Freedom – is a computer SIMULATED world of it – with Calvin’s god as the computer programmer of course. :-]

      10. I understand that Calvinist Matt Slick agrees with A.W. Pink in his assertion that Calvin’s god does not love everybody.

      11. br.d writes, “I understand that Calvinist Matt Slick agrees with A.W. Pink in his assertion that Calvin’s god does not love everybody.”

        Pink said that God does not love those whom He does not save because He has the power and authority to save anyone He wants. Not all would define God’s love for a person in these way. Others might say that God only has to demonstrate His love toward a person by bringing a person under the preaching of the gospel.

      12. Thank you for confirming my post about the two schools of thought – A.W. Pink vs D.A. Carson who says that Calvin’s god does love everybody – you just can’t tell anyone what KIND of love he has for the non-elect. Because it is the KIND of love that will DESIGN them for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        Looks like SADISTIC love doesn’t it.

      13. br.d writes, “you just can’t tell anyone what KIND of love he has for the non-elect.”

        Per Pink, the “love” God has for the non-elect does not lead God to save the non-elect – in Pink’s mind this is not love (i.e., agape love). DA Carson may have in mind a “love” that is not agape love.

      14. rhutchin
        Per Pink, the “love” God has for the non-elect does not lead God to save the non-elect

        br.d
        DUH!
        Calvin’s god is not going to “be lead” to save the non-elect – unless he is a house divided against itself.

        Once he DESIGNS a person for eternal torment in a lake of fire – if he is then “lead” to save them – he would be even more DOUBLE-MINDED than we already know he is.

        rhutchin
        – in Pink’s mind this is not love (i.e., agape love). DA Carson may have in mind a “love” that is not agape love.

        br.d
        Thank you rhutchin! – this alerted me to the fact that this serves as another example of the GNOSTIC “Good-evil” DUALISM found in Calvinism.

        How so many things appear in Calvinism in the form of “Good-Evil” pairs.

        Calvin’s god has two kinds of love.
        A “Good” love and an “Evil” love.
        It fits the DUALISM pattern perfectly.

      15. Oh My!
        It just occurred to me to add R.C. Sproul into the mix on the topic of Calvin’s god having a “good” love and an “Evil” love.

        Since R.C. Sproul sees in Calvinism that “Evil is good” – then it LOGICALLY follows in Calvinism – Calvin’s god’s “Evil” love is seen as “good” by the Calvinist (or at least by the Sproul Calvinist).

        So now I wonder if the inverse is also the case – where Calvin’s god’s “good” love is actually “Evil” love?
        I’ll have to ponder that – or perhaps look for some more Sproul quotes.
        Or maybe I’ll find the answer in some ancient GNOSTIC text. :-]

      16. Jtleosala wrote;

        “If it is really intended for all, then why there is still people thrown to hell? Because of their unbelief to Jesus Christ that made them tormented in hell? – I don’t think so… The Sin of unbelief has been paid already by Christ at the cross of Calvary and still have no effect on them?”

        SPS: Here is a classic example of circular reasoning and a belief revolving around in its own self-centred echo chamber. This argument he has raised here is precisely the argument I addressed I. my earlier point that jtleosala uses the standard “logic” and argumentation of John Owen, who says the same thing in his 1648 book ‘The death of death in the death of Christ’. Yet he didn’t favour my bringing it up beforehand. But this tired argument is void and should go back to the 17th century where it came from.

        Owen assumed that because Christ died for a sin, it makes that sin covered. Yet Christ died for every sin, murder, adultery, theft, lying, coveting, and so forth, yet Revelation 21: 8 says that people who do them “shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone.”. 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 also confirms this.

        So if people continue in unbelief, whether it be a sin or not? It does not mean that because Christ may or may not have died for it, that it makes the guilt of continuing in that sin automatically forgiven. Christ paid for all sins at the cross, yet Scripture says that those who practice such things will perish.

        Owens argument is bald and illegitimate.

      17. Great post SPS

        GA: The more I studied Calvinism the more I understood the root of determinism and the root of a Continually wrathful God who desire wrath and Judgment more than Love, Grace and Mercy.

        On balance the Calvinist systematic sees God as primarily a devouring, wrathful being, Who desperately needs to be continually expressing His wrath, condemnation and judgment to be most fulfilled and glorified. Scripture, on the other hand, would show God as reluctantly expressing His wrath and judgment, and showing love, grace and mercy to All of His creation.

        In their system, I came to realize, God on purpose and irresistibly created only a few people to be LOVED by Him but in stark contrast He irresistibly created a vast multitude to be the Objects of His HATRED with NEVER an option to be LOVED by Him.
        This HATRED of man is NOT an outcome of man’s free choice it is totally by God’s purposeful and deliberate design, man had nothing to do with this. All of this was decided by God alone in eternity past before any man existed.

        Yes, a few are created to be Loved BUT many, many more people are on purpose created to be HATED by God and have always been HATED by Him. In Calvinism HE already hates them in eternity past before He fashions them into objects of wrath. He created this vast majority FOR no other purpose except damnation, judgment and wrath.

        In Calvinism, God deliberately created and designed these two groups, they were irresistibly created differently by God, one group was ALWAYS created to be “Special” and the other group was ALWAYS created to be “despised and hated”. Once again it is important to understand God’s eternal hatred of this vast multitude of mankind is NOT an OUTCOME of man’s free choice it is totally by God’s purposeful, deliberate and Sovereign design alone. In Calvinism, this is what it means for God to be Sovereign. In Calvinism this is what it means for God to be Glorified. HE needs vast multitudes on which He can continually pour out HIS wrath and judgment. This is the God of Calvinism But not the God of the Bible.

      18. I appreciated this post Simon – very well said.
        I didn’t know what the reference to Owen specifically was referring to in previous posts – so this clarifies.
        Thanks

      19. JTL writes: 3. The false prophets during OT times are also human beings, but the command is to stone them to death. Where are they now? Would they get a free ticket in heaven even if they don’t know Jesus Christ at all at the time of their death?”…

        4. How about the wicked woman in the Bible – Jezebel? Did Christ offered His life for her? Was she in heaven now?. Was there a free pass given to her (by whom?) also to enjoy her residence in heaven? So… is it really intended for all?

        GA: As others have pointed out you make the mistake of believing that if something is genuinely offered to ALL then ALL MUST accept the gift that is offered. But even in our interactions with fellow human beings we realize that is often not the case. If I prepare a big Christmas dinner and genuinely invite you to come over and partake yet you decide you have something better or more important to do. Does your choice of not coming over and enjoying the dinner negate the fact that 1. A Dinner for you was prepared and 2. That you were genuinely invited and called to come over? NO of course not — on my side it was all genuine and provided for, on your side was the choice to refuse the genuine invitation. That is a picture of Salvation. God is 100% authentic and Genuine. For God so loved the World that He gave His Only Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish.

      20. Simon,

        I completely agree with you. Its like he’s experiencing “ground-hog day,” going around in circles, and spouting the same mantra day after day.

        Maybe he’s thinking in terms of the special elite, the special elect, all the time; that Jesus’ sacrifice covers their ‘unbelief’? In his mind why would it matter? They’ll be saved one way or the other! And yet, after all that Jesus did on the cross, He still told the Jews, and by extension the rest of us (Acts 17:30-31); that our salvation is conditioned upon our repentance.

        Here’s what Jesus said in Luke 13:3 and 5; “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Note: “UNLESS” you repent you “WILL PERISH.” Now that statement is an impossibility from a Calvinist point of view. Because if you are an “elect” you can’t perish, you won’t perish. And if you are a reprobate “non-elect” you can’t repent, you won’t repent. So there you have it; one CANNOT PERISH, and the other CANNOT REPENT to save his life.

        So, what’s Jesus talking about? He’s telling us that the Calvinist is talking through his hat!

        Aidan

      21. Aidan McManus writes, “after all that Jesus did on the cross, He still told the Jews, and by extension the rest of us (Acts 17:30-31); that our salvation is conditioned upon our repentance. ”

        We also read,

        “…do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,…”

        “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,…”

        “…a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

        It should be noted that a person’s salvation is dependent on being born again by the Holy Spirit, being drawn to Christ by God, being given faith by God, and belief in the truth as well as as repentance.

      22. jtleosala
        1. This good News did not work effectively with Judas Iscariot.

        br.d
        Of course in Theological Determinism – Judas’s every neurological impulse was determined – NOT by Judas – but by Calvin’s god who DESIGNED Judas (along with the vast majority of the mankind) for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        How is that not ROBOTIC functionality?

        jtleosala
        So… is it really intended for all people on earth?

        br.d
        Obviously – according to Theological Determinism – the answer would be no.

        jtleosala
        2. The Residents of Canaan……..etc… is it really intended for all people on earth?

        br.d
        Second verse – same as the first

        jtleosala
        3. The false prophets…..

        br.d
        Wash – rinse – repeat

        jtleosala
        4. How about the wicked woman in the Bible – Jezebel?

        br,d
        Same deal – Calvin’s god DESIGNED Jezebel for the lake of fire – for his good pleasure

        What a lovely THEOS John Calvin conceived!!

      23. jtlesala,

        You had said:
        “This good News did not work effectively with Judas Iscariot.”

        My response:
        Didn’t Jesus say something to the effects of, “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO”.

        I’d also like to introduce you to the following:

        Acts 17:30
        And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

        What does WINK mean in THIS context?

        Does it apply to the false prophets of the OT? Did it apply to the Apostle Paul when he was known as Saul? Did it apply to Jezebel?

        If Jesus is judge, and he doesn’t judge until AFTER one dies, WHO ARE WE to say whether they are in hell or not?

        But, outside of Judaism, those who DIDN’T KNOW GOD, IN THE DAYS OF THE OT, what happened to them?

        Calvinism is playing judge. That’s the job of Jesus.

        Ed Chapman

      24. jtleosala,

        1 Timothy 1:13
        Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

        Paul said THAT about himself.

        Paul said the following about the Jews. The word “THEM” is the Jews. The word “all” is the Jews in THIS context, too.

        Romans 11:32
        32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        Ed Chapman

      25. Simon,

        Here’s a few more “elect,” full blooded Hebrew Christians this time, being warned about losing their ‘eternal rest.’

        “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.”(Heb 3:1) Notice how these were “elect” Christians. He calls them “HOLY BRETHREN” and “PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING” and Jesus the High Priest of “OUR CONFESSION,” which expression includes the writer of the book. These were fully fledged “elect” Christians.

        To whom he says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;..For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,” (Heb. 3:12,14). Notice that these “elect” few were told, …partakers of Christ “IF,” if what? IF WE (the author includes himself) HOLD….STEADFAST TO THE END! Seems like these elect could “perish” through developing an evil heart of unbelief.

        “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:1-2). Here’s another group of Christians, Gentile Christians. Notice again, the gospel was preached to them, they received it, they believed, and they stood in that gospel. Then Paul says, “by which also you are SAVED, IF – IF WHAT? – [IF] you hold fast that word which I preached to you.”

        Yet again, here we have those who are “elect” who will only be ultimately saved, IF they hold fast that gospel which had been preached to them, which they had believed.

        Now it makes sense, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

        Aidan

      26. RH, wrote:
        “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,…” And,
        “It should be noted that a person’s salvation is dependent on being born again by the Holy Spirit, being drawn to Christ by God, being given faith by God, and belief in the truth as well as as repentance.”

        Aidan writes:
        “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation,…” is written to the sinning “elect.”

        Not that I agree with everything you said, but it should also be noted that Paul said: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:1-2).
        Here’s another group of Christians, Gentile Christians. Notice again, the gospel was preached to them, they received it, they believed, and in which they stood. Then Paul says, “by which also you are SAVED, IF – SAVED IF WHAT? – SAVED [IF] you hold fast that word which I preached to you.”

        Yet again, here we have those who are “ELECT” who were told to HOLD FAST that word TO BE ultimately SAVED.

      27. Aidan writes, “Here’s another group of Christians, Gentile Christians. Notice again, the gospel was preached to them, they received it, they believed, and in which they stood.”

        Paul is clarifying the definition of a believer – a believer is one who persist to the end. This excludes the first three conditions described by Christ in the parable of the seed. That Paul labels all those in the Corinthian church as brethren does not necessarily mean that he considers them truly saved. After all their is the warning by Jesus, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” The reality is that not everyone who claims to be a believer is really a believer.

      28. JT wrote:
        “If it is really intended for all, then why there is still people thrown to hell? Because of their unbelief to Jesus Christ that made them tormented in hell? – I don’t think so…”

        Aidan writes:
        PEOPLE ARE ALREADY LOST BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN!

        “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24.

        “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

        “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

  2. Amen! It is indeed good news “to all people”. Our God offers salvation freely to all. Our Lord and Saviour died on Calvary, as the greatest offering of salvation to mankind that this world has ever seen or ever will see. To say that He died only for individuals who were predestined and elected before the earth was made is to make the cross of Christ of no effect. It makes individual predestination and election our saviour rather than Christ. It denies the power of the cross to save.

    May God save us from accepting such a doctrine!

    I am not saved because I was predestined and elected, neither am I saved because I sought God. I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

    1. Sutherland writes, “I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

      You were saved by the grace of God through a faith in Christ given to you by God without which you could not have been saved.

      “So then [salvation] is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”

      “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

      As Jesus said, ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

      1. Hi Roger! These past months I’ve been reading your comments here on soteriology101 and I can say you have been blessed with knowledge and wisdom. I was wondering if there was a way I could contact you (maybe via email) and ask you 1 or 2 questions. I’d be so grateful. Also thanks for the work you’ve done here on this page. I assure you your thoughtful replies have been a blessing, not just for me, but also for people who are trying to understand Calvinism.

    2. SPS writes:
      “To say that He died only for individuals who were predestined and elected before the earth was made is to make the cross of Christ of no effect. It makes individual predestination and election our saviour rather than Christ. It denies the power of the cross to save.”

      This was the realization that smacked me in the face one afternoon while talking with my then (Calvinist) pastor. It wasn’t even directly related to what he was saying, but all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks:

      If God selected who was to be saved and who was not, then the cross was a sham. If Calvinism were true, I could not be saved by believing that Jesus lived, died and rose again for my sake. I could be saved if, and only if, I was one of the lucky chosen few; cross or no cross. If Jesus did not die for me – and all men – there is nothing for the ‘nonbeliever’ to not believe. How can anyone be condemned for not believing in what God did not offer them? Calvinism was not a ‘possible’ truth that I personally could not yet accept. It was the antithesis to everything scripture declares about God, Jesus and salvation!

      My journey away from Calvinism was a long and often painful one, and continues yet, but it began with that eye-opening revelation out of the blue. Calvinism negates the gospel message of the cross.

      1. TS00 writes: “If Jesus did not die for me – and all men – there is nothing for the ‘nonbeliever’ to not believe. How can anyone be condemned for not believing in what God did not offer them?”

        GA: Your post was so well written. You are so correct in Calvinism The important thing is NOT Jesus Christ and Him crucified or even Faith. The ONLY thing that REALLY matters is (Were you one of the lucky few!!! ) Preaching the gospel and exhorting people to believe is simply pretending that something else matters. It is simply trying to LOOK like an In-determinist. As BR.D likes to say A Calvinist is “A Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism” NOTHING beyond the question – are you one of the ones chosen FOR salvation or are you one of the ones Chosen for Hell? actually matters. Everything else is 100% irrelevant if one understands what Calvinism actually teaches.

      2. GraceAdict writes, “Preaching the gospel and exhorting people to believe is simply pretending that something else matters. It is simply trying to LOOK like an In-determinist.”

        In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the gospel would be fruitless. In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.

      3. rhutchin
        In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the gospel would be fruitless. In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.

        br.d
        Of course this AUTO-MAGICALLY assumes that a person doesn’t have the FUNCTIONAL ABILITY of said faith.
        And everyone knows the ability to believe is a part of normal human FUNCTIONALITY.

        What is different from one person to the next is the OBJECT of faith – rather than the FUNCTIONALITY of faith.

      4. Of course the Calvinist really doesn’t know if he has TRUE faith or FALSE faith – because Calvin’s god determines his every perception.

        IF the Calvinist doesn’t end up in the lake of fire – then he’ll know Calvin’s god gave him a TRUE faith.
        And the vast majority of Calvinists are DESIGNED to end up there.

        MAN! I just want to run right out and get some of that faith right now! :-]

      5. br.d writes, “Of course this AUTO-MAGICALLY assumes that a person doesn’t have the FUNCTIONAL ABILITY of said faith.
        And everyone knows the ability to believe is a part of normal human FUNCTIONALITY. ”

        Paul, in 1 Corinthians, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,…” Apparently, Paul doesn’t know that “the ability to believe is a part of normal human FUNCTIONALITY.” (At least, not as it pertains to the gospel.)

        Then, “What is different from one person to the next is the OBJECT of faith – rather than the FUNCTIONALITY of faith.”

        You may nitpick object vs functionality, but Hebrews says simply, “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

      6. br.d
        Of course this AUTO-MAGICALLY assumes that a person doesn’t have the FUNCTIONAL ABILITY of said faith.
        And everyone knows the ability to believe is a part of normal human FUNCTIONALITY. ”
        What is different from one person to the next is the OBJECT of ones faith.

        rhutchin
        Paul, in 1 Corinthians, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…..etc
        Apparently, Paul doesn’t know that “the ability to believe is a part of normal human FUNCTIONALITY.”

        br.d
        This is called a NON-Sequitur.

        Just because a person in Orvil and Wilbur wright’s day doesn’t believe that man can fly – doesn’t AUTO-MAGICALLY prove that man has no FUNCTIONAL ABILITY to believe it.

        rhutchin
        You may nitpick object vs functionality, but Hebrews says simply, “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

        br.d
        For you it may be nitpicking – for me its simply RATIONAL thinking.
        But I understand how RATIONAL thinking can get in the way of an IRRATIONAL belief system. :-]

      7. Additionally – nobody is going to “seek him” unless Calvin’s god DECREES that person do so.

        So here we have Calvin’s god – who rewards people for what he MAKES them do
        DOES NOT PERMIT them to do otherwise
        DOES NOT make any alternative available to them.

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

      8. Rh writes:
        “In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.”

        Aidan writes:
        How did that FAITH come?

      9. RH: “In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.”
        Aidan: “How did that FAITH come?”

        Paul explains this in Romans 10. “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

      10. RH wrote: In full,
        “In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the gospel would be fruitless. In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.”

        “Paul explains this in Romans 10. “..And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?..“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, ..So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

        Aidan writes:
        If faith in the gospel can only come by hearing the gospel, how pray tell, do you have faith coming before a person even hears the gospel? As seen in you first statement above.

      11. Aidan writes, “If faith in the gospel can only come by hearing the gospel, how pray tell, do you have faith coming before a person even hears the gospel? As seen in you first statement above.”

        The gospel is the source of faith and that faith then exercises belief in the gospel. We have no faith without the hearing of the gospel. The gospel produces faith. That faith is then fueled by the hearing of the gospel to believe in Christ. So Paul in Ephesians 1, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth [received faith], the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…”

        Th gospel is the means by which a person is born again, receives faith, and believes.

      12. rhutchin
        The gospel is the MEANS by which a person is born again, receives faith, and believes.

        br.d
        Hey rhutchin – you got that one right!
        So we have the gospel, being born again, and faith as MEANS which Calvin’s god uses to bring about his end.

        And as we’ve established – if any specific MEANS is LOGICALLY NECESSARY – then it LOGICALLY follows – Calvin’s god lacks the omnipotence to bring about his ends with any alternative MEANS he chooses.

        Bottom line if Calvin’s god DESIGNS a person for eternal torment in a lake of fire for his good pleasure – then everything else is pretty much window dressing.

      13. br.d writes, “And as we’ve established – if any specific MEANS is LOGICALLY NECESSARY – then it LOGICALLY follows – Calvin’s god lacks the omnipotence to bring about his ends with any alternative MEANS he chooses.”

        Why don’t you provide the logical argument by which you conclude, “it LOGICALLY follows.”

      14. rhutchin
        Why don’t you provide the logical argument by which you conclude, “it LOGICALLY follows.”

        br.d
        In LOGIC, NECESSITY entails a “conditional” or “implicational” relationship between statement objects.

        For example the conditional statement:

        IF [Q] then [P]

        In this statement [Q] and only [Q] is NECESSARY for [P], because [P] cannot be true unless [Q] is true.
        In other words where [Q] does not exist – then [P] cannot exist.

        So now we use the following statement:
        rhutchin is NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism.
        It thus LOGICALLY follows that if rhutchin does not exist – then the representation of Calvinism cannot exist.

        However if Calvin’s god is omnipotent – then he can use any person he chooses to represent Calvinism

        Thus Calvinism can be represented without the existence of rhutchin
        And thus it LOGICALLY follows – rhutchin is NOT NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism.

      15. br.d writes, “So now we use the following statement:
        rhutchin is NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism.
        It thus LOGICALLY follows that if rhutchin does not exist – then the representation of Calvinism cannot exist.”

        If rhutchin did not exist, it is because God did not have bring rhutchin into existence, so God would not have made rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism. Your logic is screwball. If God makes rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism, then God will bring rhutchin into existence, so rhutchin could not not exist.

        However, this has nothing to do with God not being omnipotent if He makes rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism.

        I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

      16. rhutchin
        If rhutchin did not exist, it is because God did not have bring rhutchin into existence, so God would not have made rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism.

        br.d
        Which affirms the fact that rhutchin is NOT NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism – since Calvin’s god can bring anyone into existence he wants to – to represent Calvinism.

        rhutchin
        Your logic is screwball.

        br.d
        You affirm it and then call it screwball – that would be expected :-]

        rhutchin
        If God makes rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism, then God will bring rhutchin into existence, so rhutchin could not not exist.

        br.d
        Sorry – rhutchin its your logic that is screwball
        If Calvin’s god makes rhutchin NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism – than that representation of Calvinism is NOT POSSIBLE without rhutchin. And that would LOGICALLY entail Calvin’s god is not omnipotent enough to bring someone else into existence for the representation of Calvinism.

        IF Calvin’s god is sufficient in himself – then he is the only thing that is NECESSARY.
        So he’s not going to make rhutchin NECESSARY for anything.

        rhutchin
        this has nothing to do with God not being omnipotent if He makes rhutchin necessary for the representation of Calvinism.

        br,d
        FALSE
        You obviously don’t’ know the difference between NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT
        And after you previously affirmed Calvin’s god is omnipotent enough to use whatever MEANS he chooses to bring about his ends.,
        Now you want to argue he’s going to make it the case that he can’t accomplish his ends without rhutchin?
        What a hoot! :-]

        rhutchin
        I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

        br.d
        You’re just saying that because I told you – you don’t know what your talking about with Middle-Knowledge.
        Tit for tat is a children’s game. :-]

      17. br.d writes, “If Calvin’s god makes rhutchin NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism – than that representation of Calvinism is NOT POSSIBLE without rhutchin. And that would LOGICALLY entail Calvin’s god is not omnipotent enough to bring someone else into existence for the representation of Calvinism.”

        You need to link God’s decisions to his loss of omnipotence. You don’t do that.

        Then, “Now you want to argue he’s going to make it the case that he can’t accomplish his ends without rhutchin?”

        Sure, if that is God’s decision. That God chose to flood the world in the time of Noah did cause God to lose His omnipotence.

        Then, “You’re just saying that because I told you – you don’t know what your talking about with Middle-Knowledge.’

        How about enlightening me about the “truth” regarding middle knowledge.

      18. br.d
        If Calvin’s god makes rhutchin NECESSARY for the representation of Calvinism – than that representation of Calvinism is NOT POSSIBLE without rhutchin. And that would LOGICALLY entail Calvin’s god is not omnipotent enough to bring someone else into existence for the representation of Calvinism.

        rhutchin
        You need to link God’s decisions to his loss of omnipotence. You don’t do that.

        br.d
        Did that in the statement below

        Now you want to argue he’s going to make it the case that he can’t accomplish his ends without rhutchin?

        rhutchin
        Sure, if that is God’s decision.

        br.d
        And he can just as easily make the decision to to bring it about with someone else.
        Guess what!
        That makes rhutchin NOT NECESSARY.
        So the bottom line is – the only thing that is NECESSARY is himself.

        rhutchin
        That God chose to flood the world in the time of Noah did cause God to lose His omnipotence.

        br.d
        TRUE – but he didn’t need to accomplish that end with a flood – and he could have used someone other than Noah.

        Thus the water and Noah were SUFFICIENT for Calvin’s god to bring out his end – but NOT NECESSARY.

        rhutchin
        How about enlightening me about the “truth” regarding middle knowledge.

        br.d
        You need to start with discovering that Libertarian Free will is mutually excluded in a world governed by Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        A year or so ago you declared Libertarian Free will incoherent. At that time you were advocating compatiblistic free will – which is LOGICALLY coherent for a Determinist. Now you’ve apparently switched and are trying to figure some form of Libertarian Free will for creatures – in a world where your every neurological impulse is determined by an external mind.

        You’ve also wanted to distance yourself from Calvin’s teaching on “mere” permission which is also LOGICALLY coherent with Theological Determinism. You’ve wanted to argue Calvin’s god “merely” permits you to make a choice that he himself did not determine you to make.

        I suggest you start at Monergism.com and read their article “11 reasons to reject Libertarian Free will”

        And then go to Paul Helm’s website and read his article “Some Challenges for Libertarian Calvinism” where he argues that Libertarian Free will is incoherent in Theological Determinism

      19. BR.D.
        I have noticed that as well RH makes radical Deterministic statements but then he walks them back in other subtle statements that infer permission or that man has free will to a degree.
        This is a case of: “If reality disagrees with theory TULIP, reality wins. Always.” or as you state it: “A Determinist – wearing a mask of IN-determinism – reciting DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points.”

        I trust and hope RH is truly open to understand how his position is messed up at best…

      20. Yes I agree – its the rocking horse effect that ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely describes in his book “Calvinism a closer look”
        -quote
        This is what I used to do as a Calvinist. I liken these non-sense statements, or propositions, to the riding of a rocking horse….. I would go back and forth in seesaw motion, lest on the one hand I find myself accusing God of insufficient sovereignty, or on the other hand find myself accusing God of authoring sin. All the while, there remained an illusion of movement towards truth, when in fact there was no real movement at all. At length I would allow the springs of dialectical tension to rest the rocking horse in the center, and then I would declare as harmonious propositions, which in fact, were totally contradictory to each other. Calvinist riders still ride out this scenario.” -end quote

        I believe Calvinists are so in love with their Calvinism – they don’t have the ability to see the DOUBLE-MINDED it forces them into.

        Its like the classic case of a woman who allows herself to be brutally beaten by her boyfriend
        She makes-believe she is the one who is responsible – she tells herself she makes him do it.
        Counselors try to get her mind to a reasonable state so she can recognize his sickness
        But she refuses – in order to keep believing what she has is normal.

        Rh follows the same thinking pattern when he punts to the circular-thinking of human attributes causing human attributes into infinite regress.

        I don’t think RH has any capacity to get beyond that mental state – without divine intervention.
        And JT is simply less subtle and doesn’t use sneaky language tricks to hide his DOUBLE-THINK like RH does.

        So it would appear RH has some degree of awareness of it.
        But the fact that he works to hide it behind deceptive language tricks tells us he would never allow himself to acknowledge it.
        And I’m sure he fully justifies the use of misleading language.

      21. That is why they employ Mystery, Paradox and Tension so often…because even they know something is amiss.
        You will find statements like this one to cover over multitudes of Contradictions: “The lack of information allows the two true statements to form a paradox that has a mystery behind it. The paradox is only possible because of the mystery. If the mystery were revealed, the paradox would no longer appear contradictory. And yet the mystery and the paradox do not in any way obscure the Truth”

      22. Absolutely correct!
        And I also notice how couched behind that appeal to mystery there is a hidden claim of speak ex-cathedra.

        Just like the “who are you oh man to question” what I’m telling you because I am the divine mouthpiece of god.

        Its funny – years ago I sat under some lectures from a Christian professor of sociology. He was also an expert on ancient Egypt.
        His lectures included pictures of stone statues Egyptian priests would have craftsmen make.

        Some of the statues had a hinged mouth that would move up and down by someone underground below the statue.
        And with a hole drilled in the throat a priest down below would speak through a kind of megaphone up through the throat.
        The Egyptian people weren’t smart enough to realize it was a trick.

        That always reminded me of Revelations where it says the dragon gave power to the beast – the power to speak great things.
        And I wonder if the author of the wizard of oz used that idea in his depiction of the great wizard machine.

        But in any case – I see Calvin playing the same game.

      23. Sadly this use of ‘mystery’ and ‘tension’ is how many have been persuaded to leave logic and consistency behind, with no qualms. Yes, they initially see the galling facts and the unavoidable inconsistency – but over time are reconciled to its inevitability. They know that the ‘uninformed’ (non-Reformed) won’t be able to maturely deal with it as they do, so they attempt to stay away from the tensions as much as possible by deflecting and focusing on other aspects of less debatable quality.

        Rh proves and excellent example of how they keep their own sanity and attempt to ignore the challenges of thoughtful outsiders by compartmentalizing and ignoring the inconsistencies. It is like a child in a truly abusive home. He only knows the realities that have been his, and accepts each crime against him as ‘the way it is’. It is only upon growing up, and being exposed to non-abusive situations that he comes to realize the wrongs of which he was once completely accepting.

        The Calvinist becomes accustomed to the traumatic abuses of his manufactured god, and eventually no longer winces at the unjust blows, but cites the justifications he has learned.

      24. TS00
        They know that the ‘uninformed’ (non-Reformed) won’t be able to maturely deal with it as they do, so they attempt to stay away from the tensions as much as possible by deflecting and focusing on other aspects of less debatable quality.

        br.d
        Yes – George Bryson’s book “The Dark Side of Calvinism” is downloadable for free now as a PDF and I’m reviewing it.
        He talks about Calvinists pastors being coached to “keep the hard stuff away from the new-bees until they are committed enough to swallow it”.

        TS00
        Rh proves an excellent example of how they keep their own sanity and attempt to ignore the challenges of thoughtful outsiders by compartmentalizing and ignoring the inconsistencies.

        br.d
        I agree!

        TS00
        It is like a child in a truly abusive home. He only knows the realities that have been his, and accepts each crime against him as ‘the way it is’. It is only upon growing up, and being exposed to non-abusive situations that he comes to realize the wrongs of which he was once completely accepting.

        br.d
        Excellent analogy!

        TS00
        The Calvinist becomes accustomed to the traumatic abuses of his manufactured god, and eventually no longer winces at the unjust blows, but cites the justifications he has learned.

        br.d
        Yes! I agree its a mental state which requires a commitment to making a radical belief system APPEAR normal.

        RH sometimes reminds me of the “shape-shifter” in the Deep Space 9 episodes
        Now a Calvinist – shape-shift to Molinism – then Arminianism – sometimes Open Theism – then back to Calvinism. :-]

      25. YES! I can see that!

        I need to do some research on “dissociative disorders” – I’m sure I will see some insightful corollaries!
        Thanks for that!

      26. I will have to reread Bryson’s book. I had been wondering if that was where I had come across the Sproul quote of ‘hiding the scary stuff’. If you find it there, let me know.

        I read the book in my early stages of coming out of the world of Calvinism, and found it to be very consistent with my personal experience. I was flabbergasted that my pastor hid ‘the scary stuff’ for over a decade. In speaking with other former longtimers from my church they also sense that the teaching gradually changed from hopeful into something very dark over the years. The last sermon I heard about – I was already gone – was the one in which he used the salvation analogy of a burning orphanage from which God deliberately only rescued a few, when he could have saved all. That one cleared out all of the rest of the troublemakers who were asking hard questions – as the pastor knew it would.

      27. Here is a snippet from page 22

        The truth is, some Calvinists do not want non-Calvinists to know the full implications of Calvinism until after they have become committed
        Calvinists. …..some Calvinists think it unwise to introduce a new believer to the TRULY DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES of Reformed Theology…..it raises serious questions.

        Loraine Boettner explains at least one of the reasons (or rationalizations) behind the reluctance of some Calvinists to initially lay
        it all out on the table early on: – quote “At that early stage little need be said about the DEEPER TRUTHS which relate to god’s PART.”

        Some Calvinists are not only less than totally up-front, but they are NOT even being altogether HONEST with the non-Calvinists whom they are targeting. In the promotion of doctrines, what is held back or not expressed (relative to those doctrines) can be VERY MISLEADING.

        One Reformed Southern Baptist pastor, in an article entitled “Instructions for Local Church Reformation,” advises other Calvinist pas-
        tors as follows: – quote “Don’t tackle the whole church at one time…….In the pulpit….avoid terms such as Calvinism, reformed, doctrines of grace, particular redemption, etc. Most people will not know what you are talking about. Many that do will become inflamed against you.”

        We see the same example of sequential introduction to DEEPER TRUTHS in the mystery religions and white witch-craft etc.

        Jesus calls this entering the sheep-fold through a back-door. The TRUE shepherd comes in the front gate.

      28. Excellent. Many Calvinists complain about the charges of deception made against them, but this is not an exception. My former Calvi-pastor NEVER, EVER laid out the full system of Calvinism, even when new members frequently requested a class or bible study to discuss all of the issues. Never happened, in over 12 years. As he commented about another viewpoint he preferred to leave unsaid, ‘If I said that from the pulpit, they would all leave’. That was my first clue to wonder what else he was ‘not saying’. Proved to be much.

      29. The bottom line here is how LOGIC differentiates between NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT

        Even Calvin’s god cannot “decide” to make a square-circle or a married bachelor
        If he is LOGICAL then his nature coincides with LOGIC.

        In LOGIC – the only thing that will make any specific option NECESSARY – is if there is no other option.
        Or in the case of Calvin’s god – his omnipotence is limited such that he cannot bring into being any other option.

        So accordingly in LOGIC:
        Where Calvin’s god is not limited to one single option – and he decides to utilize one option out of many – LOGIC classifies that option as a SUFFICIENT option. But not NECESSARY because there are other options.

        Conversely
        If Calvin’s god IS LIMITED to one single option (for any reason) to accomplish an end – then that one option is classified as not only SUFFICIENT but also NECESSARY.

        Now I can understand why a person will not want to subject himself to the standards held by LOGIC.
        Being held in subjection to standards is self-limiting – and one cannot simply make up any argument one wants to.

        That is in fact why I love LOGIC and why it is so powerful for discerning TRUE from FALSE.
        But because compliance to a standard is self-limiting – we can understand why anyone would be keen on evading it.

      30. On those suggestions leading up to the Middle Knowledge question:

        On the off chance that you’ve been persuaded that Libertarian Free will does exist – and you are leaning towards a Molonistic form of Calvinism – then you can in fact adopt that position and still be a Calvinist. There are Molinist Calvinists. What Paul Helm’s calls “Libertarian Calvinists”.

        However to adopt that position and be RATIONAL – you then have to reject *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism – and in its place adopt a *PARTIAL* Divine Causal Determinism.

        You will then have a belief system that allows for Libertarian Free will and all of its RATIONAL benefits.
        But the cost is giving up a form of Divine Causal Determinism which is *UNIVERSAL* in scope.

        That would be giving up what Ravi Zacharias calls “Absolute” Determinism = Total Subjection.

        Now that in fact should feel natural for a Calvinist – because most Calvinists are uncomfortable biting the bullet and being LOGICALLY consistent with the *UNIVERSALITY* of Divine Causal Determinism found within strict Calvinism.

        The vast majority of Calvinists are constantly trying to escape the *UNIVERSALITY* found within Calvin’s system anyway.
        They are always trying to SMUGGLE IN some form of “mere” permission.

        So deliberately moving into Molinistic Calvinism would relieve a Calvinist of having to do that – and it would be a much more comfortable position for theodicy.

      31. br.d writes, “On the off chance that you’ve been persuaded that Libertarian Free will does exist – and you are leaning towards a Molonistic form of Calvinism – then you can in fact adopt that position and still be a Calvinist.”

        When LFW gets sorted out, perhaps I will agree that it does exist. That hasn’t happened yet. For example, it doesn’t seem to me that LFW applies in most situations. For example, without faith LFW doesn’t apply for salvation decisions.

        Molinims and Calvinism are mutually exclusive systems. Molinism deals with a pre-creation decision by God. Calvinism deals with the post-creation world God created.

        Then, “However to adopt that position and be RATIONAL – you then have to reject *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism – and in its place adopt a *PARTIAL* Divine Causal Determinism.”

        Universal Divine Causal Determinism means that God is omniscient knowing all that happens before He creates the universe and by creating the universe, God determines all that follows.

        Then, “You will then have a belief system that allows for Libertarian Free will and all of its RATIONAL benefits.”

        For now, I recognize that LFW is not in play for any but trivial decisions.

      32. br.d
        On the off chance that you’ve been persuaded that Libertarian Free will does exist – and you are leaning towards a Molonistic form of Calvinism – then you can in fact adopt that position and still be a Calvinist.”

        rhutchin
        When LFW gets sorted out, perhaps I will agree that it does exist. That hasn’t happened yet. For example, it doesn’t seem to me that LFW applies in most situations. For example, without faith LFW doesn’t apply for salvation decisions.

        br.d
        Excuse me?
        You just got done posting that man has limited Libertarian Free will – and only Calvin’s god has “absolute” Libertarian Free will
        Those statements are INCOHERENT unless you are asserting some degree of Libertarian Free will for creatures.
        And now you don’t agree it exists?
        Should I be surprised at flip-flop?

        And on the idea that it applies to a salvation decision – you are going to have to do some serious validation home-word to prove that!
        That idea is totally off the reservation – and found nowhere in any Christian literature I know of – especially Calvinist literature.
        I won’t even bother to touch that with a ten-foot pole its so far off.

        rhutchin
        Molinims and Calvinism are mutually exclusive systems. Molinism deals with a pre-creation decision by God. Calvinism deals with the post-creation world God created.

        br.d
        That is funny – your last statement was that they were similar and essentially confirmed one another.
        Now you’re claiming they are mutually exclusive.
        Ok – I’ll log that as your latest position – but I’m guessing it will change again.

        rhutchin
        Universal Divine Causal Determinism means that God is omniscient knowing all that happens before He creates the universe and by creating the universe, God determines all that follows.

        br.d
        Where you get ideas from is a real mystery!!!
        There is an orthodox doctrine on Omniscience that deals specifically with *knowing* all that happens.

        Separate from that is:
        Universal = Everything without exception
        Divine = A THEOS
        CAUSAL = The principle of cause and effect – with the emphasis on cause
        Determinism = The Thesis of Determinism which stipulates that things are determined by external factors

        Therefore Universal Divine Causal Determinism = A THEOS determines everything without exception – leaving ZERO left over for anyone else to determine – and determined by factors external to creature.

        There may be a corollary in that to omniscience – no absolutely one ever describes Universal Divine Causal Determinism the way you just did.

        rhutchin
        For now, I recognize that LFW is not in play for any but trivial decisions.

        br.d
        And where you get that idea – nobody knows – for if in fact you embrace *UNIVERSAL* Divine Causal Determinism – then Libertarian Free will in that system is held by all adherents to not exist. You can try to convince yourself it does but you’re in very small company.

        Paul Helm’s for example:
        -quote
        The WCF’s statements about God’s attributes and God’s eternal decree imply theological determinism and thus rule out libertarian free will (since libertarianism, on standard definitions, entails that determinism is false).

        Did you get what he said?
        Libertarian Free will – on standard definitions logically entails that determinism is false.

        Now I know Calvinists are always looking for ways to SMUGGLE Libertarian Free will in for exculpatory purposes.
        But if you are going to publicly assert you embrace both determinism and Libertarian Free will – be prepared for other Calvinists labeling you as inconsistent and having an unorthodox form of Calvinism.

      33. br.d writes, “You just got done posting that man has limited Libertarian Free will – and only Calvin’s god has “absolute” Libertarian Free will
        Those statements are INCOHERENT unless you are asserting some degree of Libertarian Free will for creatures.
        And now you don’t agree it exists? Should I be surprised at flip-flop?”

        I think your confusion results from your inability to define the term, “Libertarian Free will.” Let;s assume you mean no more than that LFW means: “the ability to choose among options.” If this is LFW, then one’s ability to choose among options depends on one’s knowledge of options, one’s understanding of the impacts of options, one’s desires, and external factors that influence one’s choice. As God has perfect knowledge, infinite understanding, is immune to outside influence, and makes choices according to the counsel of His will, His “freedom” is much greater than a person who has less knowledge and understanding, is subject to internal and outside influence. LFW exists becuase God exercises LFW. That which is attributed to people as LFW is not different from Compatibilism which says that people make decisions based on all these factors with the person’s desire being the final determiner of the choice. Does the LFW attributed to people raise above Compatibilistic Free Will? Doesn’t appear to do so me. If you have a definition of LFW that differentiate if from Compatibilistic Free Will, it would be nice to see your definition.

        Then, “And on the idea that it applies to a salvation decision – you are going to have to do some serious validation home-word to prove that! That idea is totally off the reservation – and found nowhere in any Christian literature I know of – especially Calvinist literature.
        I won’t even bother to touch that with a ten-foot pole its so far off.”

        I said, “…without faith LFW doesn’t apply for salvation decisions.” You seem to agree with this as salvation without faith is truly off the reservation.

        Then, “That is funny – your last statement was that [Calvinism and Molinism] were similar and essentially confirmed one another.
        Now you’re claiming they are mutually exclusive.”

        I don’t see the problem. They are mutually excusive as one applies pre-creation and the other post-creation. They are similar in that both deal with God’s decision regarding the creation of the universe. One complements the other in my opinion – at least, I don’t see where they conflict.

        Then, “Therefore Universal Divine Causal Determinism = A THEOS determines everything without exception – leaving ZERO left over for anyone else to determine – and determined by factors external to creature. ”

        Then God is omniscient and knows everything He has determined. Thus, because God is omniscient, then everything has been determined and by your regress argument, everything traces back to God.

        Then, “Did you get what [Paul Helm] said?
        Libertarian Free will – on standard definitions logically entails that determinism is false.”

        What is his definition of LFW? He must define LFW as excluding God being omniscient.

      34. br.d
        “You just got done posting that man has limited Libertarian Free will – and only Calvin’s god has “absolute” Libertarian Free will
        Those statements are INCOHERENT unless you are asserting some degree of Libertarian Free will for creatures.
        And now you don’t agree it exists? Should I be surprised at flip-flop?”

        rhutchin
        I think your confusion results from your inability to define the term, “Libertarian Free will.”

        br.d
        FALSE
        Your flip-flop on whether you assert something as existing or not doesn’t have anything to do with my definition of it. :-]
        However you define it in your own mind – It either exists for you or it doesn’t

        rhutchin
        Let;s assume you mean no more than that LFW means: “the ability to choose among options.” If this is LFW, then one’s ability to choose among options depends on one’s knowledge of options,

        br.d
        Why you go off on weird off the reservation rabbit trails is a mystery!!

        I gave you a statement from Paul Helms who is a Calvinist philosopher – and he certainly knows the standard definition.
        What he stated in the quote I provided to you is affirmed by all Christian philosophers.
        If you want to have your own deviant definition – so that you can have both determinism and Libertarian Free will – then you are on your own – rabbit holes and all.

        I think you don’t want to connect with how determinism rules out Libertarian Freedom – as Paul Helm’s clearly stated – because you want to find some kind of escape in appealing to “internal factors” – which requires you MAKE-BELIEVE those factors are not themselves determined in every part by an external mind.

        As John Calvin states it: “Every part of everything”

        And you can go to any number of resources to get the standardized definition of compatibliistic freedom.

        Now I’ve clearly stated hundreds of times the limitations to compatiblistic freedom – which I know you don’t like the implications of.

        rhutchin
        I said, “…without faith LFW doesn’t apply for salvation decisions.” You seem to agree with this as salvation without faith is truly off the reservation.

        br.d
        Here I’m not sure if your simply trying to deflect.
        You either believe some degree of Libertarian Freedom exists with determinism or you don’t.
        Paul Helm’s and Monergism.com speaking on behalf of Calvinism – say no.
        If you want to develop your own customized theory then again your on your own – and I won’t be chasing that rabbit anywhere.

        rhutchin
        I don’t see the problem. They are mutually excusive as one applies pre-creation and the other post-creation. They are similar in that both deal with God’s decision regarding the creation of the universe. One complements the other in my opinion – at least, I don’t see where they conflict.

        br.d
        Well you’re the only one I know who can declare two things to be mutually exclusive – which means if one exists the other doesn’t – and at the same time say they compliment each other.

        Good luck with that one!

        rhutchin
        Then God is omniscient and knows everything He has determined. Thus, because God is omniscient, then everything has been determined and by your regress argument, everything traces back to God.

        br.d
        You can hold to that customized representation if you want to – I think its just an ad-hoc strategy that gets you something you think you need for the sake of some argument.

        But like I said – there is absolutely no one who describes Universal Divine Causal Determinism – the way you have here.

        rhutchin
        In regard to Paul Helm’s statement on determinism rules out Libertarian freedom –
        He must define LFW as excluding God being omniscient.

        br.d
        Not according to the standard understanding of determinism.
        Whether or not one is talking about a THEOS as the determiner or nature as the determiner within the scheme of determinism is irrelevant.
        Determinism by its very nature – with our without omniscience – rules out Libertarian Freedom

        But don’t take my word for it – go to Paul Helm’s web-site and read it for yourself.

      35. br.d writes, “However you define [LFW} in your own mind – It either exists for you or it doesn’t?”

        Apparently, you cannot define LFW. Yet. you complain about my definition. Until, you can define LFW, it seems we can go no further.

        Then, ” I know who can declare two things to be mutually exclusive – which means if one exists the other doesn’t – and at the same time say they compliment each other.”

        Molinism is a pre-creation theology; Calvinism is a post-creation Theology. thus, they are mutually exclusive. Nothing prevents Molinims complementing Calvinism.

        Then, “But like I said – there is absolutely no one who describes Universal Divine Causal Determinism – the way you have here.”

        Use your logic and see if you can tie omniscience to Universal Divine Causal Determinism. Seems obvious to me that the one begets the other.

      36. br.d
        However you define [LFW} in your own mind – It either exists for you or it doesn’t?”

        rhutchin
        Apparently, you cannot define LFW. Yet. you complain about my definition. Until, you can define LFW, it seems we can go no further.

        br.d
        This is just another deflection strategy.
        I’m sure you’ll let me know what your next flip-flop will be on whether it exists for you or not.
        Your latest statement was that it does – for trivial things only.
        Which leaves it open for you to say it exists for anything you want it to.
        How convenient! :-]

        You are the only one I know who can declare two things to be mutually exclusive – which means if one exists the other doesn’t – and at the same time say they compliment each other.

        rhutchin
        Molinism is a pre-creation theology; Calvinism is a post-creation Theology. thus, they are mutually exclusive. Nothing prevents Molinims complementing Calvinism.

        br.d
        That depends on whether or not one asserts the existence of Libertarian Freedom now doesn’t it?
        Because Molinism is dedicated to the proposition that Libertarian Freedom does exist.

        So if you read Paul Helm’s where he affirms that determinism (in any form) rules out determinism (which is the standard understanding) -then you’re left trying to explain how something which cancels out the existence of something else can be a compliment to it.

        But I leave that to you – as its such an off the reservation rabbit chase – I have no interest in it at all.

        Then, “But like I said – there is absolutely no one who describes Universal Divine Causal Determinism – the way you have here.”

        rhutchin
        Use your logic and see if you can tie omniscience to Universal Divine Causal Determinism. Seems obvious to me that the one begets the other.

        br.d
        There is a connection – in that omniscience provides a compliment to Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        But Universal Divine Causal Determinism can exist on its own without omniscience depending upon how one defines the term “DIVINE”.
        If a being can exist as DIVINE without omniscience – then so can’t Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        If however you assert that DIVINE requires omniscience – then you have the obligation of providing a citation to that effect.

      37. On the omniscience DIVINE topic- refer to all of the times John Calvin attributes a given Divine Determination simply to Calvin’s god’s -quote “good pleasure”.

        Calvin assumes omniscience exists
        But he doesn’t make omniscience a requirement for every Divine Determination.
        If he did – he would have stated that rather than making the basis of a Divine Determination “his good pleasure”

      38. If the gospel is the source of faith, as you declare, what was this gospel to Abraham?

        Jesus hadn’t died for his sins. So where did Abraham go after he died?

        Ed Chapman

      39. Rhutchin says: “In the absence of faith, any exhortation to believe the gospel would be fruitless. In the presence of faith, the preaching of the gospel results in salvation.”

        Interesting! Because Calvinists believe that faith is given to elected people because they were predestined to be saved before time began. Election/salvation came first.

        So basically, the elect are saved first, but then they are supposedly given faith to believe the Gospel so that they can be saved!?! Even though they were already counted as saved before time began!?!

        Yep, that totally makes sense!

        So then, what good is the Gospel? If the non-elect CANNOT respond to it because they aren’t given the faith to believe and if the elect have the faith to believe only because they were already saved before they ever heard the Gospel?

        (It’s a rhetorical question, rhutchin. I don’t want your answer.)

      40. I think a typical Calvinist answer to this would be to differentiate between “effectual” and “non-effectual”.

        So then – the preaching of the Gospel where faith is not present will be classified as “non-effectual” because Calvin’s god did not ZAP the person with faith either during or before that preaching.

        Or metaphorically speaking – take out the invisible floppy drive from the person’s brain – and replace it with a new one. :-]

        What then becomes ironic about that is Calvin’s interpretation of the wheat and the chaff.
        Calvin believes Calvin’s god DESIGNS the vast majority of Calvinists as chaff.

        Calvin states:
        quote
        “He holds it [salvation] out as a savor of death, and as the occasion for severer condemnation” ( Institutes, 3.24.8. )

        -quote
        “He causes those whom he illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he ….strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes vol 2)

        So on their doctrine – Calvinist churches are full of FALSE Calvinists who APPEAR to have been ZAPPED
        Calvin’s god is actually giving them the majority of them a FALSE perception of salvation.

        These Calvinists will go through their whole lives being deceived by thousands of FALSE perceptions firing in their brains – believing themselves to be Christians – only to eventually wake up in the lake of fire.

        Now who wouldn’t call that “good” news! :-]

  3. Well put Eric.
    This is truly good news for ALL the people. It’s news we can speak to any individual or group of unbelievers, confidently proclaiming that it really, truly is God’s will and desire that they be saved (with no opposing “secret” will) and that God loves them (with not just a temporary provisional love, but a true salvific love). So much so that He died for their sins and will respond in saving grace if they place their faith in Him.

  4. Amen! Very wonderful article Eric!!

    The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light – to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace. This is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

    The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.

  5. Eric,…. persuasive. I shared on my twitter feed.May God use the heart and mind of what you shared to bring His people closer together under His wings.

  6. Dear all, here is another New Testament verse to refute the unbelief argument (that I raised earlier) from John Owen which has been recycled by modern 5 point Calvinist preachers and writers, about Christ dying for unbelief, thus making unbelief automatically atoned for:

    “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8: 24.

    May God grant deliverance to the hearts and minds of those believers who are brainwashed by deceived and deluded preachers, false teachers and false teaching.

    1. Excellent verse Simon. We can add this verse too:

      “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”(Rev 21:8). this would have to include those who rejected His call in John 8:24.

      1. Yes. Which according to the 5 point Calvinist mindset, they rejected Him and continued in sin because God never chose them in the first place. Thus, God eternally judges sinners for rejecting Christ and then punishes them for all eternity for doing what they were predetermined by the judge to be.

        That would be like a scientist creating a rat and then recreating it to go on living while punishing the rat and burning it for being a rat in the first place.

      2. sps writes, “God eternally judges sinners for rejecting Christ and then punishes them for all eternity for doing what they were predetermined by the judge to be. ”

        Under Calvinism, sinners are judged for their sin. That they reject Christ prevents them escaping their sin.. However, if a person never hears about Christ – therefore does not reject Christ, he is still judged for his sin.

      3. rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, sinners are judged for their sin.

        br.d
        Which Calvin’s god DESIGNED them to commit and DOES NOT PERMIT them to refrain from.
        That is Simon’s point :-]

        rhutchin
        That they reject Christ prevents them escaping their sin.

        br.d
        Which Calvin’s god DESIGNED them to not escape from and DOES NOT PERMIT them to be/do otherwise. That is Simon’s point!

        rhutchin
        However, if a person never hears about Christ – therefore does not reject Christ, he is still judged for his sin.

        br.d
        In Calvinism if one is DESIGNED for eternal torment in the lake of fire as their fate – whether that one hears or not won’t make a bit of difference. And whether that person sins or not won’t make a bit of difference either.

        The only thing that is relevant to one’s eternal fate is the fate Calvin’s god DESIGNS one for.
        Therefore in Calvinism – sin, hearing, and all other human attributes simply function as peripheral window dressing.

        Speaking of sins BTW:
        Every specific sin Calvin’s god DESIGNS/DECREES and RENDERS-CERTAIN a specific Calvinist commit – represents a DECREE from which there is no escape.

        Thus after a Calvinist’s sin comes to pass – he knows it must have been RENDERED-CERTAIN.
        He knows he has no escape from whatever is RENDERED-CERTAIN.
        And if he is is RATIONAL enough to connect those dots – he knows he had escape from that sin.

      4. Simon,

        I’m Irish and still living in Ireland. Am I right in thinking that you said you are English? If so, are you still living there; and, do you have Brexit fatigue?

        Correct me if I’m wrong in regard to Calvinism, but it seems like they negate the need for a Christian to repent of future sins, including unbelief. If this is the case, do you know how they deal with such passages as 1 Jno. 1:6-10? I’ve seen you do this, namely, call for scripture each time. That’s always a good start.

        Thanks,
        Aidan

      5. Aidan to sps writes, “Correct me if I’m wrong in regard to Calvinism, but it seems like they negate the need for a Christian to repent of future sins, including unbelief.”

        How do you get to that conclusion? Even you say that Christ died for all sin, past, present, and future, on the cross, don’t you? If not, what did His death accomplish?

      6. Aidan to sps writes,
        “Correct me if I’m wrong in regard to Calvinism, but it seems like they negate the need for a Christian to repent of future sins, including unbelief.”

        rhutchin
        How do you get to that conclusion? Even you say that Christ died for all sin, past, present, and future, on the cross, don’t you? If not, what did His death accomplish?

        br.d
        If they are elect – what is the consequence if they don’t repent?

      7. rhutchin and Aidan,

        I’m still trying to figure out which of the 613 commandments in the law of Moses indicates that unbelief is a sin. Haven’t found it yet.

        Maybe it’s in the 15 commandments in the 3rd stone that Moses dropped, but left behind.

        Last I recall…

        Galatians 3:12
        And the law is not of faith

        Ed Chapman

      8. chapmaned24 writes, “I’m still trying to figure out which of the 613 commandments in the law of Moses indicates that unbelief is a sin. Haven’t found it yet.”

        Read the NT. Jesus said, ““He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Then, Paul, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” It is because of sin that a person is condemned making unbelief a sin.

      9. rhutchin tells me to read Jesus’ statement about those who do not believe in Jesus, yet ignores Romans 11 about MERCY. Interesting.

        But rhutchin also ignores

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of THE LAW [of Moses]

        and

        Romans 3:20
        THE LAW [of Moses] is the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.

        and

        Romans 7:7
        I had not known sin, but by the law

        So now we have Jesus INVENTING sin ON THE SPOT that isn’t even in the law of Moses.

        Really rhuthin?

        Paul, about himself:

        1 Timothy 1:12-13 (KJV)

        12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

        13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious:

        *****but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.*****

        NOTE: SEE THE WORD “MERCY” AND “IGNORANTLY” AND “UNBELIEF”?

        Romans 11:32
        For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

        NOTE: SEE THE WORD “MERCY” AND “UNBELIEF”?

        Side bar NOTE: The words “them all”, in the above is, in context of the Jews, not the Gentiles.

        IGNORANCE IS BLISS, rhutchin

        Ed Chapman

    2. Simon Peter,

      I’m wondering if you could acknowledge the spiritual blindness of the Jews? There are several references to that.

      If so…

      John 9:39-41 King James Version (KJV)
      39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

      40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

      41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

      That discussion is about spiritual blindness, not physical blindness.

      Blind=no sin, no matter the sins.

      Claiming they can see… sins remain.

      Then we go to Romans 11. Then we see why Paul got mercy, and he is no different than all the rest of the Jews, and God does not show favoritism.

      I’m not a Calvinist, but what I see is that Calvinism takes what is meant for Jews, and makes it a doctrine for all mankind, i.e., regeneration, elect, and much much more. But I also discover that this is also how a lot of reform non-Calvinists see it that way too, cuz to both, there is no diff between Jew, Gentile.

      And since Jesus is the judge, and he judges after death, Jesus can still save at that time, too.

      Romans 2:14-16 tells me that, too. People who never heard of a JESUS, or God, that live according to their God given, I stress GOD GIVEN conscience, are judged by that conscience, and it is considered GOD’S LAWS written on their heart already, and we’ve all got that, whether we are Christians or not.

      The Jews are under a written code, but the rest of us are under the our conscience, and if or conscience doesn’t convict us, we are fine.

      In the Gospel, it states that The Law of Moses convicts a conscience. Eating shellfish, illegal for Jews, not illegal for anyone else.

      Lastly, Abraham. Did he, or did he not sleep with his sister? And if so, is that a sin, in the book of Leviticus? I think it’s mentioned about 3 or 4 times there. And if both are true, why didn’t God inform Abraham of this grievous sin? But God gave brother and sister a son instead, as a promise, yet never informed Abraham of three sin, nor even condemned Abraham, either.

      Abraham never had the written code, either. So his conscience had no clue about this sin, therefore he had no guilt for the sin.

      So if you have no idea that something is a sin, yet it is a sin, you can’t be judged of the sin, even if, FOR ALL HAVE SINNED.

      Joseph gave his brothers mercy. Joseph is a spiritual depiction of Jesus, Joseph’s brothers are a spiritual depiction of the blind Jews.

      Aren’t they?

      Ed Chapman

      1. Ed Chapman, Thank you.

        Those verses are very intriguing. John 9: 41 has intrigued me since I was a boy. I first heard it in a dramatisation and it has stayed with me ever since.

        As to it’s meaning, I cannot be certain. I have often thought that it could have been a reference to Eden and how man was created perfect, but then sinned because man ate from a fruit that he could see, thus if he (man) had not sight in the first place, he would be without sin. However, now, knowing context and overview I think it probably relates to the Pharisees seeing who Jesus was yet rejecting Him and thus, there sin remains. Our Lord seems to have been using the condition of the man born blind (9: 1) and then when the healed man visits the Pharisees they excommunicate him (9: 13-34) and then Jesus uses both the physical and spiritual to reveal the sin of rejecting Him. It could be that it would have been better for them to have been blind and ignorant, than to have sight and yet reject Jesus. 10: 1 seems to affirm this, since He points to Himself as being the only way for the sheep to enter in. But if they go and try to enter some other way, is a thief and a robber.

        I try not to interpret a text with any axe to grind, if I do that I will possibly distort the meaning. But the Lord certainly seems to say that it is an unpardonable sin to reject Him. But it never reads in any way as though the reason they rejected Him was because they were not predestined and elected to begin with. If determinism were true, it would make what Jesus said and did to be little more than a performance artist.

        If I am understanding you correctly, I do actually think that Calvinists have wrongly applied the chosen people of the Old Covenant and taken that and shadowed themselves in it. The Scottish Covenanters of the 17th century certainly believed there was an exact parallel between themselves and the Jews of the Old Testament. These Scottish Presbyterians were Calvinists.

        There would be more of case to argue a form of Limited Atonement from the Old Testament than the New. The New Testament does not teach 5 Point Calvinism and even though I would affirm total depravity, I would not claim that total depravity implies total inability. If total inability were true, there would have been no reason for God to have blinded the eyes of the Jews in the first place. It would naturally follow that they or all mankind were blind already. But it certainly seems to me that God did blind the eyes of the Jews so that the Messiah would suffer and be killed. But it was a judgement that God foreknew.

        I gave a lecture on John 9: 1-12 which can be viewed on Youtube. I wont add a link since I do not know what policy Soteriology 101 holds on links, but if you want to view it you can.

        If I have misread anything or not answered your main point or points, if you could re-clarify I will respond.

      2. Simon Peter,

        Thanks for your reply. You seem very well versed in this stuff, from a reasoning aspect. It’s great to listen to what you have to say, and how you present it.

        However, from where you come from, regarding man, in general, as being blind due to sin, that’s not how I read Deuteronomy in how Moses explained it.

        When I studied the 7th Day Adventists, not to be one, but to find out why they insist on a Saturday Sabbath, I discovered things that many do not look at, or look for. But… while many don’t, many do.

        We have to separate Jew from Gentile.

        We have to give 2 different meanings to righteousness.

        One, by the written code, reserved for the Jews only, called SELF righteousness, and the second, BELIEVE, without the law, and righteousness is free, a gift, no work, just like Abraham… before circumcision.

        The promises made to him were unconditional.

        Lastly, I don’t believe one iota regarding original sin, and I take “in the day that you eat” as the same day (24 hour day), and that the death is not discussing a bodily death, but a spiritual death. But now take that to Romans 5, Romans 5 is not discussing spiritual death, but physical death. Then see Romans 7, we all die a spiritual death at the knowledge of sin, not the sin itself, hence, the name of that tree in the garden.

        I Deutetonomy, see the words, “no knowledge of good and evil”.

        In any case, God told the Jews, thru Moses, to obey. Knowing full and well that they can’t. Nobody can. But God blinded them to not see Jesus as messiah, and that makes sense, since Jesus had to be killed. How else was Jesus gonna get on that cross?

        A few years ago, a previous Pope wrote a book, exonerating the Jews for killing Jesus. I guess when Jesus said, FATHER forgive them, that three Pope thought he was talking to a future Pope?

        So, is it a sin to steal? Yes. Is it a sin to commit adultery? Yes. So, to the 7th Day Adventists, it’s a sin to not remember THE SIXTH DAY, Saturday, no different than the day that the Jews observe.

        Are we under the law? Last I heard, we are not.

        Love fulfills the law.

        Basically, I don’t believe in either side of the soteriology debate, as both sides never ditched Catholic teaching, and both sides have had a bad history with the Jews, so they kinda dismiss the Jews the, “NO DIFFERENCE” category.

        But there is a reason that the Jews are blind, and remain blind to this day. They are not finished revealing Jesus to the world yet. They are three light to the Gentile, revealing someone (Jesus) to us, a person they reject, not due to any sin, or fault of their own, either.

        I’d like to see your video.
        Br. d can pass on your link if you give it to him. He has my email address.

        Ed Chapman

    3. sps writes, “the unbelief argument (that I raised earlier) from John Owen which has been recycled by modern 5 point Calvinist preachers and writers, about Christ dying for unbelief, thus making unbelief automatically atoned for: ”

      Calvinists include “unbelief” as among the sins for which Christ died. Thus, unbelief would not exclude a person from heaven if Christ died for the sins of that person. However, if Christ died for the sins of any person, then that person would be included among those in John 6 who are given to Christ by God.

      1. rhutchin
        Calvinists include “unbelief” as among the sins for which Christ died.

        br.d
        But only for those creatures whom Calvin’s god has not DESIGNED for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        And that represents the vast majority of his creatures – and thus the vast majority of Calvinists.

        That’s a very interesting thing to do with the creatures one DESIGNS isn’t it! :-]

      2. Regarding God designing People made in His own image FOR one purpose ALONE, Eternal wrath and damnation with no hope of ever being loved by there creator.

        BR.D That’s a very interesting thing to do with the creatures one DESIGNS isn’t it! :-]

        Calvinism is hideous and what makes it even worse the Calvinist says that is all true for the vast majority BUT God designed me Special to be loved not like the rest of you people… it is narcissim put on public display and proudly of course.

        Leighton’s latest short video knocks it out of the park it is labeled: Why do Most Christians resist Calvinism” it is short but Good.

      3. Thank you GraceAdict – for posting that video link!

        TOTALLY WONDERFUL!
        He is so absolutely correct in all of it.

        That video gives more examples of how Calvinists are DOUBLE-MINDED

        I just love Dr. Flower’s ministry!!

    1. Can you try another TEST post?
      Make sure you put your email in and make sure you check off the 3 notification option boxes below

      The system should send you a confirmation of participation.
      Please let me know if that doesn’t work for you.

      1. 3 notification boxes? I only see 2, and only one is working. I also do not see where one would enter in one’s email. I did recently change my password, as I was on another device and could not recall my old one. I received the usual notification upon my first comment to allow notifications, which I ‘allowed’, but until this one have not received notification of any comments.

      2. Right below the field that you post your comment in, there should be three other data entry fields.
        The first one is for your email – for the system to return posts to you.
        The second one is where you put your name
        The third field is for a possible website – but none of us use that field.

        Below that you should see 3 square boxes.
        The first one applies to the 3 fields I just mentioned
        You check this box to “Salve my name, email and website in this browser….etc”
        The second check box is “Notify me of new comments via email”
        The 3rd check box is “Notify me of new posts via email”

        Perhaps you are logging into WordPress in most of your activity?
        Try making a post without logging into wordpress.
        Simply go to the SOT101 page and make a post.
        I believe you should see those fields and check boxes I described.

  7. Dear CHAPMANED24,

    You can find the lecture on YouTube, just type in my name and add lecture or John 9: 1-12.

    I am not quite convinced that the Jews are born blind, but that God blinded their eyes at a certain point. The majority of believers in Acts and even in the Gospels were Jews.

    Of course there certainly is a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Scripture seems to me to continuously make that distinction. But In Christ, their is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, but of course that is distinctly referring to those who are IN CHRIST.

    I totally reject Replacement Theology, so I have no issues studying the distinctions with the Law of Moses and the Gospels and how it all works.

    However, you’ll have to forgive me if I pass on any debate concerning ‘Original Sin’. It’s not that I am closed minded, its just that at this point I have seen too much debate and it hurts. So much so that cannot see that much point in a Christianity anymore where “Christians” or people who think differently debate all the time. I see a world falling apart and souls suffering and pain everywhere, and I cannot justify it when I see the poor and needy and homeless people lying on the streets while rich preachers preach that knowledge pays and then they hide behind their gates. It is not true religion (James 1: 27).

    1. Simon Peter,

      I think you misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not discussing replacement theology at all. I don’t believe in it either.

      But at what point has Gentiles ever been under the law of Moses? Never. So there is a distinction right there.

      And, if you read the book of Deuteronomy, and Romans 9-11, you see that the Jews were blinded by God, not the Gentiles. There is another distinction.

      Romans 9-11 references Deuteronomy, and the subject of Romans 9-11 is… the Jews.

      Christianity is an extension of Judaism, not a replacement of. So I don’t believe in replacement theology.

      I see the explanation that Paul gives for why he, himself got mercy. Then I see the same exact reasoning in Romans 9-11 for those blind Jews.

      And the reason? Ignorance in UNBELIEF.

      Ignorance is BLISS, cuz you can’t be held to account for what you don’t know, hence the tree of KNOWLEDGE of good and evil.

      Hopefully, I’ve clarified.

      Ed Chapman

      1. chapmaned24, “…the subject of Romans 9-11 is… the Jews. ”

        The subject of Romans is Israel (I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh), the children of promise/remnant (those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God;…), and the gentiles (What if God,…that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

      2. rhutchin,

        Call ’em what ya want. I prefer JEWS. Just don’t call them late for PASSOVER.

        Paul’s brethren, countrymen, etc., are Jews. According to the…FLESH, not according to… the SPIRIT. DISTINCTION, man!

        If you really read ROMANS 9-11 more slowly, then you will see that the Jews show God’s power, and BECAUSE OF THAT, they get mercy for God using them for destruction, etc.

        Ed Chapman

      3. rhutchin,

        Do you not see the story of JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS being a spiritual depiction of Jesus and the Jews? in the end, the brothers got mercy. You don’t see anything here? Just a history lesson about how not to treat your brother is all I’ll bet you see from that…a story about MORALITY, but not a spiritual story about Jesus giving mercy to the Jews? Why did Paul get mercy? Is the Jews any different than he used to be?

        Does God show favoritism?

        Why Paul, and nobody else in the Jew family?

        Ed Chapman

      4. I believe that all of the apostles were of Israel, along with all of the original followers of Jesus.

        How do you explain the unblinding of some? How do you explain Paul’s teaching that Israel (in large part) stumbled upon the Law, not due to God-induced blindness.

        Nor do I see the logic of the Pharisees being blinded, but supposedly guilty of the sin of rejecting Jesus because they ‘said’ they were not blind. So, were they blind or not? If not, how is it that they gained sight taken from all others of Israel – except for the many who did put their trust in Jesus?Just see a lot of holes . . .

      5. TS00,

        How do I explain the unblinding of some? It’s explained in Romans, something to the effect of, “I HAVE RESERVED FOR MYSELF 7000 WHO HAVE NOT BOWED DOWN TO BAAL” which is a reference from the OT, and you can clearly see that if you used an NIVr bible version.

        The OT reference is considered PROPHESY, but those that espouse EXPOSITORY preaching ONLY, never acknowledge this kind of stuff being prophesy.

        The Jews DID STUMBLE AT THE LAW, but that’s because GOD is the one who told them to get righteousness thru the law to begin with.

        They stumbled because that’s what God wanted them to do.

        Do you think that God wanted Jesus to live a long and healthy life? Maybe get married, have some kids? Why did Jesus come here? To die on a cross.

        And are you gonna blame the Jews for stumbling?

        If they didn’t stumble, YOUR SINS WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.

        THANK THE JEWS for killing Jesus, instead of blaming them, and that is also a summary of Romans 9-11 (don’t be high minded). Thru their unbelief, you stand…BUT…

        And that’s a huge but, bigger than yo… nevermind. Just kidding!

        Ed Chapman

      6. You failed to explain why some of the nation of Israel believed, including not only the apostles, but whatever number of men and women were among his followers. How did they, and not the rest, happen to recover their sight? Oh, and not just your imagining – where does scripture describe or explain such a thing?

      7. TS00,

        No, I did not fail to explain why. I did explain why. Didn’t I say something about 7000 not bowing down to Ba’al? That was the explaination.

        You gotta GO BACK to where that is the OT reference if you want more information. But that is where it’s coming from.

        This is where HOMEWORK on your part is done when you ask ME to TELL YOU where to find such and such. In 6th grade terminology, READ THE BOOK AND I EXPECT A BOOK REPORT DUE ON MY DESK IN TWO WEEKS.

        Do you know what I see? I see that NO ONE reads the BIBLE as a NOVEL anymore. They read certain places only, make a doctrine out of it, and away we go.

        Kinda like how I did book reports in the 6th grade. I’d take a book, and NOT READ IT, and write down word for word the words on the front cover flap, and the back cover flap, turn it in, and get an “A” on my book report.

        But here is a hint, AGAIN. USE THE NIVr VERSION and it REFERENCES everything that PAUL references from the OT.

        For example:

        Here is Romans 11:1-16 NIRV, which gives REFERENCE to what he is saying from the OT

        NOTE: In verse 8 is the reference to the BLIND JEWS BEGINNING from DEUTERONOMY.

        NOTE: verses 1-4 explains what you say that I didn’t explain.

        Romans 11 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

        The Israelites Who Are Faithful

        11 So here is what I ask. Did God turn his back on his people? Not at all! I myself belong to Israel. I am one of Abraham’s children. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God didn’t turn his back on his people. After all, he chose them. Don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah? He complained to God about Israel. 3 He said, “Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have torn down your altars. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.” (1 Kings 19:10,14) 4 How did God answer him? God said, “I have kept 7,000 people for myself. They have not bowed down to Baal.” (1 Kings 19:18) 5 Some are also faithful today. They have been chosen by God’s grace. 6 And if they are chosen by grace, then they can’t work for it. If that were true, grace wouldn’t be grace anymore.

        7 What should we say then? The people of Israel did not receive what they wanted so badly. Those Israelites who were chosen did receive it. But the rest of the people were made stubborn. 8 It is written,

        “God made it hard for them to understand.
        He gave them eyes that could not see.
        He gave them ears that could not hear.
        And they are still like that today.” (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10)

        9 David says,

        “Let their feast be a trap and a snare.
        Let them trip and fall. Let them get what’s coming to them.
        10
        Let their eyes grow dark so they can’t see.
        Let their backs be bent forever.” (Psalm 69:22,23)
        Two Kinds of Olive Branches

        11 Again, here is what I ask. The Israelites didn’t trip and fall once and for all time, did they? Not at all! Because Israel sinned, the Gentiles can be saved. That will make Israel jealous of them. 12 Israel’s sin brought riches to the world. Their loss brings riches to the Gentiles. So then what greater riches will come when all Israel turns to God!

        13 I am talking to you who are not Jews. I am the apostle to the Gentiles. So I take pride in the work I do for God and others. 14 I hope somehow to stir up my own people to want what you have. Perhaps I can save some of them. 15 When they were not accepted, it became possible for the whole world to be brought back to God. So what will happen when they are accepted? It will be like life from the dead. 16 The first handful of dough that is offered is holy. This makes all of the dough holy. If the root is holy, so are the branches.

        ———————————–

        In your previous comment to my, you had said:

        How do you explain the unblinding of some? How do you explain Paul’s teaching that Israel (in large part) stumbled upon the Law, not due to God-induced blindness.

        My response to that:

        Study what a STUMBLING BLOCK does, AND TO WHOM.

        Leviticus 19:14
        Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind,

        Jeremiah 6:21
        Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people

        If they COULD see, they would WALK AROUND the block, so as not to stumble. But since they can’t see, they stumble.

        So how can you say that they are blind BECAUSE they stumbled? That’s a little BACKWARDS, to me anyway.

        If there is a hole in the ground, BLIND PEOPLE will fall in the hole. Those who can see, GO AROUND.

        Logic, right?

        Ed Chapman

      8. TS00,

        In short, yes, they did stumble due to blindness. It’s in DEUTERONOMY.

        GOD HAS NOT GIVEN THEM A MIND TO UNDERSTAND, EARS TO HEAR, OR EYES TO SEE, UNTO THIS DAY (NEVER).

      9. rhutchin,

        In order to understand Romans 9-11, you should get extremely familiar with Genesis thru Deuteronomy, first. Then Romans 9-11 will make sense, because Romans 9-11 makes references of Deutetonomy. You see that clearly using the NIVr version of the bible.

        Ed Chapman

      10. chapmaned24 writes, “In order to understand Romans 9-11, you should get extremely familiar with Genesis thru Deuteronomy, first.”

        It doesn’t hurt to read Romans 9-11 and take what it says to be true.

      11. I do take Romans 9-11 to be true. I don’t take what you interpret it to be true.

        I’ve read the whole book. I’ve got the inside scoop. It’s possible that your bible begins with Matthew. Or as some say, John.

        But my bible begins with Genesis. Numbers is kinda boring, and chronicles seems a bit redundant, but, I’d give the advice that it’s always best to follow the yellow brick road… from the beginning. Genesis. And don’t stop reading until you get to the end. Just like a Harry Potter novel.

        But… at least 5 times.

        Then, and only then will you see Romans 9-11 in a different light than the one that John Calvin explains to you.

        Ed Chapman

      12. CHAPMANED24. Thank you,

        Yes I do understand what you are saying. By my writing “I totally reject Replacement Theology, so I have no issues studying the distinctions with the Law of Moses and the Gospels and how it all works” I am merely stating that I have no issues with this discussion. Many who hold to R T, often dismiss the topic of the Jewish matters and Gentile distinctions as unimportant and claim there are no distinctions anymore. Hope I have clarified that.

        I accept the distinctions between Jews and Gentiles. I agree that Gentiles were not blinded at all. It is vital to view Romans 9 in light of Deuteronomy and indeed the Pentateuch. Calvinists are good at making claims, but they are not very good at consulting the Old Testament co-texts.

      13. Yes, and thank you, as well. Simple clarifications from both of us. And I agree with what you’ve said.

        I gotta say, you are a breath of fresh air here. I like how you present your case.

  8. RHUTCHIN,

    RHUTCHIN wrote; “sps writes, “God eternally judges sinners for rejecting Christ and then punishes them for all eternity for doing what they were predetermined by the judge to be. ”

    Under Calvinism, sinners are judged for their sin. That they reject Christ prevents them escaping their sin.. However, if a person never hears about Christ – therefore does not reject Christ, he is still judged for his sin.”

    SPS: Yes, but the problem is that their sin is original, and the reason they sin (as in committing sins), is because of the condition of Original Sin. Original Sin (which I accept) is a sin condition that they were born with, without any consent whatsoever. This condition does not enable them to stop sinning. Then “Under Calvinism” God judges them for their sin, and yet in reality “God” would know that they can do nothing else. The none elect cannot even respond to the offering of Salvation because “God” never truly offers salvation to them in the first place. The general dispensation of the Gospel is just to bring in the full number of the elect, while the none-elect are offered the Gospel, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, yet in reality, He was never truly available to the none elect in the first place. What a load of baloney. It’s nonsense. Total nonsense. It’s like a dr diagnosing a man with a sickness, and offering the diseased man a cure, knowing the man would refuse it because in reality the cure was never truly available for him in the first place.

    Bah humbug.

    1. Simon Peter,

      I’m curious as to how you conclude your belief of Original Sin. Is it based on your own study, or someone else’s dictates that it’s supposed to be believed, all due to some Catholic Church “father” preaching about it?

      I look at VARIOUS things, EVENTS of Genesis 2-3, Romans 3, 4, 5, 6, and ESPECIALLY chapter 7.

      Chapter 7 of Romans shows that PAUL IS INNOCENT “until” he discovered what sin was…BY THE LAW. Before he KNEW (what was the name of that tree in the garden again?), SIN WAS DEAD, and Paul was “ALIVE”. This is SPIRITUAL. Spiritually alive. Can I get an AMEN?

      So, before he knew, NO SIN can be imputed to him, because SIN WAS DEAD while he was alive. He DIED a spiritual death at he knowledge of what sin was, therefore, he was not born spiritually dead, as Calvinists preach.

      NOW…talking about DISTINCTION as we were earlier, there is a difference between SPIRITUAL DEATH, AND DEATH OF THE BODY.

      Many who buy off on ORIGINAL SIN like to equate Romans 5, that we all INHERITED SOMETHING. What was that something again? Death? WHAT KIND OF DEATH?

      The answer to that is the difference between those who believe in Original sin, and me.

      I say that Romans 5 is about death of the body, not spiritual death. I say that Romans 7 is about spiritual death, not the death of the body.

      But one final thought is…THAT OTHER TREE IN THE GARDEN THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT…the Tree of Life.

      Adam STILL STILL STILL could have eaten of that tree, AFTER THE FALL, and STILL would have GAINED eternal life in a fallen state. TRUE OR FALSE?

      So, last point: Was Adam FORMED on the Earth with an ETERNAL BODY ALREADY, and LOST it? Or, was he FORMED on this earth ALREADY DESTINED TO DIE IN THE BODY ALREADY, and just didn’t GAIN eternal life?

      I get my answer from 1 Corinthians 15:36-50. If you could, do TWO COLUMNS. In one column, title it: PLANTED/SOWED. And in another column, title it: RAISED. Then list what is said in the proper columns. You will discover that Adam was GONNA DIE A NATURAL DEATH ANYWAY, because is ONLY BODY was a NATURAL BODY, not a SPIRITUAL ONE.

      That which is natural came first, including Adam, then after that is what comes SPIRITUAL. We are talking about a body here.

      The topic is about the resurrection, but it gives a lot of info on the CURRENT body and state of the body, and it’s ORIGINATION in Adam LONG BEFORE HE ATE OF A SPECIFIC TREE.

      So, these are the reasons that I do not believe in original sin, but I’m curious as to how you concluded your belief in it.

      Ed Chapman

      1. Hello Ed, I am very weary of people using Paul all the time to promote ideas and theologies. Peter warned believers to be cautious of that (2 Peter 3: 15-16) Every a major sect of ‘Christianity’ has probably used Paul at one point or another to advance their positions. So I don’t want to go heavy into this topic for the simple reason it is not directly linked to the topic of this article and ‘I confess’ I am not particularly interested in revising any orthodox position. I believe that ‘Original Sin’ is an orthodox position and is the state of sin in which humanity has existed since the fall of man, Any arguments relating to Genesis that are prior to the fall are both unfounded and not authentic to the discussion. ‘Original Sin’ relates to the condition of man after the fall not prior to it.

        In the English version the first direct use of the word “sin” is in Genesis 4: 7, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”

        Notice that sin already existed as the condition prior to the ability to do well. In other words when he says that if Cain did not do well, sin remains at the door. It implies that an animal proper to be offered as an atonement for sin is now couching at the door of the fold. This implies that the most characteristic feature of sin is that it is directed against God, This is also affirmed in Psalm 51: 4.

        According to the law of first mention, Genesis 4: 7 may well be that direct reference.

        When 1 John 3: 4 says “sin is the transgression of the law” we must note that the law is the perfection of God, so since “all” have sinned (Romans 3: 23) refers to “all” that is every man, woman and child, there must be a reason for the transgression in the first place. Thus, the problem must be the nature of man after the fall. When Paul says that he would not have known sin but by the law, he is referring to his awareness of sin, which the law presents. He was saying that he would not have known what sin was if the law had not revealed it. He himself states in that verse that the law itself was not sin, but the transgression of it must be sin, which begs the question, where does transgression come from if not from the fallen nature. Jeremiah 13: 23 appears to equate sin with the nature of the beast rather than just the doing of it.

      2. Simon Peter,

        You had said:
        “I am very weary of people using Paul all the time to promote ideas and theologies.”

        My response:

        YIKES, really? Since Paul is the Apostle to the GENTILES and Peter is the Apostle to the Jews, I’d think that using Paul to promote ideas and theologies would be MORE THAN WELCOMED.

        But from what I have learned from Paul is that sin has ALWAYS EXISTED, even before the fall.

        The question is, HOW IS SIN “IMPUTED”.

        My conclusion is that sin is NOT IMPUTED until you first KNOW of the sin, and that is my point. Ignorance is bliss.

        My position is to DITCH the orthodox way of thinking, and start from scratch, beginning again at the drawing board. When you do that, you will see that YOUR CONCLUSIONS will definitely be different from orthodox.

        And, you will finally see that your positions actually are in agreement with others that also have ditched the orthodox way of thinking.

        And this is where we have had our problems with such people as John Calvin, when anyone disagreed with him about HIS INTERPRETATIONS, so they did NOT have freedom of thought regarding a matter. Same with the Catholics in general, too.

        Ed Chapman

      3. chapmaned24 writes, “My conclusion is that sin is NOT IMPUTED until you first KNOW of the sin, and that is my point. Ignorance is bliss. ”

        This seems to be what Paul says in Romans 5. “For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” However, Paul then says, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses,,,,” Why did death reign if sin was not imputed? Adam’s sin had consequences. People were still born with a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin, so no one goes to heaven just because they had not sinned – they are still unrighteous and no unrighteous person can enter heaven. As Jesus declared to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

      4. rhutchin,

        Just by you quoting Romans 5:13, that is a WONDERFUL start to the understanding of it all. Now couple that with Romans chapter 7.

        But then you SKEW, regarding the REST of Romans 5. I keep telling you that the only thing that we INHERITED was NATURAL DEATH OF THE BODY, because Adam never ate of the TREE OF LIFE, hence, DEATH REIGNED.

        You seem to think that Romans 5 is discussing SPIRITUAL death. NO NO NO.

        Adam’s sin did have consequences, BUT THAT’S ANOTHER TOPIC ALTOGETHER. A different topic.

        Adam’s sin, by way of KNOWLEDGE, the consequences was SPIRITUAL DEATH, and 99 per cent of Christendom defines that as…

        Separation from God. Right?

        So, SEPARATION FROM GOD, ADAM WAS SEPARATED FROM GOD. What brought GOD BACK INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH ADAM?

        A SACRIFICE. SKINS TO COVER THEIR NAKEDNESS, BLOOD TO COVER THEIR SIN.

        That’s Christianity 101, buddy.

        Ed Chapman

      5. chapmaned24 writes, “You seem to think that Romans 5 is discussing SPIRITUAL death.”

        When Romans 5 begins, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,..in due time Christ died for the ungodly…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” I think it easy to conclude that Paul is speaking of salvation.

      6. rhutchin,

        You have to keep in mind that the conversation that Paul was having was ONCE CONTINUOUS thought pattern that continued from Chapter 4, chapter 3, etc.

        The topic…RIGHTEOUSNESS, and how it is OBTAINED. Abraham was imputed RIGHTEOUSNESS without the law (SIN EXISTED PRIOR TO THE LAW, BUT SIN NOT IMPUTED). The Jews, or Israel as you say, were given the law by God thru Moses, and God told them to OBEY, knowing full and well that they can’t, and THAT is the righteousness that God told them to achieve, yet we have people today that bad mouth the Jews for NOT getting it by faith like Abraham did? They couldn’t, because Abraham didn’t have the law, and they did.

        Before the law sin was in the world, but SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHERE THERE IS NO LAW.

        That’s in Romans 4. But like you said, take that to a courtroom and see what the judge states about that.

        Ed Chapman.

      7. rhutchin,

        How much do you REALLY know what sin is?

        1 John 3:4 states, explicitely that sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20 states that the law is the KNOWLEDGE of sin.

        Let me break it down like this:

        1 John 3:4
        sin is the transgression of the law.

        Romans 3:20
        the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Romans 5:13
        For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

        Romans 4:15
        where no law is, there is no transgression.

        NOTE THE ABOUT IN ROMANS 4:15? Note the below in Romans 4:8? Romans 4 is about Abraham!

        Romans 4:8
        Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

        Romans 6:7
        For he that is dead is freed from sin.

        Romans 6:11
        Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead

        Romans 7:4
        ye also are become dead to the law

        Galatians 2:19
        For I through the law am dead to the law,

        Romans 7:8
        For without the law sin was dead.

        Galatians 2:21
        if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

        Romans 3:21
        But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested

        Romans 4:5
        faith is counted for righteousness.

        Romans 4:13
        not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

        Romans 4:16
        Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace

        Galatians 3:12
        the law is not of faith

        Galatians 3:21
        if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

      8. Simon Peter,

        You acknowledge 1 John 3:4, in that sin is the transgression of THE LAW [of Moses].

        I’ve asked this question before, without a response:

        Did Abraham sleep with his sister? Was it a sin?

        Genesis 20:12
        And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

        Leviticus 18:9
        The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

        Leviticus 18:11
        The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

        Leviticus 20:17
        And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

        Deuteronomy 27:22
        Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

        —————————–

        And yet, God never informed Abraham of this grievous sin, but blessed brother and sister a promised son.

        Abraham had NO KNOWLEDGE of THE LAW, no knowledge that this was a sin, and God never informed him, either.

        So, even tho Abraham sinned (FOR ALL HAVE SINNED), THAT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED TO HIM, FOR HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF IT, and the title of that tree in the garden included the word “knowledge”.

        NOW take it back to Romans 7. Then look at:

        Deuteronomy 1:39
        Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

        WHEN DO PEOPLE IN THOSE DAYS GET KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL?

        WHY DIDN’T ABRAHAM HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE? ESPECIALLY ABOUT HIS SISTER? You would have thought that God would have at least mentioned it to him in passing, right?

        Ed Chapman

      9. chapman24ed to sps writes, “I’ve asked this question before, without a response:
        Did Abraham sleep with his sister? Was it a sin?
        Genesis 20:12
        And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.”

        Sleeping with his sister was not a sin for Abraham. That activity did not become a sin until the time of Moses.

      10. rhutchin,

        You had said:
        “Sleeping with his sister was not a sin for Abraham. That activity did not become a sin until the time of Moses.”

        Ohhhhhh. So, God INVENTS sin at his leisure? Maybe tomorrow sleeping with your wife will be a sin? I guess we have to wait Jesus makes ANOTHER REVISION?

        You are funny!

        My conclusion is, is that sleeping with your sister has ALWAYS been a sin, it’s just that God did not REVEAL that as a sin until the Law of Moses.

        Based on Leviticus 20:17, “it is a wicked thing”.

        So, it wasn’t wicked in the days of Abraham, but later it was? Hmmmm. I’d say that it was ALWAYS wicked, but IGNORANCE keeps people INNOCENT.

        Ed Chapman

      11. chapmaned24 writes, “Ohhhhhh. So, God INVENTS sin at his leisure?”

        Yep. Prior to God telling Adam, “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,” Adam could have eaten all the fruit he wanted from that tree without penalty. When Cain murdered his brother, his punishment was, ““So now you are cursed from the earth…When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” Only later was the death penalty imposed for murder.

        You say, “My conclusion is, is that sleeping with your sister has ALWAYS been a sin, it’s just that God did not REVEAL that as a sin until the Law of Moses.” That is your opinion (your eisegesis) and you are entitled to it. No one else is required to agree with you until you get the Scriptures to confirm your opinion.

        Then, “So, it wasn’t wicked in the days of Abraham, but later it was?”

        That is what the Scriptures tell us. Perhaps, God, knowing how mutations were beginning to build up in the DNA, determined that those mutations should be slowed down by limiting intercourse within the family. We don’t know why God only made it a sin beginning with Moses because He doesn’t tell us.

      12. rhutchin,

        My problem with your explanation is that you think that the ONLY SIN that Adam and Eve did was to EAT of a tree that God told them not to eat from, and you neglect to tell us ABOUT that tree as well, and you COMPLETELY ignore the OTHER tree, and what it’s intent was all about.

        You leave out a TON of information.

        Regarding Abraham, YES it was wicked when Abraham did it, too. My point is that Abraham had NO KNOWLEDGE of it, and BECAUSE HE DIDN’T KNOW, it’s the same exact thing as saying INNOCENT, sin NOT imputed, NOTHING TO ANSWER FOR.

        You can’t be convicted of a crime that you have NO KNOWLEDGE OF. Sin is NOT IMPUTED, which is a MAJOR reason that I do NOT believe that ANYONE is born spiritually dead, because as I have shown, YOU HAVE TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL BEFORE ANY SIN IS IMPUTED TO YOU.

        Abraham had NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, for it is BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN (Romans 3:20).

        God did not sit Abraham…or Adam down PRIOR TO THE FALL, to GIVE ‘EM THE LAW. THEY got knowledge of good and evil SUPERNATURALLY by eating from the tree of….WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT TREE AGAIN?

        I conclude that eating of that tree was NOT THE ONLY SIN COMMITTED. But, what say you? Can you LIST THE SINS, (MORE THAN ONE)?

        Ed Chapman

      13. chapmaned24 writes, “My problem with your explanation is that you think that the ONLY SIN that Adam and Eve did was to EAT of a tree that God told them not to eat from, ”

        Eating the fruit was not the sin or only sin. The desire to eat was the sin as James explains, “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” We read of Eve’s desires, “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise,…”

        Then, “You can’t be convicted of a crime that you have NO KNOWLEDGE OF.”

        LOL!!! Use that defense next time you go to court. Once a law is enacted, the citizen is presumed to know it. God can certainly grant mercy to those who do not know the law but otherwise, “when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…”

      14. rhutich,

        To the Jews, it is a SIN to eat SHELLFISH, and BACON.

        Jews don’t sell Ham Sandwiches in Jewish Deli’s.

        But to jtleosala, we, or at least I, KNOW that jt eats shellfish, as most Filipino’s do in the Philippines. They roast a pig for various celebrations, too.

        Do you think that YOUR use of Romans 2:14-16, the law written on our hearts, will CONVICT the Filipino’s for eating shellfish, or me eating bacon with my eggs?

        613 commandments in the law of Moses, and if you break just ONE, you have broken them ALL, and that includes the food violations.

        Ed Chapman

      15. rhutchin states,
        “SO?”

        Well, you referenced Romans 2:14-16, right? Are YOU convicted in your heart for eating bacon, knowing full and well that in the law it is a sin? For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

        Why do you eat bacon if it’s a sin?

        Your response will probably be, IT’S NO LONGER A SIN, right?

        Wrong. It’s ALWAYS A SIN. We are not under the law. Based on 1 Cor chapter 8, I believe, we can even BE IN PAGAN TEMPLES, AND EAT MEAT OFFERED TO IDOLS, which is also a sin, but WHY can we eat in pagan temple the meat offered to idols? Because it’s no longer a sin? No, because that idol is NOT real, it doesn’t exist, therefore, the meat is just meat having no significance.

        Ed Chapman

      16. Then, “Why do you eat bacon if it’s a sin?…WHY can we eat in pagan temple the [bacon] offered to idols? Because it’s no longer a sin? No, because that idol is NOT real, it doesn’t exist, therefore, the [bacon] is just meat having no significance.”

        I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

      17. rhutchin asks:

        I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

        I’m trying to say…I am HUNGRY.

        Seriously, what I am saying is that sleeping with your sister has ALWAYS BEEN A SIN, but Abraham didn’t KNOW IT to be a sin in the first place, and God never informed him that it was a sin.

        Eating bacon is STILL A SIN, but we do it anyway. WHY? Did God not make it a sin anymore? What you had told me was that sleeping with your sister didn’t USED TO BE a sin, but later God added it. But then YOU discovered Romans 5:13, which kinda changes your perception a bit.

        Sin is IMPUTED to a person that KNOWS what sin is, but Paul states that we are DEAD to sin, SIN IS DEAD, and we are alive.

        Remember Joe Biden saying that Bin Laden is Dead, GM is Alive? If we are dead to sin, then we are alive to Christ.

        To summarize, we are FREE FROM THE LAW, and we can eat what is sinful under the law of Moses.

        Jews are STILL under the law of Moses, for that is an everlasting covenant (the law of Moses). The law of Christ supersedes the law of Moses, but it doesn’t replace it.

        We, we have a conscience however about sleeping with our sisters. So to us, that is a sin, whether we see it in the law or not. So we would NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

        But for those who have no conscience about it, such as Abraham…it’s NOT A SIN TO HIM, and God didn’t impute the sin to Abraham, even tho it is classified as a sin.

        THESE are the things to SERIOUSLY ponder about THE LAW and those NOT UNDER THE LAW, and that one word called, “RIGHTEOUSNESS”, and another one word called “SIN”, coupled with the procedure of WHEN SIN IS IMPUTED (CHARGED AGAINST) to you, and when it isn’t.

        Now, what I said above is NOT MUMBO JUMBO. It’s DEEP THINKING that needs to be done by Calvinists such as yourself, or anyone for that matter.

        Ed Chapman

      18. rhutchin
        each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

        br.d
        Of course that statement in INCOHERENT in Theological Determinism – in which there is no such thing as “his own desires”.

        The creature has no say in the matter of what desires Calvin’s god will activate within his brain

        Calvin’s god is the ONLY one who determines every desire – the creature is NOT PERMITTED to determine anything.

        The creature is simply a canvas upon which Calvin’s god paints desires.
        He has no more say in the matter of them than he has about the day he is born.

      19. br.d writes, “Of course that statement in INCOHERENT in Theological Determinism – in which there is no such thing as “his own desires”.”

        Even under Theological Determinism, a person’s desires arise from their nature and those desires are unique from the desires of all other people.

        Then, ‘The creature has no say in the matter of what desires Calvin’s god will activate within his brain”

        Under Calvinism, a person’s desires result from a person’s knowledge, experience, understanding, etc. God does not need to activate desires within a person. He created the person with the ability to desire. Adam desired to eat the fruit without God having to activate that desire in his mind.

        Then, “Calvin’s god is the ONLY one who determines every desire – the creature is NOT PERMITTED to determine anything.”

        The creature is able to desire many things. God determines whether those desires will manifest as action.

      20. br.d
        Of course that statement in INCOHERENT in Theological Determinism – in which there is no such thing as “his own desires”.”

        rhutchin
        Even under Theological Determinism, a person’s desires arise from their nature and those desires are unique from the desires of all other people.

        br.d
        Here we go again with the infinite regress
        An attribute of the creature caused an attribute of the creature – caused an attribute of the creature – and on in to infinite regress.
        *AS-IF* that is RATIONAL!

        Trying to get a Calvinist to follow his causal chain back to its SOURCE/ORIGIN – the closer you get the more terrified he gets. :-]

        It follows the creature has no say in the matter of what desires Calvin’s god will activate within his brain

        rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, a person’s desires result from a person’s knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.

        br.d
        Same evasion as we see above.
        The creature has NO SAY in any matter *ANY ATTRIBUTE* Calvin’s god activates in his person.
        That fact that Calvin’s god activates chained events within a person – is nothing more than a red-herring.

        Dr. Neal Judisch – International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion
        -quote
        “Whether or not the control Calvinists imagine exerted by Calvin’s god is immediate or mediated through secondary causes, is ultimately an irrelevant red-herring.

        For the ethical problem remains: The CONTROL IS THERE. And that CONTROL IS INTENTIONAL, SUPER-OPERATIVE, AND UNREMITTING.

        In the Calvinist scheme it isn’t within one’s power to alter, affect, or to “do otherwise” than what one is being controlled to think, choose, be or do.” end quote

        Calvin’s god is the ONLY one who determines every attribute – the creature is NOT PERMITTED to determine anything

        rhutchin
        The creature is able to desire many things.

        br.d
        But only Calvin’s god can determine what any attribute will be – and the creature has no say in that matter.

        rhutchin
        God determines whether those desires will manifest as action.

        br.d
        TRUE – Calvin’s god determines *ALL* and leaves ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        Therefore in Theological Determinism – there is no such thing as the creature having “his own desires” in the sense that the creature has any say or control over any attribute.
        Its just that simple

      21. rhutchin,

        You had said:
        “The creature is able to desire many things. God determines whether those desires will manifest as action.”

        I desire a nice big fat juicy steak, baked potato, and tossed salad, blue cheese dressing.

        Now I gotta wait and see if God will manifest dinner?

        While I wait, IN FAITH, I’ll go get some BBQ briquets, and start the BBQ.

        Ed Chapman

    2. sps writes, “The general dispensation of the Gospel is just to bring in the full number of the elect, while the none-elect are offered the Gospel, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, yet in reality, He was never truly available to the none elect in the first place. What a load of baloney. It’s nonsense. Total nonsense.”

      The non-elect are still the non-elect. No matter how you “offer” them the gospel, they reject it. Their condition never changes. If it did, they would be the elect.

      Then, “It’s like a dr diagnosing a man with a sickness, and offering the diseased man a cure, knowing the man would refuse it because in reality the cure was never truly available for him in the first place. ”

      Good example except not “never truly available” but “never truly acceptable.” Per Paul, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…”

      As Paul also said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” then, “God who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

      1. rhuthcin
        The non-elect are still the non-elect. No matter how you “offer” them the gospel, they reject it. Their condition never changes. If it did, they would be the elect.

        br.d
        Because Calvin’s god DESIGNS them specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure. Does NOT PERMIT them to be/do otherwise – does not make any alternative available to them.

        simon peter
        It’s like a dr diagnosing a man with a sickness, and offering the diseased man a cure, knowing the man would refuse it because in reality the cure was never truly available for him in the first place. ”

        rhuthcin
        not “never truly available” but “never truly acceptable.” …etc

        br.d
        FALSE
        Since Calvin’s god determines every neurological impulse – and not the person – Calvin’s god does NOT make available salvation to the non-elect – and DOES NOT PERMIT or make available any choice for salvation to the non-elect

  9. RHUTCHIN,

    Rhutchin; “The non-elect are still the non-elect. No matter how you “offer” them the gospel, they reject it. Their condition never changes. If it did, they would be the elect.”

    SPS: The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1649 and 1690, chap. X. 1V says this;

    “Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion is very pernicious, and to be detested.”

    Note: This passage begins with the conclusion or assumption that they (the so-called none-elect) were not “elected” to begin with. Yet, they may be called, yet they never truly come to Christ and thus CANNOT be saved. But the first cause of that is that they were not elect to begin with, yet they are “called”.

    This does not mean that they are not elect because they do not believe, but that they do not believe because they are not elect. So who did not elect them and why? The answer is; “God” did not elect them, therefore made them unable to ever be saved because they CANNOT ever ever, in a million years ever truly come to Christ. So again, it makes “God” the one who offers a cure, but in reality, “God” never granted or permitted them to embrace the cure in the first place.

    5 Point Calvinism is like unto a man who offers bread to a homeless man, who is laying face down, only when he turns to look, the bread bearer finds that the homeless man has no mouth. So he leaves him that way. Calvinism offers a man bread only to give him a stone.

    The true Gospel however would show Christ as the One who offers bread and if the man has no mouth, Christ heals him and gives him a new mouth and feeds him. Thus enabling him to receive.

    5 Point Calvinism accepts a virus, but deactivates the antivirus. It presents and reveals a disease, but only truly offers a cure to those who believe, yet makes “God” out to be the first cause or determiner of their unbelief. It presents “God” as the one who judges sinners and unbelievers for being sinners who could never truly come to Christ in the first place. All because they were never foreknown, or predestined. Thus, the reason they do not believe or truly embrace the Gospel is because they are none elect.

    Show me a single verse in the Bible where the term “none elect” is ever used?

    1. Simon Peter,

      You had said:
      “The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1649 and 1690, chap. X. 1V says this; …”

      My question would be:
      What do YOU say?

      Let’s dismiss what dead people already decided FOR you, and let’s move on to what YOU conclude on your own study.

      Isaiah 45:4
      For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect

      Now, you say that you don’t believe in replacement theology, right?

      And we know that Israel has rejected Jesus, right?

      My conclusions are based on Isaiah 45:4, in that there is NO GENTILE at any time that is considered the elect, whether that gentile is saved or not.

      In short:

      Gentiles (all Gentiles) are NOT the elect at all.

      Christian Gentiles are NOT the elect. Non-Christian Gentiles are NOT the elect.

      Christian Jews are the elect. Non-Christian Jews are the elect who WILL BE SAVED by MERCY (no different than the mercy that Paul got…ignorance in unbelief due to blindness that God put on them…story of Joseph and his brothers).

      So, how can any Gentile be elect in light of those circumstances? They can’t be at all. Another major distinction between Jew and Gentile. The common denominator is that Jesus saves, for there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Jesus will save the blind Jews, for it is NOT THEIR FAULT that they are blind. Yet, I see that many say, such as TS00, that they are blind because they stumbled, when I see that it is the exact opposite, that they stumbled because they are blind.

      How is Paul, who got mercy DUE TO IGNORANCE IN UNBELIEF any different than your average Jew?

      1 Timothy 1:12-13 (KJV)

      12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

      13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious:

      *****but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.*****

      NOTE: SEE THE WORD “MERCY” AND “IGNORANTLY” AND “UNBELIEF”?

      Romans 11:32
      For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

      NOTE: SEE THE WORD “MERCY” AND “UNBELIEF”?

      Side bar NOTE: The words “them all”, in the above is, in context of the Jews, not the Gentiles.

      So, why break out the Westminster Confession? What about YOUR OWN confession? Isn’t the Bible SUFFICIENT? Do we not hear SOLA BLAH BLAH all the time, yet we have SOLA AND AND AND? Just curious.

      Ed Chapman

      1. Ed Chpman wrote;

        “You had said:
        “The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1649 and 1690, chap. X. 1V says this; …”

        My question would be:
        What do YOU say?

        Let’s dismiss what dead people already decided FOR you, and let’s move on to what YOU conclude on your own study.”

        SPS: I think you have shown something very peculiar here: For a start off, you have shown that you do not read replies properly and in context. I have not quoted the Westminster Confession of Faith as though I agree with it, but that I disagree with it. I am showing one of the original sources of the doctrine of Limited Atonement and the idea of a none elect and am defusing it. No dead person has decided anything for me. These conclusions are drawn up from my studies of Scripture after 32 years of being a Christian.

        However, If you have the desire to over look history and start again, then such an idea will not get you far with me. Those methods are how cults develop and a massive amount of them can be found on American soil.

        I am an orthodox Christian. I believe the Bible as the rule of faith and practice. I affirm the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed and the 39 Articles of the Church of England. I came to these conclusions before I embraced the creeds. There I stand.

    2. sps writes, “But the first cause of that is that they were not elect to begin with, yet they are “called”. ”

      This the call of the preaching of the gospel – Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The “call” of the preaching of the gospel is different from that call of God identified in Romans 8, “Moreover whom God predestined, these God also called; whom God called, these God also justified; and whom God justified, these God also glorified.”

      Then, “The true Gospel however would show Christ as the One who offers bread and if the man has no mouth, Christ heals him and gives him a new mouth and feeds him. Thus enabling him to receive.”

      This is what Calvinism says and for bread, we can substitute faith. The gospel is proclaimed to all, and God gives faith to receive the gospel to His elect. That explains why some accept the gospel and others do not.

      Then, “yet makes “God” out to be the first cause or determiner of their unbelief.”

      People are born in unbelief. God is the determiner of this condition by enforcing the judgment on Adam’s sin. So, people are born with a corrupt nature and without faith. It is only as a person comes to hear the gospel that they can receive faith and thereby believe.

      In Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,…For we are His workmanship,…” Then in Philippians, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” So, Jesus can say in John 6, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”

      Then, “Show me a single verse in the Bible where the term “none elect” is ever used?”

      The “none elect” are those who are perishing – “the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (the none elect),” Immediately Paul offers a contrast, “to us who are being saved (the elect) it is the power of God.”

      1. rhutichin,

        NO ONE is born in unbelief. In order to fall into the category of “unbelief”, one has to be PRESENTED the facts FIRST, and then they make a FREE WILL decision as to if they believe the information given.

        If they THEN do not believe the information given, THEN THEY ARE IN UNBELIEF.

        Your stomach is NOT FULL until after you put food in your mouth, not before.

        You can’t be an UNBELIEVER until you are given information about a matter first.

        Ed Chapman

    3. I am afraid to enter this discussion but I must tell you all what has happened to me. As a child I was raised Catholic and then turned to become a Non Denominational Christian going to prayer meetings where people spoke in tongues and regularly came away healed, saved and delivered. I was married, had three beautiful children a wonderful husband and business. 15 years ago I was diagnosed with a birth defect and started taking opiods where I became addicted and was spending in excess of 5,000.00 a month on these drugs. I stole, lied, cheated, committed adultery, neglected and abandoned my children and threw my then husband and children on the street with literally the clothes on their backs. I spent another year in the house alone basically living on opiods and sleeping pills and alcohol. I fired everyone at the office, went into the mental ward twice after having (what I was told by a psychiatrist) a bipolar episode. I was 50 years old and never had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder before. My soon to be ex-husband came to pick me up from a hotel I was living at because I called him and told him I needed his help. He took me home and then went on my cell phone to find out that I had been having an affair on him. He brought the evidence before me and after seeing what he was reading I denied that I had the affair. I went so far as to say “MAY GOD STRIKE ME DEAD IF I AM LYING” and I was lying. The second those words came out of my mouth I heard a pop inside my body and God left me (he struck me Dead) I have no feeling whatsoever. I don’t have any emotion or feeling except the pain I feel when standing or walking.

      How am I dead if I am writing this – you would naturally ask? I have asked that too but I have no answer except that I am reaping what I have sown in this life and when God is finished with me I will burn in the lake of fire for eternity. Every day feels like a 1,000 years and you have no idea how long a second is. There is no beginning and no end meaning that yesterday does not feel any different than today and 52 years ago feels no different than right now (There is no time in eternity) When this happened to me I immediately stopped using all drugs, alcohol, and sleeping pills started going to church, got prayed over, received a spiritual warfare bible and picked up my Prayers that Avail Much book and read and spoke the words daily out of that book.

      Fast forward two years, and I am divorced, lost custody of the children and have no visitation, have lost every material possession I owned, my home, furniture, business, husband, children, health and I am left with literally the clothes on my back. Everything is gone even my shoes. I was once very wealthy and had a large mansion with furniture stored that could fill three houses and a car to drive for every day of the week. I begged for an answer from God and was led to Romans 9. I had never heard of Calvinism before and certainly would never believe a loving God would not choose some people but that is now what I believe. The bible says that God created evil just as He creates good. It also says He will bless who He blesses and curses who He curses. I am one who is cursed by God. When I spoke those words “MAY GOD STRIKE ME DEAD IF I AM LYING” I swore an oath that I was not lying when I was. I have been studying the bible for over two years and have been reading about Calvinism because I don’t know what else to believe. I have been to pastors, teachers, deliverance ministers, psychiatrists and counselors who have all told me this could not happen from a God who sent His son to die on the cross for me so that all would be saved – but I am here to say that He only saves His elect (those He predestined before the foundation of earth). This is not something I want to believe, but it is true. I am not saying I don’t deserve eternal damnation because I know I do. I have committed the worst sins imaginable. I have murdered two babies (abortion), lied, stole, committed adultery, cheated, and brought the Living God’s wrath upon my head. The result of my actions are that my three children hate me and have been left abandoned by a verbally abusive, drug addicted, lying, cheating mother. They all are suffering from eating disorders and anxiety. It says in the Bible that everyone who is in hell knows why they are there and that is true. I know why I am going to Hell and I deserve to go there for what I have done but that does not mean I want to go there. I want the sacrifice of the cross to atone for my sins. I want Jesus’s death to satisfy the wrath of God but it only does so for Gods’ elect. I had always believed Jesus died for my sins and spoke Gods word over my children when they were young. I believed all my riches were gifts from God. I was wrong. I am a vessel of wrath.

      Romans 9 starting with verse 10 says that God hated Esau before he was born, before he did anything wrong. Why? Why would a loving God hate something before it is born I asked? Because God knew what Esau would do before the foundation of the world and God is the potter and we are the clay. He chose Jacob not Esau and the word for Esau is definitely HATE. Paul says God made vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and this I now know to be true because I am a vessel of wrath prepared for destruction that God is waiting patiently to take His wrath out upon me. I have asked God why and this same verse says who am I to question God. The potter can make whatever He wants from the clay. I am just a piece of clay that God is going to throw in the lake of fire.

      I pray and ask God every second of the day to please remove this curse from me and let me repent from all the evil I have done. I still have time to change and be a vessel of mercy and grace, I am not in the grave yet. God has left me and has not returned. When I continue to ask Him why, I am reminded that I threw God out of my house just like I did my ex husband and children and they do not want to return to me either. I did not know how evil my heart was until the blinders were taken from my eyes when I spoke those horrible words. Then I knew everything I had done even as a child that was against God’s commandments.

      I hope by reading this that you all know just how much grace God has extended you just to be called one of His elect. He chooses you, you do not chose HIm. That is in the scriptures too. You can’t choose Him unless He draws you. Jesus says that He takes all that the Father gives to Him indicating that some people the Father does not give to Him. These words are in the Bible for a reason. They are true. I keep reminding God that Jesus died for the whole world not just a few but then am taken to the scripture that many are called but few are chosen and there is that word again. CHOSEN.

      Hell is for eternity and it is unbearable even for a moment to be without God. I have been living since June of 2017 without Him and it is the most unbearable pain imaginable but I am sure it can’t compare with burning in the lake of fire so I continue living this miserable existence hoping that maybe my interpretation is wrong and that God will forgive me for what I have done. I know this sounds completely unbelievable to all of you except for the people who believe in Calvinism but it is true and I would never have believed it either if had not have happened to me. I know the difference between right and wrong and the choices I made were my own. God did not force me to make those choices but now that I want repentance, redemption and a chance to change and be a Godly woman and mother, it is too late for me. God does not change His mind.

      Either God is omniscient of He isn’t. I can assure you He is.

      1. Lisa
        I have been studying the bible for over two years and have been reading about Calvinism because I don’t know what else to believe.

        br.d
        Lisa I’m very sorry to hear about your current distress – and will be praying for you that the Lord will bring you out of it.
        His all powerful love can do that

        In the mean time I strongly suggest you stop reading anything from Calvinist authors.
        There is an almost sick element of “Good-Evil” Dualism found in Calvinist doctrine which I think is influencing your thinking.
        Cleansing yourself of that influence will be a step towards walking with the Lord out into the light.
        Please consider this!

      2. Lisa, my heart goes out to you. Satan comes to steal kill and destroy and you have experienced some of that already. Now Satan is trying to steal from you once again the ultimate opportunity to experience Forgiveness, Grace and Total acceptance by your creator God. GOD really does LOVE you with an authentic Love. Jn 3:16 For God so loved the World that He gave His only son (for you). Satan wants you to believe this love is for others BUT not for me. That is a trick and lie of the evil one. Do NOT believe him.
        What does God say to you? Just let some of the scriptures chase out the lies in your head, read them slowly and over and over again until the darkness is chased away by light.

        Mat 11:28  Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
        Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 
        Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

        2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

        Ezek. 33:11 As surely as I live declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. niv

        Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL. (that includes you Lisa)

        I Jn. 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (The whole world includes you Lisa)

        Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for ALL. (For ALL includes you Lisa)

        Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. ( Lisa Do you thirst? Then this includes you)

        Jn.3:16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
        17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
        ( Lisa you are part of the world for whom Christ died…Jesus did not come to condemn but that YOU might be saved…Believe it Lisa)

        Lisa don’t let Satan steal from you anymore…he has stolen enough…he wants to steal the greatest gift by blinding your eyes to the truth that GOD genuinely loves you and Jesus already paid the greatest price for you. God is genuinely not willing that any should perish… Lisa included.
        Joh 10:10  The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

        Lisa if you are asking the same question as the Jailer then do as the Jailer did.
        Act 16:30  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 
        Act 16:31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 

        Lisa, I am praying that the light of the truth of God’s word would take away the darkness that has come over you…Please read and reread these verses and let God’s love overwhelm you. God is Glorified in saving wretches like you and I. He is pleased to save us wretches who so desperately need His Grace and Mercy.

      3. Amen! Lisa, I would encourage you to know that many, many people who once thought the gotcha verses of Calvinism were unchallengable evidence of God’s predetermining choice of who shall be saved have come to see that there are other, better interpretations. Indeed, were there not, the majority of christians would not have continued to reject Calvinism all these years.

        I have what is good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there is nothing you can do to put you out of reach of God’s love and forgiveness. The bad news is that puts the onus on you. Not to earn or deserve his love and mercy, but to believe in it and act accordingly. Which means seeking forgiveness where you have sinned against others, and walking in ways that are healthy for you and those around you.

        Please seek counsel and help from a non-Calvinist pastor, perhaps Anglican, who understands the gospel and the needs of sinful men. In my city the Anglican/Episcopal church ministers to the most needy in the community, and most have a non-Calvinist view of God’s grace. I would make sure, because the destructive lies of Calvinism are the last thing you need to hear right now.

        I will be praying for you. Please let us know what else we can do.

      4. Augmenting what GraceAdict said, “Just let some of the scriptures chase out the lies in your head, read them slowly and over and over again until the darkness is chased away by light.”

        Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
        1 Cor 1 ..the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,…
        Joh 6 44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;
        Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
        Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
        Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
        Phil 1 to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
        Joh 6 no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.
        Joh 6 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,

        2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.
        Matt 7 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

        Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL.
        Joh 10 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
        Joh 10 you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
        oh 10 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

        I Joh. 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
        Rom 1 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
        Rom 3 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
        Eph 3 God made known to me the mystery…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:…that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
        Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for ALL.

        Joh.3:16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
        17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
        Joh 3 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
        Joh 5 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
        2 Cor 4 if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

      5. Lisa you are going to have to ignore the lies of Satan that are even preached here…. Satan is the one that wants people in hell NOT God… Satan uses even religious people to slam the door shut in our faces and have us believe there is no hope for us. For some people this is just a game because their understanding of God is soo twisted. They think God is playing a game where He wants people in hell. In this day and age there are many people just like those Jesus faced in Matt 23.

        Mat 23:13  “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 
        Mat 23:15  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 

        To them it is game and because they think they are the “Special ones” and you are not, they have no problem slandering God’s genuine gift extended towards you. Lisa Please do not listen to those lies, they are evil, from the pit of hell. Inspired by Satan himself.

        Luk 11:52  Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” 

        Read a book like “God’s Provision for ALL” or Charlie Bing’s book “Simply by Grace” Don’t listen to anyone who is shutting the kingdom of heaven in your face…that is a sure sign they are not of God.

        Jesus himself said He and the Father had genuinely sent prophets to turn Israel but the “Religious elite” rejected God’s genuine invitation and because the Elite rejected it others followed them in their rebellion. There may be smart people on this site but some do NOT have the heart of our Loving Creator God they turn folks away from the gospel by their words.
        Lisa, Jesus genuinely desires an intimate relationship with you. Much like He genuinely desired Israel to believe on him…

        Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 

        Lisa don’t listen to that same group who stone the prophets…Listen to Jesus invitation. It is genuine…believe it.

      6. GraceAdict to Lisa writes, “Don’t listen to anyone who is shutting the kingdom of heaven in your face…that is a sure sign they are not of God. ”

        I recommend not listening to anyone who gets upset with people who present additional Scriptures for you to consider. Let the Scriptures (therefore, God) reveal truth to you.

      7. rhutchin,

        With all due respect to you, rhutchin, I think you may want to stay out of this with GraceAddict and Lisa. If our commandment is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, GA is doing it, and your advice is hindering that. It’s fine and dandy to listen to scriptures, but scripture tells us to GRIEVE WITH THOSE WHO ARE GRIEVING, etc. In other words, be a listening ear and SHUT UP. This is no time for rhutchin’s LECTURES.

        Just my advice.

        Ed

      8. Amen and amen. Talk about cruel and heartless . . . This is the exact reason this theology is so dangerous. Telling a deeply hurting person with no hope ‘Hey, you just might have been predestined for this’ is the most despicable, unChristlike thing I have ever seen. When the rubber hits the road, Calvinism is toxic and dangerous. Stay out of it, Rhutchin, and don’t make yourself responsible for bringing despair or worse upon a hurting, needy person. Calvinism is worse than useless; it is perverse, damnable lies.

      9. I agree, RH has put on display Calvinism worked out in real life. What you believe has a direct affect on what you will do. This is exactly the same type of treatment I saw Calvinist leaders practicing and this is the same thing I experienced from their theology…Calvinism does NOT reflect the God of the Bible.
        Why show God’s love towards the hurting, why evangelize if you are a Calvinist? just kick people when they are down, God wanted them kicked anyway. That is the Lord’s command is it not? Thank-you Calvinism.

      10. lchapmaned24 writes, “With all due respect to you, rhutchin, I think you may want to stay out of this with GraceAddict and Lisa.”

        Lisa is dealing with things that you don’t know about and perhaps doesn’t know herself. God knows what He is doing. Lisa has a fantastic testimony, I didn’t see Lisa saying that the gospel is foolishness. She seems to know more than GA who could learn from her.

  10. Dear Ed,

    You wrote;

    Ed Chapman: “My position is to DITCH the orthodox way of thinking, and start from scratch, beginning again at the drawing board. When you do that, you will see that YOUR CONCLUSIONS will definitely be different from orthodox.

    And, you will finally see that your positions actually are in agreement with others that also have ditched the orthodox way of thinking.”

    SPS: I’m not interested. Thanks.

    Ed Chapman: “And this is where we have had our problems with such people as John Calvin, when anyone disagreed with him about HIS INTERPRETATIONS, so they did NOT have freedom of thought regarding a matter. Same with the Catholics in general, too.”

    SPS: Anyone can present a massive amount of texts to enforce a view, but dealing with those texts and exploring them one by one, verse by verse would could take a long time.

    Your freedom of interpretation and thought regard this matter is entirely your right as a human being, as it is mine to entirely reject a revision of this matter.

    Let’s just agree to disagree on this.

    1. simon peter,

      Yesterday you had said:
      “SPS: Anyone can present a massive amount of texts to enforce a view, but dealing with those texts and exploring them one by one, verse by verse would could take a long time. ”

      My response:
      Yes, it does take a LONG TIME to explore the texts that I provided. It’s not an easy task.

      But let me indulge to say that there was a reason that I wanted to explore in the first place.

      I am an inquisitive kind of person when it comes to Christiandoms conclusions on things. I want to know WHY people believe what they do, because with all sorts of denominations out there, we see a HUGE difference on MAJOR topics between them. As you noted from your own web site, the Baptist need to be baptized again in the Baptist church kinda bothered you, as it would me, too.

      But I like to ask the WHY questions, and do the research.

      I had just got done studying the Jehovah’s Witnesses (did this for about 6 years), not to be one, mind you, but to find out what makes them tick. I now have NO PROBLEM regarding inviting them in my house to have a discussion. They think that they are proselytizing me, but I am in full mode debate with them without them realizing it.

      After them, I became intrigued with the study of the 7th Day Adventists, and wanted to find out WHY they insist on going to church on Saturday, condemning other Christians to hell for stepping one foot in church on a Sunday. Their reasoning is NOT THAT SIMPLE, and it takes a bit of time to explore that. Both the JW’s and the SDA believe in soul sleep. Both originated from the same Baptist church, then split from that Baptist church. They were known as MILLERITES.

      So this became INTERESTING to me.

      But I wanted to find out WHY the SDA were what we would call LEGALISTS.

      I found it. ONE WORD: Righteousness, and the two DIFFERENT means to get it.
      1. The Law of Moses-WORKS (earn/self righteousness)
      2. The Law of Christ-FAITH

      Then I started to be even more inquisitive, by wondering WHY the Jews had the law, and no one else did. Then if no one else did, what happens to them when they die? Then I discovered Romans 2:14-16 to answer that (a Paul doctrine).

      So then I became curious about not just the OBVIOUS distinctions between Jew/Gentile, I found other distinctions that a lot of Christendom dismisses, all because of a simple sentence that states FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JEW AND GENTILE, and I’m like, THAT SENTENCE DOES NOT SAY WHAT IS BEING INTERPRETED.

      Bottom line, this exploring took a few years.

      I have indeed concluded, from my study, that once saved always saved is indeed true, but I do not use the same reasoning as the Calvinists do. I have found that Original Sin is NOT TRUE, etc. I found that SOUL SLEEP is not true. I found that people who have no clue who Jesus or God is, is judged by their conscience. I found that we can go to church on Sunday, and the reason. I found so much stuff, and it is confirmed by many, so it’s not JUST MY OWN weird interpretations.

      The Catholic religion, and that of the REFORMERS, created an anti-semetic view of the Jews, and I couldn’t stand that at all. I learned of that in my study. Both Luther, and Calvin had DISDAIN for the Jews.

      Then I met my best friend, a Christian, who’s history is Judaism, a Jew who became a Christian. Isaiah 9:6 is what convinced him.

      He told me of when he actually spoke in tongues. He was by himself, and the language he spoke was FLOWING out of him, non-stop for about an hour, and he couldn’t stop it, and he was laughing cuz he thought it was cool.

      This Jew buddy of mine is a nobody, but knows many Hollywood types, producers, directors, actors, etc.

      So I started studying many things that are EXCLUSIVE for the Jews, that has nothing to do with Gentiles at all. I discovered a LOT OF STUFF, some of which I have mentioned to you, and those on this blog.

      But, ya’ll reject it. I find that fascinating, but it’s expected, given the history of Christendom badmouthing the Jews since it’s CATHOLIC roots. Christendom takes what is meant for the JEWS ONLY, and makes it their own, creating doctrines that were for the Jews only, hence, ELECT.

      My point, I stay away from CONFESSIONS, including the Apostles Creed. I remember reading Benjamin Franklin’s take on God, and he began, “THIS IS MY CREED…”.

      I’d rather hear YOUR creed, than that of the Apostles Creed, cuz I don’t remember reading their creed in the Bible. Besides, I do NOT believe in a holy catholic church, even if the c is not capitalized. And why must I confess that to begin with?

      Anyway, after studying those things, I moved on to the Herbert W Armstrong clan, then to the Iglesia ni Cristo, then I discovered Calvinism, about 10 years ago. Never heard of it before ten years ago, and I find that Calvinism is the MOST DANGEROUS of them all, which is really why I am here on this blog.

      Respectfully,

      Ed Chapman.

      1. Ed writes:
        “. . . I find that Calvinism is the MOST DANGEROUS of them all, which is really why I am here on this blog.”

        On this we can agree. There are a lot of things we can get wrong – and I personally believe none of us have it all right – that will have little significant impact upon our life. Believing the Calvinist assertion that God loves only some, and cruelly created masses of people deliberately for nothing but destruction cannot help but have an extremely negative effect upon your heart, mind and soul. In my experience, the more a person marinates in Calvinism, the colder and less compassionate they become.

      2. TS00,

        Exactly! I’m finding that the differences that you and I have are minor disagreements that have no bearing on anything, it’s just a matter of having fun at debate. But Calvinism…YIKES.

        The very first time that I had heard, from a friend, mind you, the term, “irresistible grace”, I knew something was off, based on my previous studies of the other cults, cuz they all have some kind of catch phrase exclusive to themselves.

        Then he started talking about “God’s in CONTROL”. I knew something was off about that statement, too. He was talking about the Calvinists Sovereign God. Little did I know at the time how major that was.

        Then he started talking about the word CHOSEN, and that’s when I lost it with him in ANGER.

        Then a couple years later, I discovered on Yahoo News about a church in Oregon of a pastor that was suing a former church member for 1/2 million dollars for negative Google reviews. I was able to contact that person, and she now has her own spiritual abuse blog, and lo and behold, the pastor is a CALVINIST, and 99 percent of the people that comment on her blog are FORMER CALVINISTS that have been abused, both spiritually, and physically, and sexually, all because of Calvinism.

        Now we are seeing it played out in the Southern Baptists who doesn’t mind having BOTH Calvinists and non-Calvinists in it’s same church’s TOGETHER co-existing. I’m like, WHAT? Who’s bright idea was that? Then we wonder why the Southern Baptists have problems.

        Oh, Matthew 18 is a MAJOR distortion for Reform folks, too, including the Calvinists. They think it’s about church discipline, but it’s NOT.

        When I see Matthew 18, I see a habitual sinner, that all he has to do is say, “My Bad”, and BOOM, forgiven. No discipline there.

        He’s kicked out if he denies it 3 times, but that’s not discipline, either. Discipline only applies to those you KEEP, not those you kick out.

        And I don’t see discipline for those you KEEP either. But I’m seeing that they have a major problem calling 911, thinking that they can handle FELONIES in-house, and that the Pastor/Elders have ALL THE AUTHORITY from heaven to decide, when what I read, that is the responsibility of the whole congregation, NOT TO BE DELEGATED to the Pastor/Elders.

        Then they tell the victim that they must quickly forgive, so, out of FEAR, they forgive, meaning that they didn’t really forgive in the first place, and Matthew 18 gives the victim OPTIONS, because the perp, if not forgiven by the victim, still has to answer to God for that sin, but if they forgive, it’s forgiven in heaven, too.

        So, major distortions of Matthew 18 is going on. And Calvinists take FULL ADVANTAGE of that!

        Ed Chapman

      3. It doesn’t come up much here, but, yes, I am fully versed in the spiritual and other abuse problems within Calvinism. As well as having experienced it personally. It seems that embracing a tyrannical, controlling caricature of God turns people into mirror images of that false deity. In my 5+ decades in churches of all stripes I had never witnessed someone being ‘disciplined’ or excommunicated. Until my former Calvinist church, where it was practically a bi-monthly event. Tragic. And destructive. I saw so many walk away, not only from the church, but from their faith, in disgust. Eventually I couldn’t ignore the body count, and broke out of my spell.

      4. TS00,

        You had said:
        “Eventually I couldn’t ignore the body count, and broke out of my spell.”

        My reply:
        I’m glad that you did, and that you are on this blog. Now if only rhutchin and jtleosala would break out of their spell.

        But, me, as an outsider, I still find that many who have broken away, STILL CARRY THE BAGGAGE of SOME of the same doctrines of Calvinism when they leave. Matthew 18, as a discipline doctrine, being one of them. I got extremely testy at one pretty high up preacher, FORMER CALVINIST pastor Southern Baptist that posted several articles about church discipline on SBC Today, now defunct, who not only endorses church discipline, but TEACHES IT. I was pretty ticked off at his article about it, cuz he still sounded like a Calvinist.

        So, this church discipline thing is STILL in the reform world, Calvinist or not, and the congregations still tolerate it. I’m like, WHY? It’s the nuttiest doctrine that I have ever heard of, and it makes me very angry.

        Ed Chapman

      5. chapmaned24 writes, “Now if only rhutchin and jtleosala would break out of their spell. ”

        You would have to deal with God’s omniscience to start with.

      6. rhutchin states:
        “You would have to deal with God’s omniscience to start with.”

        My response:
        Why? Do you have the INSIDE SCOOP of what God knows? Did you sit down with him for an interview?

      7. rhutchin: “You would have to deal with God’s omniscience to start with.”
        Ed: “Why? Do you have the INSIDE SCOOP of what God knows? Did you sit down with him for an interview?”

        By omniscience, God knows all that happens, past, present and future. Thus, when God created the universe, He knew who would be saved and who would not be saved (regardless how one thinks they come to be saved).

      8. rhutchin,

        Well, God knowing doesn’t mean that God DIRECTED. You are trying to equate the two. So, that means that don’t have to deal with what God knows…AT ALL.

      9. chapmaned24 writes, “God knowing doesn’t mean that God DIRECTED. You are trying to equate the two.”

        I can deal with that. Let’s agree that God knows all things without regard to how all things come about. As I originally said, “when God created the universe, He knew who would be saved and who would not be saved (regardless how one thinks they come to be saved).” Can you agree to that?

        If you (or anyone else) really want JTL or myself to break free from Calvinism , then you have to deal with this. It’s a key point for Calvinists.

      10. I’m not so sure I can agree to that. Why? Several years ago, there were certain Jews that discovered BIBLE CODE. Have you heard of that?

        In the bible code, they have found that the bible actually has scenarios of if/then choices that man kind has options to make. Option a, and option b.

        Just humor me and when you have time, Google bible code. Not saying to believe in it, but it’s interesting. But it’s like God knows the options available, but let’s us decide. I think that God has no clue who is gonna be saved or not, and the reason is that he wants us to make that decision our selves. God is omni-whatever you call it, but I think that God allowed himself to not know who is gonna be saved and who isn’t. Personal opinion only.

      11. chapmaned24 writes, ” I think that God has no clue who is gonna be saved or not, and the reason is that he wants us to make that decision our selves. ”

        Sounds like your complaint against Calvinism begins with omniscience. At least, we resolved that issue.

      12. I don’t think a Calvinist is going to go anywhere with that
        Some things done come out but by prayer and fasting! :-]

      13. br.d,

        Yes, that’s why I quickly changed the subject back to BLOT OUT, where I had originally was gonna go in the first place, but decided to try Bible Code first. Not a good idea with a Calvinist. I’m not exactly convinced yet with Bible Code, but it is indeed interesting to look at.

        Ed

      14. rhutchin,

        This is an extension to my last comment, unrelated to “Bible Code”.

        This comment will deal with…THE BOOK OF LIFE.

        Revelation 3:5
        He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

        KEY WORDS, “BLOT OUT”

        Why would there be a NEED to BLOT out something if it was already KNOWN from the beginning?

        There is also a book called book of the living that is mentioned several times, too, and that pertains to THIS LIFE, in which God BLOTS peoples names from. Moses once asked to be blotted out of that book.

        Do a word search for BLOT by itself, and another word search for BOOK and LIFE at the same time.

        So, no, I don’t think that God knows who is NOT gonna be saved, because of those two words, “BLOT OUT”.

        That Book of Life, the way that it is worded, it’s telling us that EVERYONE’S NAME is written in it, but those who FAIL THE TEST, God has to use an ERASER to BLOT OUT the name, and in order for that to happen, certain criteria must be me by the individual, of course. THE INDIVIDUALS PERSONAL FREE WILL CHOICE.

        So, no, I don’t have to deal with God’s Omni-whatever that word is. No need to blot out a pre-determined result!

        Ed Chapman

      15. chapmaned24 writes, “Why would there be a NEED to BLOT out something if it was already KNOWN from the beginning?…So, no, I don’t have to deal with God’s Omni-whatever that word is. No need to blot out a pre-determined result!’

        God knows whose name will be blotted out and knew this when He created the universe. It sounds like God would actually blot out the names of His elect. Jesus assures us that this will not happen in John 6 while Paul gives us this assurance in Philippians 1, “od who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

        In Revelation, Jesus says, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Thus the P in TULIP.

      16. rhutchin states:
        God knows whose name will be blotted out and knew this when He created the universe.”

        If that be true, then WHY IS THE NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE TO BEGIN WITH IF IT WAS KNOWN BEFORE HAND THAT HE WAS GONNA BE BLOTTED OUT.

        Your logic makes no sense.

        Then you add…
        ” who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

        My response to that is that the BEGINNING of that GOOD WORK IN YOU began at the moment that you got saved, NOT AT THE WRITING OF THE BOOK OF LIFE.

        My conclusion, BASED ON LOGIC, is that everyone’s name is written in the book of life, and it is DEPENDENT ON YOUR FREE WILL CHOICE before a decision by God is made to blot you out. God must MAKE A DECISION. He hasn’t already decided like you conclude.

        If God knew before hand, there would be NO NEED to blot out, because his name would not have been written there to begin with.

        LOGIC. You don’t use logic.

        Ed Chapman

      17. Ed
        If that be true, then WHY IS THE NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE TO BEGIN WITH IF IT WAS KNOWN BEFORE HAND THAT HE WAS GONNA BE BLOTTED OUT.

        br.d
        Its called DIVINE SADISM :-]

      18. Firstly:
        Calvin’s god CREATES the sum total of all human souls in the world
        He then labels them all REPROBATE

        However – for a few of them – REPROBATE is a FALSE label
        Because he really didn’t CREATE them to be REPROBATE in the first place
        He CREATED them to be ELECT

        Secondly
        Out of the REPROBATES – he selects the FALSE REPROBATES
        He then labels this process a divine rescue.
        But again that is a FALSE label
        Because he really never CREATED them to be REPROBATE in the first place
        He CREATED them to be ELECT
        So he really can’t TRUTHFULLY say he rescued them from what he originally CREATED them to be.
        So in this case the term “rescue” is just another FALSE label.

        Since Calvinism follows this pattern of FALSE LABELS
        The business of blotting out someone’s name from the book of life is really just another FALSE label.

      19. chapmaned24 writes, “If God knew before hand, there would be NO NEED to blot out, because his name would not have been written there to begin with.”

        I agree, when Jesus said in Revelation 3, ““He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;” He was telling the truth – “He who overcomes…I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;” Obviously, a person overcomes with the help of the Holy Spirit.

      20. rhutchin,

        You are SO FUNNY!

        You had said:
        “Revelation 3, ““He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;” He was telling the truth – “He who overcomes…I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;”

        My response:
        And yet you NEGLECTED to indicate anything regarding those who DO NOT OVERCOME.

        Those who DO NOT OVERCOME ARE BLOTTED OUT.

        Then you said:
        Obviously, a person overcomes with the help of the Holy Spirit.

        My response to that:
        The last reference below is what it takes to overcome, and based on the rest of the references, WE ALREADY HAVE OVERCOME. Yes, DEATHBED confessions have also already overcome, too. Cuz all ya gotta do to overcome is the last reference.

        1 John 2:13
        I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

        1 John 2:14
        I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

        1 John 4:4
        Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

        1 John 5:4
        For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

        1 John 5:5
        Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

        Ed Chapman

      21. Amen. But you and I both know that those wedded to an illogical, sadistic theological system will never give it up. They have no compassion for those who feel lost and believe themselves to be unloved by God; just encourage them to read up on how God doesn’t choose everyone. They will have the blood of these lost ones on their hands. I am praying that Lisa will reject these lies and hear the voice of the One who made her and even now desires and seeks her redemption.

        Who in the world, but a screwed up mindless ideologue would tell some poor woman whose whole life has fallen apart that it just might be because God didn’t choose her for anything better? Only someone whose heart has been totally deadened by a faulty belief system that finds it perfectly acceptable to think God would cruelly torment and destroy people, with no compassion or remorse. These people become like their false idol.

      22. Thank all of you for your encouraging words. I regularly read all of your comments and enjoy learning from what I have read. GraceAdict thank you for the scriptures and I will continue to read them. As for RHUTCHIN, those are the very passages that tell me Calvinism is real. I must say that prior to May of 2017, I would have argued with you regarding the grace and mercy of God but after having all of this happen to me I agree with the doctrine of Calvanism. It is of no comfort to me, in fact it extremely agonizing and beyond what someone can bear to know what their fate is. I don’t know if you can personally understand how hopeless and desperate you are without the love and mercy of God but the only thing that keeps me alive is knowing burning in the lake of fire is far worse than this. GraceAdict, there is no time in eternity and that is what I am experiencing. There is no difference between day and night and 24 hours feels like 1,000 years. I do not know how to describe it better than that and a minute feels like eternity. I do not have a concept of what day it is. The minute I said MAY GOD STRIKE ME DEAD IF I AM LYING, that pop went off and I became like this. I used to be well kept with nice clothes , hair and smelled good. I am now disabled and smell no matter how much I shower. I can’t take back those terrible words I spoke and the horrible sins I have committed. I immediately read Romans 9 where it talks about God HATING Esau. I would ask anyone on this site to give me some different interpretation of Romans 9. To me it reads that God has an election process and He makes vessels of wrath for destruction so that He will be glorified.

        Thank you for reading my story

      23. Lisa Hughes writes, ” I would ask anyone on this site to give me some different interpretation of Romans 9. ”

        In Romans 9 God says, ““I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” This tells us that God is in control and in your case, God has you constantly thinking of Him and wondering what He is doing with you. One thing God has been doing is sharpening your understanding of His word. Given this, I would conclude that you are most likely one of God’s elect – the non-elect assume that God is unfairly cursing them and they tend to hate God. You seem to know that God is not mistreating you as you have earned everything you have, and are, experiencing. Job suffered many things but he did not do the things you have done. Paul killed believers and threw them into jail. You have not been reduced to that despite having aborted two of your children. Peter denied Christ with a curse, Have you done that? Ephesians tells us, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” I believe that is true for you despite all the terrible things you have done. When you start to curse God, and only then, you might be justified to think that you are among the non-elect. Until then, you can marvel at what you used to be and what you are now and know that only God could have brought that about. You assume that you are one of the non-elect because you deserve it. If that were true, I think Satan would have killed you long ago, but God would not let him. Paul said, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This is your testimony also.

      24. I must admit that after first reading Romans 9, I cursed that God would make me like this and I would rather have never been born. Did the feeling of hate come over me. Yes it did but mostly for what I am and what I did. After a few weeks of intense study and counseling I began to remember all the sins I committed. I realised that God was just to punish me and I completely deserved everything that has happened to me.
        I would not choose me either. I am hopeless and terrified of the wrath of God being upon me and can only conclude that He did not strike me physically dead at that moment so I could reap what I have sown.

        I have read about Job and he never blamed God. I, at one point, did blame God but came to realize that God did not make me choose the things that I did. I was given a free choice even though for many years I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I still made those choices and God knew I would make them. In regards to Romans 9, when I first read about the election process and that God waits patiently to take His wrath out upon you, it hit me that He was speaking to me in those passagess. I desperately want forgiveness and mercy from God but do not believe I deserve it and that God hates me. I still am looking for clarification that my interpretation is wrong about the elect of God.

      25. Lisa,

        I do not concur with rhutchin, and you, regarding Romans 9. Calvinism has a totally different take on Romans 9 than the REST of all Christendom. So, PLEASE explore other denominations views of Romans 9 before you conclude Calvinism’s Romans 9. You will see a HUGE difference.

        Ed Chapman

      26. Thank you Ed. I have been listening to some teachings from Andrew Wommack and, in particular that God is not angry but when I do I am reminded that Jesus did not come to bring peace but a sword. I am also reminded that those promises are for God’s elect. In Romans 9 Verse 11 is states that before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad in order that God’s purpose in electuon might stand not by works but by him who calls. Is also says God Hated Esau and it does use the word Hate.

      27. Lisa,

        You keep saying that Jesus did not come to bring peace. So, what was it that was said regarding his birth? Peace on Earth, good will towards men?

        Anyway, there is a CONTEXT regarding the so-called SWORD, and you need to explore what that context was all about.

        Believers are NOT MEANT FOR WRATH.

        Little Children coming to Jesus, disciples wanted to SHEW them away, Jesus said…what did he say?

        Was Jesus mean, and upset with the children?

        YOU ARE THOSE CHILDREN.

        My goodness, stop beating yourself up.

        Ed Chapman

      28. What does Context mean about the Sword? I am quoting Matthew 10:34-37 where Jesus says I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

        Up until two years ago, I believed I was a child of God. I am still trying to understand what has happened to me and I believe that the wrath of God is upon me. I am praying that this curse will be removed from me and God will restore my life and let me be with him when I leave this earth.

      29. Read the previous prior to the statement about a sword. To the Jews, Jesus is the stumbling block, where some will believe, others won’t. Arguments galore. Pitting families against one another. Liken that to today’s TRUMP. Facebook unfriending due to Trump supporters. Without looking at the reference myself, cuz I’m about to fall asleep, that’s what I remember.

      30. Lisa, I am taking what you have said at face value, although I cannot help but wonder if you might be having us on a bit. If you are serious, ditch the Calvinist lenses and read the bible. You will find countless words of love, hope and grace – a multitude more than the few Calvinist prooftexts which can and have been interpreted quite differently by many godly men and women for centuries. If you read your bible, you will not be able to say that you have never heard how much God loves you – it is declared and demonstrated again and again. What I see you doing is holding up Calvinist prooftexts to claim that God does not love you. That is your choice, but it will never lead in the direction you claim to desire.

        Not believing in the truth of God’s proclamations and generous offers is what unbelief is. Nothing will change who and what God is, but only you can decide what you choose to believe about him. It’s all there in black and white. I have come across many good non-Calvinist explanations of Romans 9 simply by googling it, which accord with how I have always understood it. The same is true of any other Calvinist prooftext.

        The vast majority of believers have always rejected Calvinism, attesting to the fact that there are good alternative explanations to be had, if you truly wish to seek them out. If you have been reading here for long, you will have seen many of the spelled out quite clearly, both in the posts and in the comments.

      31. Thank you very much. I will continue to study and read the scriptures that GraceAdict and others have pointed out to me. As I said before, I never had even heard the term Calvinism before two years ago. I am not as well versed as most of the people on this site and was looking for some insight as to what possibly happened to me.

      32. Good morning Lisa I saw others responding to you, but for some reason your posts did not come in to my email until last night. My heart does out to you for you for the way you’re feeling😔 I too have been through a similar situation no servants nor a vehicle for each day, no drugs involved and I’ve not been in the hospital, but I lost everything!!!!! But for me it was when I came to Christ and I count it all as lost compared to knowing Him and the beauty of His love!!! Also this was back in 2008 & He’s brought things back into my life NOT because I deserve ANYTHING but because He is a loving Father He isn’t a hypocrite who pushes to be first rather He left heaven to live in flesh & substitute His life for mine!!!!! And not just mine, but for all who believe, that is not forced love!!! I truly hated calvinism when I first learned of it because the end trail was sooooo obvious to me actually any ism bothered me.. I can tell you I’ve had dreams & different experiences, but NONE of that matters I’m trusting the One who unveiled my eyes above my feelings and absolutley above what “man says” about Him!!! He can be trusted and if you continue to look at this site you will find your questions that are in debate add to whether or not God is a puppeteer who chose you for wrath…. But I also suggest you continually seek Him🙏 yes there are consequences for sin and He does discipline His children, but there is NO before the foundation of the world stamp on your head☹ to be a child of God is a unmerited gift that is the tAMAZING good news part!!! He does not need to orchestrate from both sides of the chess board to win in the end.. Keep it simple Jesus loves you don’t listen to lies and I will pray for you. Never forget God is recognizably good🌻

      33. Reggie writes, “I’m trusting the One who unveiled my eyes…”

        Why do those who hate Calvinism insist on using Calvinist language?

      34. rhutchin
        Why do those who hate Calvinism insist on using Calvinist language?

        br.d
        I didn’t see DOUBLE-SPEAK in that statement – so I didn’t classify it as Calvinist language

      35. Interesting you say this… I honestly don’t follow your logic.. emphasises “your logic” of course we know God ultimately did this for me I didn’t save myself, but I reject your version of how this happened!! you don’t know me nor what He has done for me, nor do you know my testimony!! you seem to have a loathing of anything non calvinist maybe you should ponder that… for me this site and what I’ve gleaned from it & Leighton is not to venomously despise those who need to cling to an add on to the gospel mysteriously needing more than what we’ve been given… We rather stand on the provision of God for every man, woman, boy and girl instead of standing on the falsehood He really doesn’t mean what He says I’m not rejecting the evidence and yes He changed me and still is from the inside out… But in my desperation I humbly cried out and fyi not every person comes to Him in the same way obviously you would agree He is Creator… I’m not up to debating your staunch position but other more qualified people on here can.. But you do seem to contradict yourself as Br.d has pointed out don’t be prideful & at least consider or else why are you here??? To persuade??

      36. Reggie writes, “I reject your version of how this happened!! ”

        My version is your version – “…we know God ultimately did this for me I didn’t save myself…”

        Then, “you don’t know me nor what He has done for me, nor do you know my testimony!!”

        I know what you said, “I’m trusting the One who unveiled my eyes…”

        Then, “you seem to have a loathing of anything non calvinist maybe you should ponder that… ”

        What loathing, I simply pointed out that you, a non- Calvinist, use Calvinist language.

        Then, “yes He changed me and still is from the inside out… ”

        More Calvinist language that you seem to acknowledge by saying “yes.”.

        Then, “in my desperation I humbly cried out…”

        A Calvinist would presume this happened after “…[God] unveiled my eyes…” Of course, as a non-Calvinist you should argue that you humbly cried out after which God was able to unveil you eyes. Do you?

      37. Rutchin
        We may have similar words that sound good to your ear, but I know God loves all without partiality; Deuteronomy 10:17 NASB — “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
        He offers salvation to all and we all do have a genuine response to His revelation! (response….. able) Your not trying to take away from the Gospel to a broken & hurting world are you or adding a mysterious irresistible force that forced me to have faith? Are you showing favoritism to calvin??

        James 2:1 NASB — My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

        And let’s never forget;

        “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)

        “For God So Loved the World” – Understanding the Meaning of John 3:!6
        https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/what-does-it-mean-that-god-so-loved-the-world.html

      38. Reggie writes, “I know God loves all without partiality;…”

        I agree as you say, “He offers salvation to all and we all do have a genuine response to His revelation! (response….. able).” Where we seem to disagree is my contention that the response by those without faith is rejection of salvation and the response of those with faith is acceptance of salvation. I don’t see how a person without faith can be response….. able. Then, I don’t see how a person with faith can be other than response….. able.

        Then, ““For God So Loved the World” – Understanding the Meaning of John 3:!6”

        John 3:16 tells us that only those who believe get eternal life. Those who don’t believe get eternal death. Yet God loves both.

        I say that God has a higher level of love that causes Him to bring some to belief thereby giving them eternal life.

      39. rhutchin
        I agree as you say, “He offers salvation to all and we all do have a genuine response to His revelation! (response….. able).”

        br.d
        Since Calvinism entails the synchronization of GNOSTIC DUALISM – where so many things appear in “Good-Evil” pairs – I can see how this applies to Calvinism’s “so-called” OFFER of salvation.

        There is “Salvation” offer of Salvation
        And there is a Non-Salvation offer of Salvation

        Or we could call them:
        – FALSE Salvation offer
        – TRUE Salvation offer

        or for those Calvinist who think about it as an offer of condemnation
        – Condemnation offer of Salvation
        – Non-Condemnation offer of Salvation

        or for those Calvinists who think about it in terms of effectual
        – Effectual offer of salvation
        – Non-Effectual offer of salvation.

        In any case – we can see the “so called” offer as following the GNOSTIC DUALISM.

        However – a Non-Calvinist is going to call it a NON-OFFER Offer

      40. Reggie
        Then, “in my desperation I humbly cried out…”

        rhutchin
        A Calvinist would presume this happened after “…[God] unveiled my eyes…” Of course, as a non-Calvinist you should argue that you humbly cried out after which God was able to unveil you eyes. Do you?

        br.d
        Actually the Calvinist version of that would be:

        Calvin’s god made the Calvinist cry out and implanting into his brain the PERCEPTION of it being a cry of humility

        Since Calvinist psychology don’t allow him to acknowledge that Calvin’s god controls his every neurological impulse – he goes about his office *AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” PERMITTED him (as an autonomous entity) to cry out – even though his doctrine totally tells him that as an impossibility – because it would require a minimal degree of mental autonomy which doesn’t exist in Theological Determinism where people are DESIGNED to function ROBOTICALLY.

      41. Sorry for grammatical errors earlier I’m swipe texting from a phone😊

        Psalm 70:4 NASB — Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”

        Galatians 5:6 NASB — For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

      42. TS00 writes, “only you can decide what you choose to believe about him.”

        That decision is easier, and predictable, after God gives a person faith.

      43. rhutchin
        That decision is easier, and predictable, after God gives a person faith.

        br.d
        I find it humerus how much Calvinists work to make a Deterministic belief-system *APPEAR* IN-deterministic

        In Calvinism people are NOT PERMITTED to have their own decisions – as that would entail Libertarian functionality

        Decisions APPEAR in their brains – having been determined to be there by Calvin’s god.

        Basically Calvin’s god implants PERCEPTIONS into a person’s brain – making the person perceive them as his own.

      44. br.d writes, “In Calvinism people are NOT PERMITTED to have their own decisions – as that would entail Libertarian functionality.”

        Under Calvinism, people do make their own decisions – people act independently and are self-determining. If a person receives faith, that faith results in acceptance of salvation.

      45. br.d
        In Calvinism people are NOT PERMITTED to have their own decisions – as that would entail Libertarian functionality.

        rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, people do make their own decisions – people act independently and are self-determining. If a person receives faith, that faith results in acceptance of salvation.

        br.d
        FALSE
        That would be “mere” permission – and it doesn’t exist in Calvinism
        Calvin’s god leaves ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        You keep wanting to forget – rhutchin – the term *UNIVERSAL* within Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        Its not SEMI determinism
        Its not PARTIAL determinism
        Its not NATURAL determinism

        its UNIVERSAL Divine Causal Determinism.

        Calvin’s god does not “merely” permit NATURE to determine anything.

        And as Calvinist Paul Helm’s says:
        -quote
        “Determinism rules out Libertarian Freedom”

        Therefore the only thing you’re left with is “compatiblistic” freedom

        And “compatiblistic freedom is ONLY the freedom to be/do what Calvin’s god has determined you to be/do.
        There ain’t no such thing as “Independent” in that!

        As Ravi Zacharias says
        -quote
        “Here me carefully.
        If you are totally determined, then you are pre-wired, to think the way you do.
        Your nature is that you are hard-wired to come out to a single conclusion.
        What is input into the computer is what ultimately comes out.
        This is the bondage of total subjectivity.”

      46. br.d writes, “That would be “mere” permission – and it doesn’t exist in Calvinism”

        Apparently, God gives br.d false perceptions also.

      47. br.d
        That would be “mere” permission – and it doesn’t exist in Calvinism”

        rhutchin
        Apparently, God gives br.d false perceptions also.

        br.d
        rhutchin – you’re not thinking LOGICALLY again.
        Calvin’s god doesn’t exhaustively determine my perceptions like he does yours.

        Now:
        A FALSE perception – by definition – is a perception that one does not know is FALSE
        And where Calvin’s god determines you to have a FALSE perception – he’s certainly not going to let you know its FALSE now is he?

        So lets say Calvin’s god has determined half of your perceptions to be TRUE and the other half FALSE
        And as I’ve shown above – you don’t have the ability to know which ones are FALSE – because that would negate what Calvin’s god determined.

        Calvin’s god determines you to believe all of your perceptions are TRUE perceptions – even the FALSE ones.

        Now think about that
        This means you’re not given to discern which perceptions are FALSE.
        And if you aren’t given the ability to discern which ones are FALSE – then you can’t differentiate them from the ones that are TRUE.
        Bottom line – you don’t have the ability to discern TRUE from FALSE.

        However
        Since Calvin’s god doesn’t determine my perceptions – I’m not in that boat.

      48. br.d writes, “Since Calvin’s god doesn’t determine my perceptions – I’m not in that boat.”

        Boy, another false perception. This doesn’t look good for you.

      49. br.d
        Since Calvin’s god doesn’t determine my perceptions – I’m not in that boat.

        rhutchin
        Boy, another false perception. This doesn’t look good for you.

        br.d
        I don’t make the mistake of superimposing the Calvinist belief system onto non-Calvinists.

        And on top of that – this statement coming from someone who says people are self-determining – and thus self-determine their perceptions!

        Calvinists do love their square-circles.
        What a hoot! :-]

      50. rhutchin,

        You had said:
        ” If a person receives faith, that faith results in acceptance of salvation.”

        NO ONE “RECEIVES” FAITH. They either believe (faith), or they don’t believe. NO ONE superimposes belief on anyone, not even God.

        Do a WORD SEARCH, and you won’t find any verse reference regarding RECEIVING FAITH.

        What Bible version do you use, and can you show me EVIDENCE from the version that you use that indicates that faith is RECEIVED?

        I use the KJV…can’t find it.

        Oh, and by the way, the bible TELLS YOU how you know that you are saved.

        I am saved. How do I know? It’s for ME TO KNOW, AND FOR YOU TO FIND OUT HOW I KNOW.

        I believe that Jesus is the Savior. I have overcome the world, JUST BY THAT ALONE. I believe that God promised ETERNAL LIFE (THE PROMISED LAND, which is HEAVEN, AS WELL AS THE PHYSICAL LAND OF ISRAEL TO THE JEWS) to Abraham, and the PROMISED SEED (Jesus, as well as Isaac).

        What more is needed? NOTHING MORE, except to LIVE what you believe, because FAITH (belief) WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.

        That’s how.

        Ed Chapman

      51. chapmaned24 writes, “NO ONE “RECEIVES” FAITH. They either believe (faith), or they don’t believe. NO ONE superimposes belief on anyone, not even God.”

        Paul, in Romans 10, says, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Everyone in the world, except Ed, understands Pual to mean that a person receives faith by hearing the word (the gospel). As Paul emphasizes in Ephesians, “In Christ you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” Faith comes by the word and a person trusts in Christ after hearing the word. It seems obvious to mean that the truth of the gospel does superimpose belief on a person. Doesn’t truth always superimpose belief on people (unless the person is in denial)?

      52. Lisa –
        There is a thing called – Syncretism – the combining of different beliefs.

        The children of Isreal had problems with this consistently in their history – mixing for example the religion of Baal into God’s.
        God warned them not to do that – but these other religions have a way of being very convincing.

        If you review Dr. Flower’s article here “Did the early church fathers teach Calvinism” you may start to get an understanding that Calvinism is a mixture of three religions. Christianity – Gnosticism – and NeoPlatonism.

        Both Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism teach that the universe is “Good-Evil”.
        In those systems – Good and Evil are “Co-Equal”, “Co-Necessary” and “Co-Complementary”
        As Calvinist R.C. Sproul says “Evil is good”

        The way to identify this is to notice that a large number of things within Calvinism appear in “Good-Evil” pairs.

        Now the Calvinist learns to embrace a deity who is a “Good-Evil” god.

        It is the “Evil” side of the doctrine that you are so focused on at this point in your life.

        Please consider the possibility that that construct of a god who is “Good-Evil” is what is influencing your thinking.

        Calvinists have to deal with the same ideas of a “Good-Evil” god that you are currently facing.
        But they are able to mentally block out all notions of divine “Evil” intent and put their focus on the “good”.
        For example they call it “Doctrines of Grace” – as a way of hiding its “Evil” half.

        The fact that you are focused on Romans 9 tells me you’ve been overtly influenced by Calvinism.

        The whole business of “evil” hangs in the back of every Calvinist’s mind – just as it does in yours right now.
        The way they learn to live with it – is to mentally block it out.

        Please allow yourself to consider the possibility that Calvinism is an unhealthy belief system and is doing you more damage than good.

      53. I believe you may be right that I have been overly influenced. I have been trying to focus on some scriptures from GraceAdict today as well as a teaching on Romans 9 from Brian.

      54. Thank you Lisa
        Yes – I hope you’ll consider what I mentioned about how Calvinism incorporates a “Good-Evil” god.

        Some of the comments you’ve enunciated about the ideal that god could be condemning, or punishing you are historically understood as a psychological byproduct of Calvinism.

        Dr. Erich Fromm – Ph.D Social Psychologist performed research on this which he called “Escape from Freedom” – with parts of it dedicated to an examination of what he classified as a prevailing sense of psychological dread historically observed by believers of Calvinism.

        Here are a few snippets:

        The psychological significance of the doctrine of predestination is twofold. Firstly, it expresses and enhances the feeling of individual powerlessness and insignificance. No doctrine could express more strongly than this, the worthlessness of human will and effort. The decision over man’s fate is taken completely out of his own hands and there is nothing man can do to change this decision. He is a powerless tool in God’s hands.

        At first glance [taking it to its logical conclusions] the doctrine of predestination seems to enhance that doubt rather than silence it. Must not the individual be torn by even more TORTURING doubts than before, to learn he is predestined either to eternal damnation or to salvation before he was born?

        In Calvin’s conceptions of his god, he made numerous attempts to create SEMBLANCES of divine justice and love. But all of these revealed the features of a tyrant, without any quality of certain or predictable love or justice.

        In blatant contradiction to the language of the New Testament, Calvin denies the supreme role of divine love, and says “For what the Schoolmen advance concerning the priority of charity to faith and hope, is a mere reverie of a distempered imagination…”(Op. cit., 3-2-41). Almost no one stricken in fear would be able to relax, enjoy life, and be indifferent with a foreboding uncertainty of what happens in the after-life.

        One possible way to escape this unbearable state of uncertainty and a paralyzing feeling of one’s own insignificance, is the very trait which became so prominent in Calvinism: the development of a hyper-activity and striving for productivity.

        Activity in this sense assumes a compulsory quality: the individual has to be active in order to subdue underlying feelings of doubt and powerlessness. This kind of effort and activity works to promote a sense of confidence and conciliation.

        However, human effort in Calvinist doctrine has yet another psychological meaning. The fact that one did not tire in that unceasing effort, and the one succeeded in one’s moral as well as secular work, functions as a more or less distinct sign of being one of the chosen ones.

        The irrationality of such compulsive effort is that the activity is not meant to create a desired end, but merely served to indicate whether or not something will occur which has been determined beforehand, independent of one’s own activity or control. This mechanism is a
        well-known characteristic of compulsive neurotics.

        Calvin himself was, of course, concerned with the obvious objections which could be made against this conception of God; but the more or less subtle constructions he provided, to uphold a picture of a just and loving god, do not sound in the least convincing. This picture of a despotic god, who wants unrestricted power over men and their submission and humiliation.

      55. Hello again Lisa. Here’s an overview of mine of Romans 9 that might help show how Calvinism has read the wrong view of God’s sovereignty and mercy into it. I have some other explanations of specific verses if you’re interested.

        Overview of Romans 9
        It would help if the context of Christ-like love for all the lost, demonstrated in Paul from verses 1-3 were recognized before reading the rest. Paul wished he was accursed for the salvation of his countrymen of Israel… not just any so-called elect among them.

        It would also help to note that no verse in the whole chapter mentions election before creation, but that there is a “seed” in Paul’s day that is currently being reckoned (present tense), according to verse 8.

        It also would help if it wouldn’t be skipped over so easily that God’s purpose in hardening Pharaoh is clearly stated that God’s Name would spread over ALL the earth, according to vs 17.

        And it would be helpful to know the phrases “on whomever I will have mercy” and “on whomever I will have compassion” are literally translated as “on whom I should have mercy and… on whom I should have compassion” in verse 15. And God has mercy on whom He “wants to” in verse 18.

        That should lead the reader to wonder on whom then “should” God have mercy or on whom does God “want” to have mercy. It is easy to discover that He wants His mercy to be on a people who were not His “people” or “beloved” before (9:25).

        This excludes the idea of a loved elect individual person before creation (besides Christ) being read into verses 25-26. But God will have mercy on those whom He grants His righteousness which they pursued and came to possess through faith (vs 32). In fact He will have some kind of mercy on all (11:32), giving all sufficient opportunity to hear His call to them to seek Him (10:18).

        The biggest confusion a Calvinist has is in not seeing that God’s sovereign choice of individuals according to Romans 9 was indeed to help fulfill His promise of salvation in Christ, but those choices of individuals did not guarantee their personal salvation or damnation.

        The prophecy – Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated – did not guarantee the salvation of Jacob or of everyone else in Israel, nor did it guarantee damnation of Esau or of everyone else in Edom. Just like Amon being in the seed of David as a king of Judah didn’t guarantee his personal salvation (2Chr 33:22-23).

        Here is evidence that Esau later became a believer and that any Edomites were welcome to become believers also.

        Gen 33:4, 10 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept…. “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.”

        Deut 23:7-8 Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.

        Who does Esau remind you of in 33:4? Hint Luke 15:20.

      56. Hello Brian, I am still searching for answers to what has happened to me. Thank you for the Romans 9 explanation. Would you help me with Verse 11 where it states that, “Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls.” Also, why did God say he hated Esau if that is not what he meant?

      57. Lisa, both the Hebrew and Greek word “hate” have the basic meaning of “reject”. This does not automatically have the idea of despise or loathe, though sometimes those emotions are mentioned in the same context with “hate”.

        But in this context those emotions are not there. Did you even read what I said about Jacob and Esau? I would be interested in your comments on exactly what I said about them. Please.

        Paul says Jacob was loved, chosen along with his posterity to unconditionally receive covenant promises, and Esau was hated, rejected along with his posterity to unconditionally be excluded from covenant promises. This had nothing to do with whether they or any of their family would believe in those promises and become “children” of those promises through personal faith. It only meant the blessing of witnessing the messianic outworking of these promises would be Israel’s and not Edom’s.

        Israel/Jacob was chosen to be light to the Gentiles, including to Edom. Edom/Esau was chosen to be an illustration of rejection of God’s covenant. But Esau and any Edomite were free to follow the light to join Israel, and Jacob and any Israelite were free to follow the darkness of Edom.

        Individual salvation and individual damnation is not eternally immutably set. That is a lie from Satan. And I pray you will reject it.

      58. brianwagner writes, “Paul says Jacob was loved, chosen along with his posterity to unconditionally receive covenant promises, …”

        In context, v9-13, is the support for Paul’s statement in v8 that “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” Consequently, Jacob being loved, is chosen to unconditionally receive covenant promises for Jacob is a child of promise and “it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham;” This provides the basis for Paul to say “at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

      59. Roger you are missing “being counted as seed” indicates becoming children of promise through faith in the covenant promises given through Jacob and his lineage. It is happening (present tense) Paul says.

        No-one is eternally immutably “children of promise”. Those who are “not my people” God says become His people, children of promise through faith.

        Promise then faith then imputation/regeneration making one a child of promise through faith. Faith in the promise first… then the saving grace of life goes through it.

        Romans 4:20-22 NKJV — He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

      60. brianwagner writes, “…you are missing “being counted as seed” indicates becoming children of promise through faith in the covenant promises given through Jacob and his lineage. It is happening (present tense) Paul says.”

        I don’t think I am but it seems we agree that the children of promise are a subset of the nation of Israel and then, the gentiles are grafted in.

        On the order of regeneration and faith, I think this boils down to the way we understand John 3 and being born again to see and enter the kingdom of heaven. We understand “kingdom of heaven” differently. Maybe that will be resolved in the future.

      61. brianwagner writes, “The prophecy – Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated – did not guarantee the salvation of Jacob or of everyone else in Israel, nor did it guarantee damnation of Esau or of everyone else in Edom.”

        You are correct that v1-3 tells us that “Paul wished he was accursed for the salvation of his countrymen of Israel…” This leads in to v6-8 where Paul identifies “those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” Paul explain what he means by “children of promise,” in v9-13 ending with ““Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” In context, we understand that Jacob is the child of promise and Esau is of the flesh. That leads into the objections beginning in v14. This also sets up later references to the “remnant.

      62. Lisa Hughes writes, “I am hopeless and terrified of the wrath of God being upon me and can only conclude that He did not strike me physically dead at that moment so I could reap what I have sown….I desperately want forgiveness and mercy from God but do not believe I deserve it and that God hates me.”

        This is not language that the non-elect are prone to use.

        Then, “I still am looking for clarification that my interpretation is wrong about the elect of God.”

        I think your interpretation is correct. Your problem is God’s application to you. This concern will disappear as you persist in seeking God.

      63. Lisa Remember that Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. Are you lost? For God so loved the World, He did not come to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. (That is you) He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ( You are included) All we like sheep have gone astray we have each turned to our own way but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL. (You are part of the ALL)

        Keep looking to the Lord Lisa, and remember that God is truly good to ALL. Your mind has been conditioned by false teaching that God is NOT good to ALL. That is lie.

        Psa 145:5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
        Psa 145:6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
        Psa 145:7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
        Psa 145:8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
        Psa 145:9 The LORD is GOOD to ALL, and his mercy is OVER ALL that he has made.

        Rom 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE
        Rom 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

        Psa 86:5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, ABOUNDING IN STEADFAST LOVE TO ALL who call upon you.

        Lisa I would suggest you go to http://www.Soteriology101.com and read the articles there. Let God’s truth sink into your heart and cleanse your heart of the false beliefs that have penetrated your thinking. As others have stated here on this site… elect is either talking about Israel or for a specific service. NOT about salvation.
        You have mentioned Jacob and Esau…but please look closely at the verses. It does NOT say Esau will burn in hell. It only says the Elder will SERVE the younger. NOT the Elder is damned to hell.

        Rom 9:12  she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 
        Rom 9:13  As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 

        You asked about Romans 9 here is a link that would be awesome to read.
        https://soteriology101.com/2015/05/07/line-by-line-through-romans-9/

        Then go to http://www.soteriology101.com and read the articles there…let truth cleanse your mind of error. Read the articles and see if they match up with the Word of God.

        Paul in speaking to even pagans said:
        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, 

        Lisa, trying to figure out if you are what the Calvinist calls “Elect for God’s love and salvation” is totally the wrong thing to be thinking about. That is a satanic deception. The only thing that matters is the Gospel. What is the Gospel and do you believe the gospel…will you rest in what God says. God the Father is satisfied with His Son’s sacrifice on your behalf will you rest in that? Jesus said it is finished, the Father agrees. Will you agree?
        Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
        That is the only thing that matters.
        Everything else is a distraction and a rabbit trail and sometimes even a satanic trap.

        Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 

        Lisa Salvation is not because you were good enough or avoided certain sins, salvation, mercy and grace are for the needy. It is not of works it is by trusting that HIS works were good enough.
        Rom 4:1  What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 
        Rom 4:2  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 
        Rom 4:3  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 
        Rom 4:4  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 
        Rom 4:5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 
        Rom 4:6  just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 

        Lisa, Grace is mind blowing…it is out of this world. It comes from the “God of ALL Grace”. This God is LOVE. That is His essential nature. He loves you not because you are good but because HIS nature IS LOVE and He cannot deny His own nature.
        Now Lisa, it is up to you to believe the gospel. God will NOT do that for you. His invitation is Genuine, His Provision covers ALL of your sins and His command is clear “Believe it”.

      64. GraceAdict,

        Thank you for the scriptures and the teaching on Romans 9. It sheds a whole new light on what I thought it meant. I have focused on these scriptures today and fell a little better. However, I have read about defiant sin or high hand sin and when you commit this type of sin God will cut you off.

        A sin of this nature is literally showing a defiant fist to God as if to say, “Try and strike me dead, I am doing my own thing.” Hebrews 10:26 which reads, “If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment …” What we can be sure of is that this sin is not accidental and is done in a flaunting, defiant and open-eyed, unremorseful manner which effectively tells Yahweh that He is irrelevant.

        But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.” (Num. 15:30-31)

        I fear that I have done this because of what came out of my mouth and what I have experienced the last 2.5 years with the time element (no concept of time and 24 hours feels like 1,000 years)

        Thank you, any thoughts would be most welcome.

      65. rhutchin,

        As you are well aware, I have a totally different take on Romans 9. JEWS JEWS JEWS. Regarding the Pharaoh, he got MERCY, all because God USED the Pharaoh for destruction (in this life) to show his power. And God did NOT HATE Esau, as a PERSON.

        Regarding the Pharaoh again, HE WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHO HE WILL HAVE MERCY ON. Those he USES, to reveal his POWER, he gives mercy to.

        BUT THAT’S PROPHESY STUFF having nothing to do with EVERYDAY LIFE for ANYONE, except for the blind Jews, who STILL have a job to do regarding God, aka BUILDING A TEMPLE, GATHERING IN ISRAEL, USHERING IN THE ANTI-CHRIST, etc.

        And you people DISTORT Romans 9. Romans 9 CONTINUES thru chapter 11, in that God will have MERCY ON THE IGNORANT SLEEPING BLIND JEWS, due to their IGNORANCE, just like Paul got mercy for his IGNORANCE.

        Ed Chapman

      66. TS00,

        You had said:
        “Who in the world, but a screwed up mindless ideologue would tell some poor woman whose whole life has fallen apart that it just might be because God didn’t choose her for anything better?”

        My response:
        That’s the interpretation that I was seeing, too. It’s one thing to debate back and for between a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist, but it’s another thing to see actual Calvinism put in practice towards another human being right in front of our eyes like rhutchin did today, knowing full and well the HURT that he is projecting to that person. HEARTLESS. NO LOVE.

        Ed Chapman

      67. rhutchin,

        A continuation from my last…

        You had said:
        “. It sounds like God would actually blot out the names of His elect.”

        My response:

        You and I have a difference of opinion as to who the ELECT are.

        My conclusion…THERE IS NO GENTILE AT ALL WHO IS THE ELECT.

        Gentile Christians are NOT ELECT. You equate ELECT as ALL WHO ARE SAVED, OR WILL BE SAVED. That’s not how I see it.

        The blind Jews are the elect, AND, the remnant (Christian Jews) are the Elect.

        The Jews who CAN SEE (not blind), AND also reject are NOT the elect.

        Ed Chapman

      68. chapmaned24
        Why would there be a NEED to BLOT out something if it was already KNOWN from the beginning?…
        No need to blot out a pre-determined result!’

        rhutchin
        God knows whose name will be blotted out and knew this when He created the universe.

        br.d
        More precisely – Calvin’s god knows whose name HE DESIGNED to be blotted out.

        John Calvin
        quote
        “By the eternal good pleasure of god, though the reasons do not appear, they are NOT FOUND, but *MADE* worthy of destruction.”
        (Concerning the eternal predestination of god)

        quote
        “Accordingly as each has been *CREATED* for one of these ends, we say he has been predestined to life or death.”
        (Institutes)

      69. br.d
        “quote
        “Accordingly as each has been *CREATED* for one of these ends, we say he has been predestined to life or death.””

        Which is why they must use Romans 9, the word “DESTRUCTION” for them is equated to the word “hell in the afterlife”, rather than the events in THIS LIFE only.

        Ed

      70. rhutchin
        If you (or anyone else) really want JTL or myself to break free from Calvinism , then you have to deal with this. It’s a key point for Calvinists

        br.d
        Middle Knowledge was the answer for William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga.
        But they didn’t have to break free from Calvinism to understand it

      71. chapmaned24 writes, “Now if only rhutchin and jtleosala would break out of their spell. ”

        rhutchin
        You would have to deal with God’s omniscience to start with.

        br.d
        Breaking someone out of a spell requires divine intervention.
        Ed can pray for that at least.

      72. br.d writes, “Breaking someone out of a spell requires divine intervention. Ed can pray for that at least.”

        Ed can also argue from the Scriptures to show how Calvinists have misunderstood the Scriptures. After all the Scriptures resulted from divine intervention.

      73. br.d
        Breaking someone out of a spell requires divine intervention. Ed can pray for that at least.”

        rhutchin
        Ed can also argue from the Scriptures to show how Calvinists have misunderstood the Scriptures. After all the Scriptures resulted from divine intervention.

        br.d
        The last time I heard of someone trying to argue a demon spirit out of someone – it didn’t go very well for them! :-]

      74. br.d

        You had said:
        “Some people get off on power trips – sounds like that may be the case for this pastor”

        My response:
        Ronnie W Rogers. He’s written books ON SALE ON AMAZON about church discipline. Dude is MAKING MONEY off this garbage.

        Ed Chapman

      75. I’ve seen similar – there was a non-Calvinist fellow a few years ago with a book where he was calling anyone in an church that did not obey everything his/her pastor said – as having a Jezebel spirit.

        Those teachings do DEVASTATING DAMAGE to the body of Christ!
        They need to be sent back to the pit where they came from.

      76. br.d,
        “Those teachings do DEVASTATING DAMAGE to the body of Christ!
        They need to be sent back to the pit where they came from.”

        My response:
        Yes, they do indeed!

      77. One fine Sunday morning my Calvi-pastor stated, ‘When I speak from the pulpit, I speak for God.’ Now that got me pretty worked up, but the pastor, who was oh so clever, had ensured that I would never challenge him by constantly telling my spouse and I how we were ‘the only ones’ who didn’t call and harass him every week about his sermon. So, of course, I felt too guilty to ever raise any concerns. My spouse and I argued over it for days, and convinced ourselves that he didn’t really mean what it sounded like, and had simply spoken unwisely.

        The other longest term elder’s wife went to the pastor and asked, ‘You aren’t saying that we must agree with everything you teach, of course?’ He responded, ‘That is exactly what I am saying. If you disagree with what I deliver from the pulpit, you are in rebellion against your God-given authority.’ Sadly, I did not hear about this interaction until years later, after I left the church. It did cause the elder and his family to leave, which led to the pastor trying to put them under ‘discipline’.

        We were still a church plant at the time, and our overseeing church, with whom this other elder had started this outreach, stood up for him and refused to let the pastor harass him. Half the church left, and I wanted to also, but my spouse was ardently loyal. I only ever heard the pastor’s side of the story until much later, which was that the woman was in love with him. Sheesh. It took me years to work out my anger towards that guy, to whom I had been so trusting and loyal for years. Yeah, I got one of those letters asking me to come before the elders – and laughed. I responded with a polite refusal which said, ‘I’ll send you a copy of my book.’

      78. Well I’m sorry to say I’ve heard similar stories TS00!
        There seems to be a few strange doctrines that really seduce some pastors – and authority doctrines tend to be on the top of that list.

        It was the Lord’s blessing that got you out when you did!

        King Saul was a ministry of death,
        There was a group of men who departed from Saul’s authority and went over into the wilderness to be with David.
        Saul would have called them rebellious and killed them if he could have.

        Scripture does not call those men rebellious – it calls them “David’s mighty men”.
        So leaving a ministry of death is not rebellion – its following the right path

        King Saul then led the rest of his men into a battle where almost all of them were massacred.

        And yet we hear pastors using David’s statement of not touching God’s anointed twisted into “thou shalt do everything I command you to do – or your in rebellion”.

        When a pastor gets even close to following in the footsteps of King Saul – its time to get out of there pronto!
        There will almost always be a David ministry to escape to.

      79. TS00,

        What you have said is what I have found to be pretty typical. I spent time studying this church discipline thing.

        When we were children, we were taught, “respect your elders”.

        Why?

        This had nothing to do with any church setting. It had to do with people who were OLDER than you, which is the REAL definition of elder (Yes, even in a church setting).

        Even TRIBES have ELDERS. Indian Tribes, Amazon Tribes, etc. I began studying that out a lot.

        Elders have LIVED LIFE, BEEN THERE DONE THAT, BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT. In short, elders are SUPPOSED TO BE…

        MENTORS. Not authoritarians. They are considered WISE, due to already living life, and so their function is SUPPOSED TO BE…to give wisdom. They have been where you are, and already know the pitfalls, and how to avoid them. This is why it is said to “obey” them.

        It’s not supposed to be obedience out of fear, due to them being in any kind of AUTHORITY do beat you down.

        So I began seeing the words in the bible, and it hit me! Paul chose OLDER PEOPLE to the church to mentor the younger ones. He didn’t create an office called ELDER. Let me say that again, Paul never created an office called Elder. He chose OLD PEOPLE to a particular function of MENTORING.

        NOW read the bible with THAT in mind when you see the word ELDER.

        And lastly, Nehemiah chapter 8 gives a great example of what a Pastor is supposed to be. Even to the end of that chapter, where when people look down on themselves, like a Calvinist who loves to state, “WOE IS ME, I’M JUST A LOWLY SINNER, blah blah”, the pastor is supposed to LIFT YOU UP, not tear you down.

        Calvinist pastors are MEAN, not loving. In any case, the Catholics are the ones who started this OFFICE OF THE ELDERS stuff, and it just continued after reformation, including Matthew 18.

        One last thing about Matthew 18, in the Catholic world, priests are the ones forgiving sin, in the reform world, pastors/elders and congregation forgives sin.

        They don’t have authority to forgive sin. ONLY THE VICTIM can forgive sin.

        Ed Chapman

      80. Ed, I agree absolutely, that Jesus never intended a ruling hierarchy in his ekklesia, and I consider the entire institutional church set-up as having been faulty from the start. I agree that elders are loving shepherds, called to sacrificially serve others, just as a big brother takes care of his little brother, not authoritarian rulers who must be obeyed.

        Along with its faulty theology, Calvinism appears to be the major stream of evangelicalism that is attempting to recover the authoritarianism and control that the Mother Church once had over the masses. I will never again be part of an ‘elder-ruled’ congregation, or be bullied by any man or men to submit to their so-called spiritual authority. Frankly, Jesus made it pretty clear how unethical the lording it over others political systems are as well. But good luck escaping those. Oh for good and honest judges who love and fear God!

      81. From my understanding – we find the days of Ignatius of Antioch – as about the time period in which the church shifts from maintaining a close walk with the Holy Spirit to a reliance upon a Romanized (i.e. hierarchical) system of governance. We see the advent of what is called the Monarchical Episcopate at this point in time.

        It fits the Biblical pattern for signs of divine providence to proportionately diminish as a result of a diminishing reliance upon the Holy Spirit.

        How many times do we read in the OT – “And king xyz did evil in the site of the Lord and made the people to sin”

        For me, the human time-line is a cyclical picture of divine intervention followed by gradual downward spirals, followed by divine intervention.

      82. br.d

        You had said:
        “From my understanding – we find the days of Ignatius of Antioch – as about the time period in which the church shifts from maintaining a close walk with the Holy Spirit to a reliance upon a Romanized (i.e. hierarchical) system of governance. We see the advent of what is called the Monarchical Episcopate at this point in time.”

        My response:
        I’ve thought about this an awful lot. I’ve never taken the time to research this to pinpoint. I’m not even sure that history is accurate enough to even try to pinpoint. I have seen that some of the alleged early church fathers were FABRICATIONS of an invented history, and so I am not even assured an accurate church history (Catholic (ROME) church history, that is). It’s like, THEY TOOK OVER Christianity, by FORCE.

        Ed Chapman

      83. Yes – I remember bits and pieces of archeological finds.
        Such as a Roman podium dating back to the time of Constantine which had a pagan symbol on one side and the symbol of the cross on the other. The theory is – a Roman orator performed a Christian liturgy in the morning and a pagan liturgy in the afternoon. Also there is evidence the RC tried to date certain items to the time of Pentecost – such as a plaque with a prayer to Marry. Or setup a statue of the god Pan holding a pan-flute – and a sign below declaring it David the shepherd boy. With a pan flute??? – who doesn’t see through that! So yes I guess its fair to say there is a lot of corrupted info of that time period.

      84. TS00,

        Yes, yes, and yes; totally agree! Especially your second paragraph. The word, “EVANGELICAL” has been a bad taste in my mouth for quite a number of years due to its hierarchy established organized religion, no different than that of the Catholics, the origin of organized religion.

        Whatever happened to the LOCAL unaffiliated denomination community church? I see “church plants” going on, when there are a bazillion church’s within a ten mile radius. We don’t need any more church plants. All the church plants are for, is more MONEY for the MOTHER CHURCH, for some poor excuse of MISSIONS to fulfill the, what do they call it? GREAT COMMISSION? Tons of middle men in between getting paid a salary, and by the time all expenses for OFFICES are paid, i.e., water bill, electric bill, phone bill, copy machines, file cabinets, desks, computers, and you name it, how much really gets to the field to support the missionaries? There are PRESIDENTS for this, presidents for that, executives for this, executives for that, and then, there are YOUNG WET BEHIND THE EARS Pastors that need to be taught how to preach and teach, in a college setting…but they were called? More like, SELF APPOINTED ANOINTED.

        And a MASSIVE meeting, called CONFERENCES every year, with strange things getting voted on that the bible already covers. Hotel reservations, pamphlet costs, plane fares, etc.

        The local community is POOR, but God needs MONEY to support the guys in expensive suits behind the pulpits, or the congregation will get accused of ROBBING GOD.

        And we wonder why people are leaving Christianity. Well, I don’t wonder anymore.

        Ed Chapman

      85. Ed Chapman wrote:

        “The Catholic religion, and that of the REFORMERS, created an anti-semetic view of the Jews, and I couldn’t stand that at all. I learned of that in my study. Both Luther, and Calvin had DISDAIN for the Jews.”

        SPS: Question. If “Both Luther, and Calvin had DISDAIN for the Jews” as many claim, why did both of them follow Jesus Christ? Jesus was a Jew. Peter was a Jew. John was Jew. Paul was a Jew. In fact, it is probable that the entire Old and New Testaments were written by Jewish people. With the possible exception of Luke’s Gospel and Acts? For a person to be Jewish, is not simply a belief. Judaism is a belief, but being a Jew is a genetic ethnicity.

        Ed Chapman wrote: “My point, I stay away from CONFESSIONS, including the Apostles Creed. I remember reading Benjamin Franklin’s take on God, and he began, “THIS IS MY CREED…”.

        I’d rather hear YOUR creed, than that of the Apostles Creed, cuz I don’t remember reading their creed in the Bible. Besides, I do NOT believe in a holy catholic church, even if the c is not capitalized. And why must I confess that to begin with?”

        SPS: I did not create Christianity, it is therefore not my right to create a creed of my own. However, the Apostles creed is what I believe and have believed long before I read it. It is possible to come to an understanding long before the person reads a particular creed.

        Also, when the 39 Articles reference the word “catholic” it is not a reference to Roman Catholicism, but the universal worldwide body of believers.

      86. Simon Peter,

        I’m not fully convinced that Luther or Calvin followed Jesus Christ at all. Both were former Catholics, and the way that I see Catholics, is that they are more concerned with “THE CHURCH” than with Jesus Christ.

        Luther was concerned with the corruption of THE CHURCH, regarding money, regarding grace vs. works, regarding “indulgences”, etc. It was still about the politics of THE CHURCH, having really nothing to do with Jesus Christ.

        As I said to you before, there is about 300 years of so-called “Church History” that had to be compiled by a historian, for which there really is no physical evidence of. I’m not convinced that the historian accurately captured the TRUTH regarding church history.

        Christianity existed outside of Calvin and Luther, and most importantly, Catholicism. But where is the written documentation of those people? Other than what Paul wrote regarding other nations, all we have is the history of ROME, and how they took over, and it became POLITICAL, and corrupt.

        Lastly, I know that the little c is in regards to the CHURCH worldwide. but it was STILL to the BIG C Catholic church worldwide. I don’t find a need for that to be in MY creed. Besides, I don’t believe that the Apostles of the days of the NT being written ever proclaimed such a creed in the first place. Why is it necessary for me to voice something that I don’t believe?

        It’s not necessary for me to proclaim anything about world wide Christians, let alone what someone else’s creed is. The “MY CREED” is what is important, not YOUR creed. What I believe, not what YOU believe. What is a CREED? Isn’t a creed what YOU believe?

        I don’t believe in a holy little c catholic church, because in essence, that little c is discussing the big C, when all is said and done.

        Ed Chapman

      87. I don’t have a stake in the matter one way or the other – but I do see this article in Wikipedia “Luther and antisemitism”

        Here is a snippet:
        It is believed that Luther was influenced by Anton Margaritha’s book Der gantze Jüdisch Glaub (The Whole Jewish Belief).[11] Margaritha, a convert to Christianity who had become a Lutheran, published his antisemitic book in 1530 which was read by Luther in 1539. In 1539, Luther got his hands on the book and immediately fell in love with it. “The materials provided in this book confirmed for Luther that the Jews in their blindness wanted nothing to do with faith and justification through faith.”[12] Margaritha’s book was decisively discredited by Josel of Rosheim in a public debate in 1530 before Charles V and his court,[13] resulting in Margaritha’s expulsion from the Empire.

        It is no secret that Jewish people for many centuries saw Christians as persecutors – who would call them “Christ killers”

      88. br.d,

        John Hagee was on Mark Levin show not long ago. Mark Levin is Jewish. John Hagee began an organization called Christians United for Israel.

        John Hagee is a highly educated pastor, BUT he had NO IDEA about the antisemitism of Luther until he began to study that out, because there were Jewish people that were telling him about Luther, and at first, he was taken aback, not fully realizing this. Then he began some serious study about Luther, and found out just how much that Luther really did despise the Jews.

        A few short years ago, the last Pope wrote a book exonerating the Jews for killing Jesus.

        How mighty nice of him to do that. When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not of what they do”, I think that the Pope thought that Jesus was speaking to him, being FATHER?

        But, WHY did the Jews NOT KNOW what they do? That’s my sticking point with the Calvinists, rhutchin?

        Right away Jesus forgave them, without anyone repenting for it. WHY?

      89. The ironic thing about the Catholic church is the number of believers they have murdered over the years – in the “so called” name of truth.

        I think if Jesus were personally here in the flesh today – the Catholic church would be demanding he be crucified.

        While Pope Leo X saysL
        -quote
        “how profitable that fable of Christ hath ben to us and our company”

      90. br.d,

        YIKES.

        A few month’s back, I went to the theater to see the movie about the Apostle Paul.

        I was very very very disappointed, because of the Catholic slant on the story line, which showed that it was more about politics than that of Jesus Christ. Political unrest, Jesus and Paul are disrupting Rome’s authority over people. I was disgusted at the movie.

        The Catholics had the same type of made for television movie that Roma Downey had produced, too. It was aweful.

        Ed Chapman

      91. Yes – I think when one looks under the hood in Catholicism – one will actually see a political and religious alignment with Islam.

        Even people in Hollywood are distancing themselves from Mel Gibson who after creating “The Passion” was found to be antisemitic.
        Of course that was due to his Catholic influences.

        I find it interesting also how N.T. Wright calls Calvin a Catholic with a small “c”.
        And I’ve heard rumors that John Piper may be embracing “Chrislam” as a form of church consolidation.
        But so far – that is just a rumor – so take I it with a grain of salt.

      92. It sure didn’t take long for people to distance themselves from Mel Gibson once he got drunk and spewed his hatred for the Jews. And it is self evident that is due to his Catholic upbringing. It’s what he was taught, by Catholics. And for people to say otherwise, attempting to defend Catholics on this issue, very disingenuous.

        Ed Chapman

      93. BrD,

        John 16:2 (NKJV)….
        They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you (the Jews) will think that he offers God service.

        Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV)….
        “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep (nations) on His right hand, but the goats (nations) on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren (fellow Jews), you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

        Genesis 12:2-3 (NKJV)….
        “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

        The world will be judged how they have treated the chosen people of God.

        Blessings.

      94. Phillip
        The world will be judged how they have treated the chosen people of God.
        Blessings.

        br,d
        Thank you Phillip for the “blessings” and “blessings” back to you also.

        However within the scheme of Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) – divine judgement has a very interesting twist to it

        Calvin’s god is the AUTHOR of every thought, choice, and action that will ever actualize in your brain.
        Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT you to disobey.

        How you treat the chosen people of god – is how Calvin’s god DECREES you treat them.

        Then he judges you for the very things he has MADE you think, say, and do – *AS-IF* you could have done otherwise.

        Don’t you just love that form of judgement! :-]

  11. Yes and Amen to this passage!

    But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” -Luke‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭

    Absolutely this is super good news Eric!!! thank you!!!! oddly it still baffles me (not that I’ve been a believer much past a decade) yet this system permeates so much of Christianity the coined “frozen chosen”… I’ve been unable to respond lately, because God has placed a burden of love on my heart for a young person who not only is addicted to prescription medication, they come from an extremely disturbing childhood, and they also have many twisted versions of God’s Word thrown at them from YouTube.. Why bother caring, because it isn’t easy caring for a truly broken person & yet I trust, that the Gospel is a transforming message and a gift to be recieved by whomever will come!!!
    Revelation 22:17 NASB — The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

    So if this person is simply not an elect then what am I really able to offer in pointing out truth in love through God’s grace that’s been given to me… would this mean, that my striving in love is useless & in vain??? Did I mention God placed the person on my heart & is still guiding me, because I want to walk by faith not by site!!! Even though calvinism sure sounds closer than what I’ve been trying to refute and redirect them back to Jesus & also show His love..  I’m relying on His Word to guide not my feelings nor some systems view; and when it’s time to walk away I will know or they will respond to this Amazing News from above & of course that’s my prayer as well as my husbands…
    2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB — We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

    So I’m trusting that “the good news” is exactly that!! & it is Exciting and truly transforming!!! 

    Thank you I do appreciate the articles and posts. I find them encouraging!! also thank you for pointing to the truth of the cross and the desperate need each individual has to come if they will…Let it never be;

    Philippians 3:18 NASB — For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,

    Colossians 1:20 NASB — and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

    This statement I got here and use often “God is recognizably good”🌻

    1. Reggie writes, “if this person is simply not an elect then what am I really able to offer in pointing out truth in love through God’s grace that’s been given to me… ”

      You are able to offer, “…truth in love through God’s grace that’s been given to me… ”

      Then, “would this mean, that my striving in love is useless & in vain???”

      Even you know that you can plant or water but it is God who gives the increase. Thus, it is that the young person dominates your petitions to God.

      1. Reggie
        “if this person is simply not an elect then what am I really able to offer in pointing out truth in love through God’s grace that’s been given to me… ”

        rhutchin
        You are able to offer, “…truth in love through God’s grace that’s been given to me… ”

        br.d
        Yeah right – offer it to a dead person!

        A Calvinist offers a glass of water to a corps – cuz he’s been taught he won’t loose his reward! :-]

        DOUBLE-MINDED thinking will always result in a DOUBLE-MINDED belief system

  12. AIDAN MCMANUS:

    Aidan McManus wrote;

    “Simon,

    I’m Irish and still living in Ireland. Am I right in thinking that you said you are English? If so, are you still living there; and, do you have Brexit fatigue?”

    SPS: Yes, I am English. Yes, I still live here in glorious England.

    “Brexit”? = Capitalism vs Marxist-Socialism. Answer: 1 Timothy 2: 1-3

    Aidan: “Correct me if I’m wrong in regard to Calvinism, but it seems like they negate the need for a Christian to repent of future sins, including unbelief. If this is the case, do you know how they deal with such passages as 1 Jno. 1:6-10? I’ve seen you do this, namely, call for scripture each time. That’s always a good start.

    SPS: Good question. Some Calvinists do not deny human responsibility, or the need to repent. Myself I do not believe in the forgiveness of sins in the sense of ‘Past, Present and Future’. People will disagree with me on that, which is their right. However, I cannot see why any believer would need to confess present sins if those sins were already forgiven. What I believe is that if a person has truly come to Christ, past sins and present sins are already forgiven. However, the need to continually repent and “confess our sins” to Him, make no sense if future sins were already forgiven. The believer would have no need to repent or stop sinning, but could merely follow the will as the will wants to do. In other words, if a believer wanted to sin momentarily, he would be permitted to sin because that sin would already be forgiven.

    Conditional Security is far more consistent with Scripture than Once Saved Always Saved.

    John Calvin in his commentaries (22 volumes) teaches well and those writings are often consistent with Scripture. Yet there are times when “Institutes” almost reads like another person wrote them. But too many Arminians do not bother to read Calvin to find out. They criticise him without bothering to actually read the man himself. Likewise, too many Calvinists do not bother to read Jacob Arminius either. They criticise him without bothering to read any of his works first. Books or references to Arminius from Calvinistic preachers and authors etc are all too often bias and historically inaccurate. For example, if I were to read a quote by Jacob Arminius to a Calvinist, the Calvinist would likely respond ‘that’s a real true Calvinistic statement.’ Ignorant of course that the words were of Arminius himself.

    The difference between the articles on this website vs Calvinism is that here, there seems to be an emphasis on the logical conclusions to 5 Point Calvinism, which logically lead to determinism or other points being added. When this logical conclusion is followed, the Calvinist is left with no where to go but to either radically re-interpret the text in question or interpret the conflicting text in light of another passage that works in their favour.

    In light of this, lets look at that passage you mention:

    1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”.

    SPS: The emphasis and context is on Christian ethics, or fruit. as evidence of being a Christian and abiding in Christ. If believers claim to have union with Christ yet their lifestyles do not display the light, the person WALKS in darkness, and in the dark a person cannot see anything, thus cannot DO THE TRUTH.

    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    SPS: This speaks of a continuous walking, moving fellowship with Jesus the light of the world. In Him there is no darkness at all. Thus, if we are all abiding in Him, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ cleanses us. It is present, continuous, and active.

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    SPS: This is not about sins in the plural, but “sin” as a human condition. If we deny that we have sin, we are not saved. No one can be saved and deny that they humans are sinful. If we do, we cannot see any need for the sacrifice of the Saviour.

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    SPS: Continuous confession of sins to Christ is necessary. Note once again, this is not “sin” as in a singular reference, but “sins” as in the doing of them. Sin speaks of the condition of mankind after the fall. Sins speaks of the transgression of the law, the sins that people commit. Murder, lying, theft, adultery, the disrespecting of parents, coveting etc. Sin in the singular speaks of the condition of sin that existed before the fall. Note the use of the word “if” as in “If we confess our sins”. This word “if” is a conditional particle and can be found throughout the New Testament.

    10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    SPS: The emphasis here is on the doing, and the evidence of the believer’s abiding in Christ as revealed in the lifestyle of the believer. Notice the emphasis of the plural “we” rather than in the singular. It speaks of the absolute necessity of being internally convicted of sin without which, no one can be truly saved.

    This passage teaches the responsibility of every believer and cooperation with God for salvation. It does not teach that salvation is “all of God” as some Calvinists claim. However most hardcore Calvinists will simply say that this passage is simply about the proofs of whether or not a person is elect or not elect. If a person is elect, he or she will do these things. Which confuses the emphasis that John presents that it is the responsibility of the believer to do these things, which God will respond to if we believe and obey,

    Hope that all makes sense somehow.

    1. Simon Peter
      The difference between the articles on this website vs Calvinism is that here, there seems to be an emphasis on the logical conclusions to 5 Point Calvinism, which logically lead to determinism or other points being added. When this logical conclusion is followed, the Calvinist is left with no where to go but to either radically re-interpret the text in question or interpret the conflicting text in light of another passage that works in their favour.

      br.d
      Wonderfully stated!

      And Dr. William Lane Craig would agree
      -quote
      What truly distinguishes [the Calvinist] view is that it is a form of Universal Divine Causal Determinism. The Calvinist thinks that God *CAUSALLY* determines everything that happens.

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

      1. br.d

        You had said:
        “God would be like a child who sets up his toy soldiers and moves them about his play world, pretending that they are real persons whose every motion is not in fact of his own doing and pretending that they merit praise or blame. -end quote”

        My response:
        I think I saw a Twilight Zone episode similar to this.

        Ed Chapman

      2. Ed
        I think I saw a Twilight Zone episode similar to this.

        br.d
        Good one Ed!

        I think we can see why Calvinists avoid being honest about their belief system.

    2. SPS writes:
      “The difference between the articles on this website vs Calvinism is that here, there seems to be an emphasis on the logical conclusions to 5 Point Calvinism, which logically lead to determinism or other points being added. When this logical conclusion is followed, the Calvinist is left with no where to go but to either radically re-interpret the text in question or interpret the conflicting text in light of another passage that works in their favour.”

      That is very insightful. I do find the emphasis on the logical conclusions of Calvinism to be the most helpful tool. It is so easy to re-interpret any group of words into whatever meaning one desires, and a clever man, like Calvin (or whoever was behind him) can do this endlessly. Thus, I find prooftext wars futile and unproductive.

      It is far more problematic for the Calvinist to be confronted with the ramifications of his system, which many a Calvinist has never though through. They seek to avoid these unpalatable truths by pulling out the script they have memorized, anything to escape the cognitive dissonance of the unavoidable logical conclusions that their god is cruel, unjust and unlovable.

      Calvi-god is the sort of deity who can only be feared and obeyed. Thus, countless men and women through the ages have been led to sacrifice their own children, out of fear of being annihilated by an imaginary cruel and unpredictable power. I would assert that one of the major goals of the incarnation was to teach us that the true, living God is not such a being. He is loving, kind, merciful and trustworthy. We can approach him fearlessly, and know that he loves us and desires our good at all times.

      This has been the core of my faith throughout my almost 60 years. Doctrine and theological questions have come and gone, but nothing can budge my belief in a good and loving all-powerful God who is utterly for us. Thus, it is my goal on these pages to encourage others to believe this as well. One can get through life uncertain on the essence of the Trinity, or the meaning of baptism. But no one can come to know and love God without believing that he is real and trustworthy, and utterly loving in nature.

    3. Totally off topic, Simon, but I was happy to find your music on Amazon Music and am enjoying your Dusty Road album. 😉

    4. SIMON:

      You wrote:
      “Conditional Security is far more consistent with Scripture than Once Saved Always Saved.”

      Aidan:
      If people disagree with that statement, I believe that they disagreeing with what the scriptures teach.

      By the way, I thank you for the depth of the response you gave to this question. Its a very straight forward passage, and yet reveals so much if one is willing to accept it. Some will try to say that your interpretation here is teaching salvation by works. Not so! Just because one’s ultimate salvation is made conditional by God, does not mean that he is following a system based on works. Our ultimate salvation requires an obedient of faith. If not, then passages like this make absolutely no sense.

      (IF) is a small word, but has great implications in this passage. As I was reading through your explanation of (v.6), “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”. I was thinking about what that word (if) means in this whole context, including the word “fellowship” which is repeated in the contrast of vss. 6 and 7. For me, it puts a definite question mark on that person’s fellowship with Christ.

      The implication here of course, is that ‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in the light, we tell the truth, and practice the truth.’ But, if we are walking in the darkness, we lie. We lie in regard to our claim to having fellowship with Him. People need to remember, that John includes himself in these (we) statements. Therefore, these conditions for fellowship and the forgiveness of future sins, were just as applicable to the apostle, John, as anybody else.

      I do believe though, that the Lord is the One who decides at what point a person is cut off. He is willing to give people time to repent. In the book of Revelation, He gave “Jezebel,” who ever she might have been, time to repent of her of her immorality. But it seems she was unwilling.

      7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      Of course, if we are reading this right, we will see that our fellowship, and continuous cleansing from sin through the blood of Christ, is truly dependent on (if) we walk in the light.

      9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

      I think repentance is naturally implied here. What happens (if) we don’t repent and confess our sins? We won’t have forgiveness and cleansing from our sin. A Christian can die in their sins if they are unrepentant. Some say that’s impossible for a Christian to do. But if its possible for him to walk in darkness and sin, its possible to be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, even to an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. These warnings are given to Christians. Why the warnings if its impossible?

      In 2 Cor 7, Paul said, ‘for Godly sorrow produces a repentance “unto salvation.” Interestingly enough, he was speaking to Christians at the time, who were in need of some repenting. Yes, we are truly saved by faith, but it needs to be a continuous, obedient, walking in the light kind of faith. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.

      I think you made perfect sense, Simon.

  13. I am hesitant to leave a reply on this site but after reading it for the last couple of years, I feel like maybe my story is one to be told. I am a 52 year old female who just a few years ago was a successful businesswoman, wife and mother to three beautiful children. At 50 years old, I had everything that the world would deem as desirable. A godly, loving husband, 3 beautiful children, a huge business, a mansion, furniture stored to fill 3 homes, a different car to drive for every day of the week, designer clothes, shoes and handbags, 4 or 5 luxury trips a year, 3 children in private christian schools with nannies, drivers, gardeners and housekeepers at their disposal.

    Fast forward to today. I am homeless with literally the clothes on my back. I have lost everything. I am divorced, lost custody and visitation of the children, no home, business, health insurance, credit cards, cars, furniture, shoes or purses. All is gone. I have some clothing stored in garbage bags in a storage unit 10 minutes from my parents home. How could this happen, I have asked God? Well here it is:

    17 years ago, I got hooked on opiods and became a drug addict, alcoholic, liar, thief and adulterer but even before that when I look back, now that the scales have been lifted from my eyes, I was always a liar and a thief who then became a murderer (2 abortions), drug addict, alcoholic and adulterer. I would like to preface all of this with, although I was not in my own mind during the drug and alcohol use, my choices were my own and no one made me choose to do all of the things I did. I would like to say the devil made me do it, but I don’t even have that excuse. I can remember lying to the priest in confession so I would have something to confess and that was in the 1st grade.

    I was raised Catholic by a father who was an officer in the military and a christian mother who stayed at home full time to raise 5 children. In my teens, my mother became Non Denominational Christian and so did the rest of the family. I was taught about Jesus from an early age and called myself a Christian regularly attending church, bible study, prayer meetings and having a large library of bibles, scripture books, journals and resources that I would give to people to lead them to the Lord because I was so blessed.

    My husband filed for divorce in December of 2015 because I fired him from his job because he would not stay up at the office so I could take the children out Christmas shopping. (Good reason to fire the love of my life) He tried everything to reconcile with me but my heart became hardened and I was having an affair and had aspirations of being with someone else with no thought of what I was doing to him and the children. We had been married 25 years and had known each other since we were teens. I threw him out of the house with the clothes on his back, cut off his credit cards and left him without any money. I would not let the kids see their dad, spread lies about him and started a war with him that lasted two years until our divorce was final in July 2018. In May of 2017, I was taken to the mental ward because my parents had taken a mental health warrant out on me. I was left there for 7 days and they finally released me when they realised no family was coming up to check me out and take care of me. I was diagnosed bipolar and put on more medication. I came home and decided to leave with the children for a short vacation only to be taken to the mental ward again for calling the police to have my parents and brother removed from my property. I was there 24 hours and came home to an empty house. The kids were given to my brother by the court, my business was taken over by an attorney and my husband was living with his girlfriend till our divorce was final. I checked into a hotel and went on a drug and alcohol binge, fired my divorce attorney, fired my two brothers, sister in law and uncle from work and called my soon to be ex to come and pick me up and take me home which he did.

    When I got home, he went thru my cell phone and found out I had been cheating on him which I vehemently denied and even said “MAY GOD STRIKE ME DEAD IF I AM LYING!” and guess what God struck me dead right then and there. I felt a large pop go off in my spirit and I could no longer distinguish between days. Every day felt the same (no end no beginning) The time just stopped and every 24 hours felt like 1,000 years. Well how can I be writing on this site if I am dead would be a natural question? The only answer I have is God struck me dead spiritually at that moment and left me here to reap what I have sown before my physical body actually dies. You do not tell the Living God to strike you dead if your lying and then not expect Him to do so especially when you are lying.

    I ended up getting the children back in August of 2017 only to lose them for good when I tried to commit suicide on November 2, 2017. I was taken to the hospital to have surgery and then went into the mental ward for the 3rd time and was released to my parents after 21 days. They sent me to a womens home for another 30 days seeking outpatient treatment for 6 hours a day with a group under the direction of a physiatrist. My parents reluctantly came and picked me up and let me live with them for the next two years while I attended church, bible study, prayer meetings, saw psychiatrists and counselors and used a spiritual warfare bible and a scripture book to pray the demons off of me all to no avail. i continued lying because when I told the truth no one believed me because of all the lies I had told and my family accused me of being a traitor. My life got worse. House and business were sold and ex husband has legal custody of the children and everyday still feels like 1,000 years and I can’t walk or stand for any amount of time due to the unbearable pain I feel in my back, hips, legs and feet. I have reaped what I have sown and lost it all.

    I started researching what happened to me for over two years now and believe that I am a vessel of wrath. God did not chose me to have eternal life in heaven. I was created for destruction so that He would be glorified. I never even knew what Calvinism was before December of 2017. I believed in a loving, trustworthy Father in heaven that sent His only son to save me from eternal damnation and can tell you I never thought in a million years I would be going to hell but that is where I am headed and it is a very real place for quite a few people. The first passage I read after getting to my parents house was Romans 9. God HATED Esau before he was born, before he did neither good nor bad, God hated him. Yes, HATED is the word used to describe how God felt about one of his creation. WHY? I asked God how this could be true and it is because God is omniscient and He knows what we are going to do before the foundation of the earth when he choose his ELECT. He did not choose everyone and Jesus did not die for everyone. The scriptures say many are called but only few were chosen. I was given resources and teachings to make different choices than the ones I made but continued on a road that destroyed my life and everyone I was close to. Now that the scales have been lifted off my eyes, it is too late. There is no redemption or forgiveness for me. Pastors and ministers have told me just put it all under the blood of Jesus and that God does not want any to perish but all to known the truth. I realized that Jesus only takes those that the Father gives to Him indicating that there are those that the Father does not give to Jesus. The scriptures say that God curses who He curses and blesses who He blesses. A few years ago, I would have told you that I was one who God had blessed but today I would tell you that when I say Lord, Lord, He will say I never knew you, you cursed and send me to the pit.

    I am not saying I don’t deserve to go to Hell because I do deserve it and I made all of those terrible choices and I was definitely taught right from wrong and I did evil deeds anyway. Everyone inherently knows right from wrong but I can tell you when I was doing all the things I was doing I was deceived into thinking I was doing them for a reason. Drugs to remove the pain from a birth defect I was diagnosed with, sleeping pills to sleep because I had terrible insomnia (God grants sleep to those He loves), alcohol to escape from doing the drugs, lying to cover from my guilt, stealing to cover from my spending gross amounts of money and an affair to get back at my husband for cheating on me first. I had an excuse for everything and I was a Christian on top of it. Now looking back, I see all the warning signs that I ignored or was too wasted to notice.

    To those of you out there that believe the damned want to be damned and cursed you are wrong. Nor do they reject what Christ did on the cross. I can speak for myself, do I believe Jesus died to end the war between God and man that came from original sin? Yes, I do but I now believe He only came for His sheep that will hear His voice when He calls them by name. God’s Sovereign choice is just that. His Choice, the scriptures say He chooses you, you do not choose Him. They also say many are called, but few are chosen and that God makes vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy. Scripture teaches that you can’t do anything to be one of God’s elect and you can’t lose your salvation because God puts something inside you so that you will respond when he calls you. I wish this were not true and pray and plead daily with God to give me another chance.

    I know at this point, I may sound bitter and angry and I guess I am. I do not want to go to Hell and be damned for eternity in the lake of fire. I don’t know anyone that would choose to be out of favor with God. The punishment of sin is death and at death there is judgement and if you are not covered by Christ’s blood covering you are going to the pit. I was always taught that evil was the devils work but the bible clearly states that God created evil just as He created good and everything is ordained by God. Either he is omniscient or he isn’t. It does not work both ways. He knew what I was going to do before I was born. I was always taught you only have to believe that Jesus was the son of God who came to die for all of your sins and confess with your mouth and you would be saved. That is not true. I was baptized in a swimming pool in 1997 in 30 degree weather because I wanted to be saved. I had already committed murder (abortion), lied and stole but wanted God’s grace and forgiveness. After that, I broke all the commandments, have not honored my father and mother and have destroyed many lives in the process. I no longer commit those sins, I do not take drugs or any kind of prescription medicine and have stopped sinning. I want to be a Godly woman and have a chance to be a mom and grandmother but I kicked my ex husband out of the house and kicked Jesus out of my spiritual house when said what I did and now God has His wrath upon me. It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the Living God. God will not justify a lie. My ex husband, children, family and former friends want nothing to do with me and neither does God. A jury of my peers and members of the church congregation would say I deserve to die for the innocent lives I took and they are right. That would be alright with me if I knew I had forgiveness from God.

    According to Calvinism, I was never one of the elect and I now believe that is true. I can’t deny what has happened to me nor should I ask God why? According to Paul that would be absurd. How can you ask the Creator of the Universe such a thing when He is the Potter and I am just a piece of clay created for eternal damnation. I just need to be content that God will get glory from all of this. Paul had so much love that he would have taken the place of one to be damned. I believe Romans 9 clearly states that there is an election and that in order for God to be glorified and his mercy shown to the elect, He created vessels meant for destruction. Being one who is meant for destruction, this seems extremely cruel and I ask God every day, how this is glorious? My ex husband is now minister who travels the world leading people to Christ and my oldest daughter is in bible college and those things would not have happened if I were still married. My two younger children are addicted to drugs and alcohol and have eating disorders and I am just waiting to die a physical death hoping that before that happens God will forgive and let me have another chance. Realistically, deep down I know He will not let a murderer, liar adulterer or thief in the kingdom of heaven.

    I greatly respect all the viewpoints I have read on this site and hope maybe someone will read this knowing that I am not at all happy with the revelation that Calvinism is real and wish this would have never happened. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. To be separated from God is unbearable torture and the only thing worse is to be burning in a lake of fire. The scripture says that Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I do agree with some viewpoints on this site. I now no longer believe Jesus died for me but for the Elect of God. I believe I was given free will to make the choices that I did. I have free will now to choose God and that is what I want but that option is not available to me and many others who are non elect.

    Any thoughts are welcome.

    1. Lisa:

      Coming to Jesus only by yourself alone is just fantasies. Jesus Said: “No one can come to the Son except God the Father draws him/her to the Son.” It is beyond all human means. Let us just leave to God the Father the job for Him to do that and how He is going to do that for you . What the scripture assure us is that God will surely draw to the Son his chosen ones. Why? bec. it was for them that Jesus Christ has atoned for. God is the initiator of the Salvation of man. Without a Divine intervention, coming to God would be impossible. Trust Him, by the time He will open your heart for you to see the truth.

    2. No persons need to be remotely concerned whether or not they are elect. No human being is excluded from calling on God. Jesus said “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 13: 32

      It is true that before Christ was crucified, no one could believe Jesus was the Messiah unless the Father drew people to Him. But many in Israel resisted Him. But now, because of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of our Lord, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28: 18) Christ draws all men to Himself, whether they are Jew or Gentile. No one is excluded from receiving Jesus. God loves us all, but all do not receive Him. But if we believe in Him, we need not fear, we have a living hope and “everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3: 3.

      Try not to listen to 5 point Calvinistic babble, it’s nonsense and confuses people. Just read the Bible, and put your trust in God’s love and believe the Bible not the words of men.

      “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4: 10

      1. SIMON wrote:
        “It is true that before Christ was crucified, no one could believe Jesus was the Messiah unless the Father drew people to Him. But many in Israel resisted Him. But now, because of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of our Lord, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28: 18) Christ draws all men to Himself, whether they are Jew or Gentile. No one is excluded from receiving Jesus. God loves us all,..”

        Aidan writes:
        Again, thanks very much for this. I would have never thought of making that progression from John 6 to John 12, namely, that Christ being lifted up, is now the primary medium through which all are drawn to Him. Its kind of one of those things that’s there already, but it’s only when someone says it out loud, you say, ‘this is one of those penny dropping moments, and its really worth thinking about.’

        As in John 6, the drawing is done through the word, but now that word includes the full message of the cross, the gospel. Whose word is Christ’s, for “All authority has been given to Me,…. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” But not to the exclusion of the Father, because “All scripture is God-breathed.” Just thinking out loud here. Nor would it be to the exclusion of what was written in Moses and the Prophets.

        “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12)

        “So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).

        “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
        by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
        For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
        and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

        Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed” (1 Cor 15:1-4, 11)

        Again, just some thoughts, out loud.

        Aidan

      2. Aidan McManus,

        I’m not sure Calvin did us any favours with his ‘Harmony of the Gospels’. Preachers and too many Christians today make too many assumptions and over emphasise themselves in the text. Too many people selfishly read themselves into the text and think every verse is all about them. It’s all me me me in the church today.

        Preachers, books and church cultures are largely responsible for people thinking like that.

        However, a greater key to understanding Scripture is to understand the original authors intended meaning and to whom and what he was addressing. For example, I do not interpret John’s Gospel with Paul’s letter to the Romans. I do not interpret Luke’s Gospel with with the Gospel according to Matthew.

        I first establish who wrote what letter, and to whom and then work my way from there. This helps establish the historic setting of the narrative and then the original theme and overview of that particular book or letter.

        The Gospel according to St. Luke and Acts of the Apostles can interpret one another (same author) Same Greek. The Gospel of John and 1 John can interpret one another (same author) and same use of Greek.

        Mathew was probably writing to the Jews. Luke was writing to a Roman official. James was probably writing to Jews involved in the very early stages of the Jewish Wars. Paul was largely writing to early Gentile churches and his character can be seen clearly in his letters.

        By saying this I will in no way consider any accusations from other people that I am denying “Inspiration” on the contrary, God used the characteristics and linguistic skills of the individual authors. But if we drop into this text or that text and ignore the original authors intended meaning and overview, we run risk of misinterpreting the text.

        For example: some interpret Philippians 1: 6 as though that relates to all believers. It doesn’t. It relates to the original Christians at Philippi. They were remaining true to Christ and the Gospel. But Paul did not say the same thing to the believers in Galatians. Note: Yet if believers today remain loyal to Christ as the Philippians did, that text can be applied, provided the initial meaning and original authors intended communication is applied.

        Reading the Bible is like reading the autobiography of God. Co-written with other authors. But if we drop into the Book here and drop in there, we run danger of missing the overall story. The Bible contains many covenants, amendments and updates.

        John was concerned with communicating Jesus’ Oneness with the Father. He begins with a parallel to Genesis 1 and from this, we can see that John was communicating that in Jesus, the recreation of the world was taking place. He lays emphasis on Jesus (the Word) being the Creator, and then mirrors Genesis with the theme of darkness and light. But if we drop in to this verse or that verse and then interpret this passage or that passage by some other unrelated place, we run risk of misinterpreting the text and propagating misconceptions.

      3. Simon Peter
        Too many people selfishly read themselves into the text and think every verse is all about them. It’s all me me me in the church today.

        br.d
        Insightful!
        This is what some scholars have noted as Martin Luther’s weakness in his reading of scripture.

      4. sps wrote, “However, a greater key to understanding Scripture is to understand the original authors intended meaning and to whom and what he was addressing. For example, I do not interpret John’s Gospel with Paul’s letter to the Romans. I do not interpret Luke’s Gospel with with the Gospel according to Matthew. ”

        The original author of the Scriptures is God per Paul, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,…” and Peter, “…prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” When Paul writes to the Philippians, he (Paul) is writing to the believers in that church but God is writing to all believers. Thus, any believer can read Philippians and say, “This applies to me, as a believer.” So it is with all the Scripture.

        All Scripture is a cohesive whole as God is its author. That which we read in Mark is complemented by what we read in Matthew and further complemented by what we read in Luke and John. Everything Jesus said in the gospels is complemented by what Paul and Peter write in their letters.

      5. rhutchin
        The original author of the Scriptures is God per Paul

        br.d
        Dr. Gordon Fee – Professor Emeritus New Testament Studies
        -quote
        A text cannot mean today what it could NEVER HAVE meant for its original readers/hearers.

        Reading the Bible with an eye only to its meaning for us can lead to a great deal of nonsense as well as to every imaginable kind of error—because it lacks controls.

        And our experience as teachers is that students from Reformed traditions seldom ask what certain texts mean.

        Instead what they ask is “how to get around” what passages seem to clearly affirm”

      6. br.d writes, “And our experience as teachers is that students from Reformed traditions seldom ask what certain texts mean.
        Instead what they ask is “how to get around” what passages seem to clearly to affirm”

        More false impressions. br.d is full of them.

      7. br.d
        Dr. Gordon Fee– Professor Emeritus New Testament Studies
        -quote
        “And our experience as teachers is that students from Reformed traditions seldom ask what certain texts mean.
        Instead what they ask is “how to get around” what passages seem to clearly to affirm”

        rhutchin
        More false impressions. br.d is full of them.

        br.d
        And it is conceived as RATIONAL to attribute a quote from someone else as my FALSE perception? :-]

      8. br.d writes, “And it is conceived as RATIONAL to attribute a quote from someone else as my FALSE perception?’

        False impressions can transfer from one person to another.. Thus Paul in Galatians, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

      9. br.d
        And it is conceived as RATIONAL to attribute a quote from someone else as my FALSE perception?’

        rhutchin
        False impressions can transfer from one person to another..etc

        br.d
        And how (for a Calvinist) is that going to happen – without Calvin’s god determining each of those FALSE perceptions to appear in those person’s brains?

        And since it LOGICALLY follows – that (as a Calvinist) Calvin’s god doesn’t permit you to discern which perceptions he has given you are FALSE perceptions.

        Then how are you going to be able to discern which perceptions are FALSE perceptions – he has given to anyone else?

        Since that is a LOGICAL consequence of you’re belief system – you might bite the bullet and accept it.

        But I already know – Calvinists choose DOUBLE-THINK instead.
        As John Calvin teaches them
        -quote
        “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        Why everyone should want to live in a world of DOUBLE-THINK now shouldn’t they! :-]

      10. RHUTCHIN,

        Do you practice hermeneutics? Are you aware that there are definitive words only used by Paul and words only used by Luke in the New Testament? Are you aware that the Gospel of Luke contains the actual verbal (feminine Greek) testimony of Mary, the mother of Jesus? Are you aware that Luke used distinctive medical Greek words in both Luke and Acts? thus revealing the writer was certainly a high ranking medical man. Are you aware that the style of Greek in the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation reveal that it is very doubtful they are the same author.

        The Inspiration of Scripture is not an issue here. I have already stated that.

        S

      11. Simon Peter,

        You had said:
        Are you aware that the style of Greek in the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation reveal that it is very doubtful they are the same author.

        My response:
        I totally get and agree with your premise, but I had never heard anyone say that before, regarding John. In both cases, John is an apostle, and I always “assumed” it was the same John. I’m not sure where you stand on the “rapture”, but when I “assume” that Revelation 7:9 discusses the raptured people, then I am also assuming that the rest of the book of Revelation is primarily information for those “left behind”, if you will. Jews, in short.

        Then in the book of John, John was to proselytize the Jews, and Jesus has Paul for the “other sheep”.

        Then we have this:

        Galatians 2:9
        9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

        The word, “they” included John.

        And we know that Cephas is Peter, and we know that James began his book “to the twelve tribes (Jews).

        But I never heard that John is a different John for the book of Revelation before. Just wondering about that.

        Ed Chapman

      12. sps writes, “Do you practice hermeneutics? Are you aware…”

        Yes. That being said, God is the ultimate author of the Scriptures; consequently, all Scripture is a cohesive whole as God is its author. That which we read in Mark is complemented by what we read in Matthew and further complemented by what we read in Luke and John. Everything Jesus said in the gospels is complemented by what Paul and Peter write in their letters. Are we in disagreement on this point?

      13. rhutchin,

        On this point, I will neither disagree or agree.

        But…WITNESSES.

        Matthew , Mark, Luke, and John are witnesses.

        I know the issues surrounding Luke, but…

        I’ve done this:

        Using the NIVr, zipper the 4 gospels together.

        It’s really cool, cuz you will see that the order of events actually do match.

        Nothing is out of place. However, if one misses an event, the other mentions it, or the others both mention it.

        John, however, takes a lot of work to put his into place, cuz he was more the spiritual speaker, but Matthew, Mark, and Luke is easy.

        I did an excel spreadsheet listing each event, and the references in chronological order. Took me a few weeks, but once done, then look at the complete story, it’s like a flawless movie.

        Good stuff!

        Ed Chapman

      14. BR.D,

        SPS: “Too many people selfishly read themselves into the text and think every verse is all about them. It’s all me me me in the church today.

        br.d
        Insightful!
        This is what some scholars have noted as Martin Luther’s weakness in his reading of scripture.”

        I would agree. Luther’s works contain a lot of himself. Luther had an axe to grind when he read James, and did not recognise the original meaning. He thought James was teaching works and thus he practically threw the text out. Calvin also had an axe to grind and a lot of his expositions are refuting Rome. His overstating of predestination, election etc are all responses to the errors of Rome.

        It is a weakness to interpret the Scriptures with something other than the text in mind. Historical present, is a fallacy. If we study Scripture without any axe to grind and practice selflessness, and view a Scripture as the original author of every text intended it to be, we will see the true meaning of Scripture. When we do that, we see no contradictions in any part of the Bible and we can apply the text to today, to congregations and our own lives, if we get it right in the first place.

        For example: Is Luke 10: 19 about all believers of every age? No, it’s original meaning was about the 72 disciples. Verse 17 makes that clear.

        When Paul made it to Rome, is that such a big deal today? No. But it was then.

        It is a constant challenge to us all. Can be difficult. But we must understand that the writings in the Bible were written to specific people and persons, if we ignore that, and over read ourselves into the texts, average Christians could all end up like Benny Hinn.

      15. Excellent Simon!
        I agreed with it all – and especially the reference to Benny Hinn :-]
        I’m enjoying your posts!

      16. br.d,

        You had said:
        ” and especially the reference to Benny Hinn :-]”

        My response:

        Ya, but Benny Hinn is RICH. We could all end up RICH. For the Love of Money!!

        Ed Chapman

      17. CHAPMANED24 wrote, “You had said:
        Are you aware that the style of Greek in the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation reveal that it is very doubtful they are the same author.

        My response:
        I totally get and agree with your premise, but I had never heard anyone say that before, regarding John. In both cases, John is an apostle, and I always “assumed” it was the same John. I’m not sure where you stand on the “rapture”, but when I “assume” that Revelation 7:9 discusses the raptured people, then I am also assuming that the rest of the book of Revelation is primarily information for those “left behind”, if you will. Jews, in short.”

        SPS: It is amazing. I avoid historic revisionism but it is also confirmed by the early Church. Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History) in the 4th Century wrote of how the early church did not know for certain who the author was. He recorded there were two John’s in Ephesus, John the Apostle and John the Elder.

        I have been to Ephesus and Patmos is not far. So either of the two John’s could have been exiled on Patmos. It is interesting that In Revelation John the author never referred to himself as an Apostle nor does he actually state that he knew the Messiah in the human sense. He actually references the 12 Apostles in 21: 14, but that text does not read as though he is referring to himself.

      18. Simon Peter,

        OK, this looks interesting to dig into for me, as I just remembered the following:

        Acts 12:12
        And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

        Acts 12:25
        And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

        Here we have a John, who is also known as Mark. Makes me wonder about the 2 gospels, as well that Mark was John, and John was Mark? I’m confused! I was never a CHURCH HISTORY buff, cuz I don’t believe in the Catholic church, especially when what we hear begins in the 3rd century, we miss a couple hundred years of info.

        Ed Chapman

      19. SIMON,

        You wrote:
        However, a greater key to understanding Scripture is to understand the original authors intended meaning and to whom and what he was addressing.
        I first establish who wrote what letter, and to whom and then work my way from there. This helps establish the historic setting of the narrative and then the original theme and overview of that particular book or letter.

        Aidan:
        Absolutely agree. So much false doctrine is being taught, and churches split when men fail in this regard. This is one of the reasons why John 14-16 is so often misapplied, when people don’t take into account who Jesus was addressing.

        And what you said, in no way negates inspiration. Those who suggest otherwise are being ridiculous.

      20. Agree with all of the above. Many view scripture as a blueprint, and attempt to find the line by line instructions by which to build their vessel. I perceive it as instructive in a more fluid way, as needs be for wisdom that is applicable to countless people in countless ages and countless situations. It always requires the wisdom and input of the Holy Spirit to provide the insight it is intended to give.

        It’s not as if God could not have written a systematic theological tome like Calvin’s Institutes, if that was the best way to show us what we need to know.

      21. TS00
        It’s not as if God could not have written a systematic theological tome like Calvin’s Institutes, if that was the best way to show us what we need to know.

        br.d
        So TRUE TS00!
        Institutes of “Good-Evil”.

      22. The world might have changed over the past two thousand years, but man hasn’t.
        Therefore, God’s word is just as applicable to us today, as it was then.
        That living and enduring word of God.

      23. RH, you wrote:
        sps writes, “Do you practice hermeneutics? Are you aware…”

        Yes. That being said, God is the ultimate author of the Scriptures; consequently, all Scripture is a cohesive whole as God is its author. That which we read in Mark is complemented by what we read in Matthew and further complemented by what we read in Luke and John. Everything Jesus said in the gospels is complemented by what Paul and Peter write in their letters. Are we in disagreement on this point?

        AIDAN:
        Yes, the scriptures are a cohesive whole. But, I think we are all in agreement that you have to be discerning in regard to context and text etc. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is whether people want the truth.

        Take for example our famous verse in (Matthew 7:21). “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

        If I bring out the fact that this verse is dealing with at least two groups of people, namely, those who will be saved and those who will not, many will attack that contention based on their theology, rather than on the passage. Who are the group who will not be saved in this verse? Those who say, (‘Lord, Lord,’) AND (do not do the will of the Father in heaven). Who then are the group that will be saved? Only of those who call Him, (‘Lord, Lord,’) AND (does the will of the Father in heaven shall enter).

        Based on what is said in this verse: In the final analysis, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not?

      24. (those who love the truth[2Thess2], given the freedom to worship, according to the Truth, today, 1 Corinthians 15.
        So those hearing and seeing can clearly understand the hardening process[Romans 1 and 2], this text [Mat 7] always comes back to the heart and mind of the works that come out of the mouth of a false prophet no matter what works they manifest , even about acting like a sheep.the 2 false prophet examples in Deuteronomy God makes clear, looking back)

        If the false prophet doesn’t ‘see’ they are a false prophet calling “Lord, Lord”, then what ‘other’ hand(s) are they holding? What’s the test? What to recognize looking presently forward, we should see TheRevelation.
        ———————-
        John 15:16a (NKJV)….
        You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit

        The lamb crucified from the beginning of the world. Genesis tells us ‘when’ Adam would sin. God was prepared ahead of time to redeem us from the Enemy. Determined, not to be Puppeteer – we are tested given freedom to worship. About things revealed, we are not God -as to understand His working power of Omniscience.

        Big picture…framework: Mankind did not chose God having been given instruction about what Truth commands and would command.[death for rebellion to the truth] See the revealed plan of redemption. It’s not a secret philosophy-it’s the truth about the freedom found in the Love of God and the Spirit is Truth.

        Revelation ‘about’ instruction, a relationship living and active always involves 2: remain enemies or receive the offer of eternal friendship, chosen to bear fruit to the Glory of God: Romans 5/ 1Cor 15:*1-5[Isaiah 52:13-15&53 ( Who is guaranteed tomorrow, like a rebel on a cross?) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. God is His peoples front and rear guard.

        John 3:12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

      25. Tammy,

        Ya know…the age old question. What are we doing HERE, on EARTH? God created us. So WHY did God LOCATE us in a land FAR FAR away FROM HIM?

        Why didn’t God KEEP US IN HEAVEN WITH HIM? What’s the NEED for THIS PLACE? If ya break a bone here, IT’S GONNA HURT.

        Does anyone break a bone in heaven? No scraping of the knees? Why put us thru that stuff HERE on earth?

        When I was growing up, I always thought it was so that WE can CHOOSE God, because God does NOT want ROBOTS, for he wants us to LOVE HIM voluntarily, by free will.

        But then I learned of Calvinism in the last 10 to 12 years, and they teach the exact opposite of what I was brought up on in Christianity.

        THIS EARTH is nothing more than a TESTING ground for our own HEARTS.

        An movie actress friend of mine died of MS recently (she starred in The Mangler with Robert Englund). He sister also has MS, but she’s not advanced in the disease yet. Those two sisters would talk about this a lot. They were both JEWISH. They both became Christian in the mid 90’s, after growing up in strict Judaism.

        BOTH OF THEIR CONCLUSIONS were, regarding as to WHY WE ARE HERE ON EARTH, is to LEARN how to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

        Love is our only COMMANDMENT. Some will disagree with that, as they thing that there are more, cuz Jesus said something about obey my plural commandments.

        Faith is the law, love is the commandment under that law.

        We are to learn (emphasis on LEARN).

        So, bottom line, I do not agree with anything of Calvinism, that EVIL somehow gives God PLEASURE.

        Ed Chapman

      26. Great thoughts. And this learning to love others is, in effect, loving (honoring) God. I too, like many, can get lost in the weeds of Theodicy. The best my feeble mind can come up with so far is that the fact that justice demands that creatures granted the power of reason and choice must have the opportunity to exercise said reason and choice. God could have chosen Universalism, and there would have been no sin, suffering or evil; but it appears that he determined that free creatures were superior to robots, and even worth the tragedy of the current world suffering under the weight of rampant evil.

        Being free creatures, we have the freedom to choose whether or not to love, trust and fellowship with God. It seems that it was necessary to allow mankind the freedom to choose evil and see the consequences of that choice. Perhaps the only way to permanently and effectively eliminate evil without coercion is what my Ma used to call the need to ‘learn things the hard way’. Sure, God could have just told us what was good and evil, and locked us up so that we could do nothing forbidden. Just as my mother could have chained me to my bed. But that would not have allowed us to learn our lessons and freely come to a hatred and rejection of evil.

        Loving others more than self is the most genuine expression of goodness. Which is why Calvinism is so offensive, casting upon God a heinous, narcissistic ‘It’s all about me’ nature that is the opposite of all he is and all he has done. God is genuinely and wholly good, which means that he loves others more than self. This he has demonstrated through Jesus, and it is indeed heinous to accuse him of self-seeking,
        tyrannical determinism.

      27. TS00 writes, “The best my feeble mind can come up with so far is that the fact that justice demands that creatures granted the power of reason and choice must have the opportunity to exercise said reason and choice.”

        It is because of our feeble minds that the Proverbs instruct–

        “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
        “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
        “the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;”
        “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”
        “A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.”

      28. TS00,

        You had said:
        “And this learning to love others is, in effect, loving (honoring) God”

        My response:
        YES YES, that’s exactly how I understand it, as well.

      29. TS00 had said:“And this learning to love others is, in effect, loving (honoring) God”
        Ed responded: “YES YES, that’s exactly how I understand it, as well.”

        Of course, this is backwards. It is in learning to love God that a person finds himself loving others. A person who does not love God will not love others.

      30. No… it is the other way. You prove that you LOVE God by how you treat others.

        Dang, man. Ugh! I can’t believe some of the things you say.

        Ed Chapman

      31. Sometimes rh doesn’t have an answer for something when its important to him to appear to be right.
        So he will simply make-up whatever he can think-up on the spot – to counter your statement.

        Its done for the sake of appearance more than anything else – and it can sometimes buy a little time.
        I just anticipate it as one of many debate strategies.

      32. Aidan
        Based on what is said in this verse: In the final analysis, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not?

        br.d
        Yes – you ask a good question here Aidan.
        I think in the Calvinist systematic – the “determining” determinant is whatever intent Calvin’s god has for each person he creates.

        In Calvinism – “before they were born, Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated” is just another way of indicating Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – before he created either of them – already had two specific intentions for each of them.

        He either DESIGNS/CREATES a person specifically for eternal bliss
        Or he DESIGNS/CREATES a person specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

        Calvin’s god is like the divine artist who draws each person’s portrait of what their life will look like.
        Every sin and evil Calvin’s god makes them commit are simply shades of color Calvin’s god applies to their portrait.

        But before he even starts anyone’s portrait – he has already determined their eternal fate.

      33. Aidan writes, “Based on what is said in this verse: In the final analysis, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not?”

        We also know, “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” Thus, those to whom the Holy Spirit grants the ability to say “Jesus is Lord” will be saved while those not granted this ability will not be saved.

      34. br.d
        “grants the ability to”

        The robot engineer/designer grants to the robot the ability to be a robot. :-]

      35. RH,
        You just proved my point in not being able to answer Matthew 7:21, without bringing in your theology. It’s a simple question.

        Based on the reason Jesus gave in Matthew 7:21, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not? Who can give a straight answer to this question, simply from what is being said in the passage?

      36. Aidan writes, “Based on the reason Jesus gave in Matthew 7:21, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not? ”

        Those who enter the kingdom of heaven include, “he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” What else do the Scriptures tell us?

        “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10)

        “Now it was not written for his sake alone that righteousness was imputed to Abraham, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4)

        “…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5)

        “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6)

        “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians1)

        “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.” (1 Corinthians 18)

        …and many other Scriptures.

      37. RH, You wrote:

        Aidan writes, “Based on the reason Jesus gave in Matthew 7:21, what is the difference between those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, and those who will not? ”

        Those who enter the kingdom of heaven include, “he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” What else do the Scriptures tell us?

        “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10)

        “Now it was not written for his sake alone that righteousness was imputed to Abraham, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4)

        “…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5)

        “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6)

        “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians1)

        “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.” (1 Corinthians 18)

        …and many other Scriptures.

        AIDAN’S RESPONSE:

        AGAIN, you still couldn’t simply answer what Mathew 7:21 says without bringing your Calvinistic doctrine into it. Even in your first statement, where you said, “Those who enter the kingdom of heaven include, “he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” But this is not what Jesus said. You added the word “INCLUDE” changing the whole sentence.

        Among the ‘Lord, Lord,’ crowd who WILL enter the kingdom of heaven? Listen to it again; “Not everyone who says to Me, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). The only persons getting into heaven among the ‘Lord, Lord,’ group, are the doers of the will of the Father, period.

        We all know your position, Rhutchin. So you don’t have to qualify it. We all know that you believe, only those whom God chose and regenerated will do the will of the Father in heaven.The rest of those verses you quoted all hinted at that, with words like, “imputed,” and “received,” or “gift” etc..

        Its interesting that in Luke’s account, in Luke 6:46, Jesus reproves them, by asking, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

        HERE’S A QUESTION: Was Jesus rebuking the ‘elect,’ or the ‘non-elect,’ in Luke 6:46?

      38. Aidan writes, “AGAIN, you still couldn’t simply answer what Mathew 7:21 says without bringing your Calvinistic doctrine into it.”

        Calvinist doctrine is to bring the whole of Scripture to bear on an issue.

        Then, “You added the word “INCLUDE” changing the whole sentence.”

        My bad.

        Then, “We all know that you believe, only those whom God chose and regenerated will do the will of the Father in heaven.”

        Thus, no one should build a doctrine on a single verse but take all of Scripture into account.

      39. RH, you wrote:

        “Thus, no one should build a doctrine on a single verse but take all of Scripture into account.”

        AIDAN’S RESPONSE:

        It is not your’s, nor anyone else’s job to build any doctrine. That’s where men have gone wrong from the beginning! The goal is not to BUILD A DOCTRINE, but to continue to “preserve (maintain, keep) the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

        When Paul said, “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), that was their primary objective.
        The “unity of the Spirit” to be kept by Christians should never be union reached simply on the basis of mutual consent, but rather “unity” upon the basis laid down by the Holy Spirit. Verses 4-6 reveal to us what that is.

        v.4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
        v.5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
        v.6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

        Again, its up to men to “KEEP the unity of the Spirit,” NOT BUILD IT!

        Aidan

      40. rutchin
        Calvinist doctrine is to bring the whole of Scripture to bear on an issue.

        br.d
        More precisely – Calvinist doctrine is to bring an INTERPRETATION designed to affirm Universal Divine Causal Determinism – to bear on an issue

      41. Excellent point Br.d,
        br.d
        More precisely – Calvinist doctrine is to bring an INTERPRETATION designed to affirm Universal Divine Causal Determinism – to bear on an issue

        Aidan:
        Perhaps he can’t help himself. Especially if he is being, ‘Divinely Caused’ to – bring an INTERPRETATION designed to affirm Universal Divine Causal Determinism – to bear on an issue

      42. Aidan:
        Perhaps he can’t help himself. Especially if he is being, ‘Divinely Caused’ to – bring an INTERPRETATION designed to affirm Universal Divine Causal Determinism – to bear on an issue

        br.d
        YES! He has no say in the matter! :-]

      43. Maybe he is also being determined NOT TO LISTEN!

        There are a lot of people who are determined not to listen.

      44. Well if Calvin’s god is determining his every perception – not permitting him the ability to choose a TRUE perception from a FALSE perception – (which is the case in Theological Determinism) then he wouldn’t have the ability to know his true condition.
        He could have been determined not to listen – and he wouldn’t have the ability to know it.

        Isn’t Calvinism fun! :-]

      45. How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? NOBODY CAN DETERMINE THAT!.

      46. Too funny!

        How many Calvinists can determine that Calvinism is true?
        NONE – Calvin’s god does not permit the creature to determine anything! :-]

      47. br.d writes, “Calvin’s god does not permit the creature to determine anything! ”

        Actually, under Calvinism, the creature is made in the image of God and is independent of God (enabling the creature to voluntarily disobey God’s laws) and self-determining (able to do as he desires). Given that God is sovereign, the creature is still subordinate to God making the creature’s actions subordinate to God’s will. This works as explained in Isaiah 10 and in the stoning of Stephen. In each case, the Assyrians and the Jews acted independent and self-determining but could only fulfill their desires because God had previously determined that the expression of their desires was consistent with His will.

      48. br.d
        Calvin’s god does not permit the creature to determine anything! ”

        rhutchin
        Actually, under Calvinism, the creature is……independent of God (enabling the creature to voluntarily disobey God’s laws)

        br.d
        FALSE
        In Theological Determinism – every neurological impulse is determined by Calvin’s god before the creature is born and the creature has no say in the matter of anything Calvin’s god determines for himself or anyone else.

        To call something “voluntary” which the creature has no control over is simply dishonest language.

        rhutchin
        and self-determining (able to do as he desires).

        br.d
        FALSE
        Calvin’s god determines *ALL* things without exception.
        Take the sum total of things determined in human time-line
        Subtract *ALL* from it
        You get ZERO
        That is how much is left over for the creature to determine.

        And that of course includes *ALL* creaturely attributes such as desires etc.

        rhutchin
        Given that God is sovereign, the creature is still subordinate to God making the creature’s actions subordinate to God’s will.

        br
        A robot is subordinate to its program – which is subordinate to the programmer’s will.

      49. br.d writes, “In Theological Determinism – every neurological impulse is determined by Calvin’s god before the creature is born and the creature has no say in the matter of anything Calvin’s god determines for himself or anyone else.”

        No. Again, God created man in His image. That means God created man with the ability (a mind) to gather information from his environment and increase his understanding and knowledge of that environment. God created this ability and man uses this ability for his purposes (desires). It is also true that Hod has infinite understanding of His creation and understands how the mind of man works and how his mind stores information and understands that information. Because of His understanding, God can determine the actions He will take in the course of time to accomplish His will. That man involve God determining to do nothing thereby enabling the desires of a man to play out – as with David’s adultery and the crucifixion of Jesus. Had those events not been consistent with His eternal plan, God would have involved Himself in the affairs of David to prevent his adultery or to prevent the death of Jesus before the proper time. Absent God’s determination to involve His self in worldly affairs, those affairs proceed from man’s desires and do so voluntarily. Of course, God by virtue of His infinite understanding, knows all future events and thereby determined those events by His creation of the universe.

        Then, “In Theological Determinism – every neurological impulse is determined by Calvin’s god before the creature is born and the creature has no say in the matter of anything ”

        No. Neurological impulses are generated in the mind of a person as he interacts with his environment. That is the way God made man. Thus, when Adam first laid his eyes on Eve, a host of neurological impulses were generated in his mind and God did not have to cause them directly even though He determined them by not involving Himself in Adam’s ability to think. Of course, God by virtue of His infinite understanding, knew exactly how Adam would react to seeing Eve and had determined that reaction by creating Adam in His image.

        Then, “To call something “voluntary” which the creature has no control over is simply dishonest language.”

        That is not the case here. At least, you cannot explain how it must be so.

        Then, “Take the sum total of things determined in human time-line”

        David determined his adultery because God did not force him into that action. Of course, God understood David and thereby knew the decision David would make. Because God did not determine to intervene into David’s affairs to prevent the adultery. God determined that David would be adulterous and God made this event certain when He created the universe.

        Then, “A robot is subordinate to its program – which is subordinate to the programmer’s will.”

        As man is made in the image of God, man is not a robot unless you can explain how he is.

      50. br.d
        “In Theological Determinism – every neurological impulse is determined by Calvin’s god before the creature is born and the creature has no say in the matter of anything Calvin’s god determines for himself or anyone else.”

        rhutchin
        No. Again, God created man in His image. That means God created man with the ability (a mind) to gather information from his environment and increase his understanding and knowledge of that environment.

        br.d
        Absolutely *ALL* of which is determined by the THEOS – and NONE of which is determined by man.

        That is in fact the definition of Theological Determinism – the THEOS determines *ALL* – the creature determines ZERO

        As Dr, William Lane Craig notes:
        -quite
        In Universal Divine Causal Determinism …since our choices are not up to us but are caused by God, human beings…..are mere instruments by means of which God acts to produce some effect, much like a man using a stick to move a stone.

        rhutchin
        Absent God’s determination to involve His self in worldly affairs…..

        br,d
        AH! And here it is! The Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK tap-dance – where he denies his own theology!

        Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Theological Determinism
        -quote
        Theological determinism is the view that God determines *EVERY* event that occurs in the history of the world.

        Calvinist Paul Helm’s
        -quote
        WCF’s statements about God’s attributes and God’s eternal decree imply theological determinism and thus rule out libertarian free will.
        WCF 10.1 straightforwardly affirms compatibilism by asserting that God determines that the elect freely come to Christ.

        rhutchin
        those affairs proceed from man’s desires and do so voluntarily.

        br.d
        LOGICALLY FALSE
        It is a LOGICAL impossibility to “volunteer” something one does not have to volunteer.

        rhutchin
        Of course, God by virtue of His infinite understanding, knows all future events and thereby determined those events by His creation of the universe.

        br.d
        Determining future events does not require infinite understanding – it simply requires the ability to determine future events.

        In Theological Determinism – every neurological impulse is determined by Calvin’s god before the creature is born and the creature has no say in the matter of anything which is determined by Calvin’s god which equals EVERYTHING

        rhutchin
        Neurological impulses are generated in the mind of a person as he interacts with his environment.

        br.d
        DUH! – And Calvin’s god determines what-where-when-and-how every neurological impulse will be generated
        That is what Theological Determinism is!

        rhutchin
        As man is made in the image of God, man is not a robot unless you can explain how he is.

        br.d
        A childish straw-man
        When did I argue – in Calvinism – man is a robot ONTOLOGICALLY?

        The only LOGICALLY COHERENT freedom that can exist within Theological Determinism is compatiblistic freedom.

        And compatiblistic freedom is defined as *ONLY* the freedom to be/do what one is determined to be/do.
        The THEOS determines *ALL*
        The creature determines NOTHING.
        Nothing more is PERMITTED or made available.

        But I know – Calvinists have a LOVE-HATE relationship with their own doctrine! :-]

      51. br.d writes, “That is in fact the definition of Theological Determinism – the THEOS determines *ALL* – the creature determines ZERO…And Calvin’s god determines what-where-when-and-how every neurological impulse will be generated That is what Theological Determinism is!”

        I think you may be confusing Theological Fatalism with Theological Determinism. Under Theological determinism, God creates man after His image making man an independent and self-determining creature, We see this illustrated by the Assyrians in Isaiah 10 and in the crucifixion of Christ. James tells us that God does not tempt a person but that “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Thus, God does not initiate the neurological impulses in a person’s brain nor does God initiate the desires and feelings a person experiences within himself. Yet, God is still sovereign and God is the final arbiter, thus determiner and author, of all that happens, It is God’s direct action (as with the flood and the impregnation of Mary) or lack of action (as with David’s adultery and the stoning of Stephen) that lead to Paul’s statement, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

        As much as you argue against this, or quote William Craig, neither you nor Craig can support your opinion with the Scriptures. Until Craig can do that, and you can copy him, you have no argument and all the flapping of your arms means nothing.

      52. br.d
        That is in fact the definition of Theological Determinism – the THEOS determines *ALL* – the creature determines ZERO…And Calvin’s god determines what-where-when-and-how every neurological impulse will be generated That is what Theological Determinism is!”

        rhutchin
        I think you may be confusing Theological Fatalism with Theological Determinism.

        br.d
        Nope!
        Theological Fatalism is the belief that things come to pass -quote “OF NECESSITY”

        rhutchin
        Under Theological determinism, God creates man after His image making man an independent and self-determining creature,

        br.d
        FALSE
        You’ve already made a statement in a previous post to this one – which denies the UNIVERSALITY of Universal Divine Casual Determinism. So we can understand your simply trying to SMUGGLE in some form of IN-determinism.

        rhutchin
        As much as you argue against this, or quote William Craig, neither you nor Craig can support your opinion with the Scriptures. Until Craig can do that, and you can copy him, you have no argument and all the flapping of your arms means nothing.

        br.d
        Sorry rhutchin – I can see how you would want to appoint yourself the judge over all arguments and explanations.
        But you don’t have the authority – or the LOGIC – to make that stick. :-]

      53. br.d writes, ‘Theological Fatalism is the belief that things come to pass -quote “OF NECESSITY””

        Yep. That seems to be the way you describe it when you say things like, “the THEOS determines *ALL* – the creature determines ZERO.” and “And Calvin’s god determines what-where-when-and-how every neurological impulse will be generated That is what Theological Determinism is!””

        Then, “You’ve already made a statement in a previous post to this one – which denies the UNIVERSALITY of Universal Divine Casual Determinism. ”

        Following Craig, you approach Theological Determinism using a secular, humanist philosophy. Neither Craig nor you limit Theological Determinism to the one true living God and frame it by the way God describes Himself and His creation in the Scriptures. If Craig had a Scriptural argument behind his views, you would know it and could have presented it. You didn’t, leading me to conclude that they do not exist which agrees with my searches on his website.

        Then, “I can see how you would want to appoint yourself the judge over all arguments and explanations.”

        I appoint the Scriptures to judge arguments and explanations. Until you can support your claims from the Scriptures, your comments seem pretty worthless to me. As you say, you don’t have the authority – or the LOGIC – to make your statements stick.

      54. br.d
        ‘Theological Fatalism is the belief that things come to pass -quote “OF NECESSITY””

        rhutchin
        Yep. That seems to be the way you describe it when you say things like, “the THEOS determines *ALL* – the creature determines ZERO.” and “And Calvin’s god determines what-where-when-and-how every neurological impulse will be generated That is what Theological Determinism is!””

        br.d
        Well that is because you don’t know what the term UNIVERSAL means in Philosophy.
        You do seem to know what “universalism” means though – so you should be able to connect a few dots from there.

        I’ve spelled this out for you before but perhaps you didn’t get it then – so I can do it again.
        UNIVERSAL = Everything without exception, ALL, Nothing left over
        DIVINE = A reference to a THEOS
        CAUSAL = A reference to Cause and Effect – with the emphasis on the CAUSE
        DETERMINISM = The thesis of determinism

        So you do the math
        Take the sum total of things that will be determined (or in Calvinist vernacular “come to pass”)
        Subtract *ALL* from it (i.e. that quantity which the THEOS determines)
        You have ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        rhutchin
        Following Craig, you approach Theological Determinism using a secular, humanist philosophy. Neither Craig nor you limit Theological Determinism to the one true living God and frame it by the way God describes Himself and His creation in the Scriptures.

        br.d
        He is LOGICAL enough to know that IRRATIONAL thinking will always result in an IRRATIONAL interpretation of any data.
        Whether that data is scripture or not is irrelevant.

        And a red-flag is Calvin’s DOUBLE-THINK

        Calvin’s most sacred proposition:
        1) Believe that *ALL* things are determined and in *EVERY* part
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is FALSE

        In other words – hold to what is deemed the most sacred of all propositions as TRUE
        But go about your office *AS-IF* it is FALSE

        That is your IRRATIONAL thinking conundrum!
        That is why Calvinists are often DOUBLE-MINDED – and why so much DOUBLE-SPEAK.

        BTW: If you are savvy – you should be able to see “Universal” in Calvin’s most sacred proposition.

        And besides that – I can see how you would want to appoint yourself the judge over all arguments and explanations.”

        rhutchin
        I appoint the Scriptures to judge arguments and explanations. Until you can support your claims from the Scriptures, your comments seem pretty worthless to me. As you say, you don’t have the authority – or the LOGIC – to make your statements stick.

        br.d
        I know – with you of course as the self appointed judge of all arguments and explanations concerning scripture – right! :-]

        But we’re right back to the problem of IRRATIONAL thinking.

      55. br.d writes, “Take the sum total of things that will be determined (or in Calvinist vernacular “come to pass”)
        Subtract *ALL* from it (i.e. that quantity which the THEOS determines)
        You have ZERO left over for the creature to determine.”

        We both agree with Ephesians 1, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will.” However, God still uses free creatures to determine (bring about) events. We find the creature determining to do that which he desires. God then incorporates that which the creature determines into His plan. Isaiah 10 is an example of this. Of Assyria, Isaiah says, “…it is in his heart to destroy…” God uses this desire to destroy saying, ” I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” Assyria desired to destroy and God directed that desire to destroy Israel by removing His protection of Israel. In the overall scheme of things, God necessarily determines all things because it is His plan that has been unfolding since the creation. However, Assyria by freely pursuing its desires, is easily used by God to carry out His plan.

        Then, “Calvin’s most sacred proposition:
        1) Believe that *ALL* things are determined and in *EVERY* part
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is FALSE”

        As you have noted, point (2) was advice offered by Calvin. It is advice that has been largely rejected by Calvinists. Calvinists do subscribe to point (1) because God has infinite understanding and thereby knows how everything works. There is nothing that God does not understand.

        You err in saying, “That is your IRRATIONAL thinking conundrum!” You may attach this to Calvin but not to Calvinists or me. However, in the end, you argue for God ensuring the certainty of all events but and not their necessity.

        Then, “BTW: If you are savvy – you should be able to see “Universal” in Calvin’s most sacred proposition.”

        Even you don’t deny the “universal” of Universal Divine Causal determination You don’t even deny the “Divine,” or the “Causal,” or the “Determination.” So, what is your whole argument intended to accomplish other than to affirm that you cannot argue against Calvinism?

        Then, “But we’re right back to the problem of IRRATIONAL thinking.”

        Given that you have not identified anything irrational in Calvinism thinking, are you referring to yourself?

      56. br.d
        Take the sum total of things that will be determined (or in Calvinist vernacular “come to pass”)
        Subtract *ALL* from it (i.e. that quantity which the THEOS determines)
        You have ZERO left over for the creature to determine.

        rhutchin
        God still uses free creatures to determine (bring about) events.

        br.d
        I understand the need to make determinism APPEAR like IN-determinism. :-]

        Firstly – the “free” which exists withing Theological Determinism is compatibilist freedom.
        As Paul Helm’s states: Determinism rules out Libertarian Freedom

        Compatibilist freedom is nothing more than the freedom to be/do what Calvin’s god determines.
        Robots have compatiblistic freedom.

        Calvin’s god DOES NOT PERMIT the creature to falsify or negate the DECREE
        And since Calvin’s god DECREES/determines *ALL* things UNIVERSALLY – this leaves ZERO left over for creatures to determine.

        rhutchin
        God necessarily determines all things…..

        br.d
        That position of “necessarily” is unique to Calvinism of course – and that’s why Calvinism is a minority view.

        Calvin’s most sacred proposition:
        1) Believe that *ALL* things are determined and in *EVERY* part
        2) Go about your office *AS-IF* (1) is FALSE”

        rhutchin
        As you have noted, point (2) was advice offered by Calvin. It is advice that has been largely rejected by Calvinists.

        br.d
        And I’ve seen that “so called” rejection in action.
        Like a person who claims to reject alcohol – while sipping on a Martini! :-]

        rhutchin
        God has infinite understanding and thereby knows how everything works.

        br.d
        Anyone who infinity determined *ALL* things UNIVERSALLY before they happen is bound to have infinite understanding of how they work.

        As Calvinist John Feinberg states it:
        -quote
        “God’s UNCONDITIONAL decree is based on absolutely nothing outside of himself that moves him to choose one thing or another”

        rhutchin
        You err in saying, “That is your IRRATIONAL thinking conundrum!” You may attach this to Calvin but not to Calvinists or me.

        br.d
        And all the SOT101 reader has to do is read through your posts! :-]

        rhutchin
        However, in the end, you argue for God ensuring the certainty of all events but and not their necessity.

        br.d
        Well I wouldn’t use the term “ensuring” because that for me is misleading.
        I would rather say certainty is a LOGICAL consequence.
        And appealing to necessity – which you’ve done a few times by the way – is a modal fallacy.

        rhutchin
        Even you don’t deny the “universal” of Universal Divine Causal determination

        br.d
        I learned what “Universal” means years ago – from a course on the “Square of Opposition”

        See: https://www.iep.utm.edu/sqr-opp/

        rhutchin
        You don’t even deny the “Divine,” or the “Causal,” or the “Determination.” So, what is your whole argument intended to accomplish other than to affirm that you cannot argue against Calvinism?

        br.d
        Calvinists – in their LOVE-HATE relationship with determinism – have two primary problems they struggle with.
        The first one is the UNIVERSALITY of Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        The second is with the fact that compatibilist freedom represents a tiny sub-set of total freedoms people intuit as normal

        Christian Philosophers all acknowledge compatibilism eradicates
        – Do Otherwise
        – Alternate Possibilities
        – Anything being “up to us”

        The only way a compatibilitist experiences those freedoms is through ILLUSIONS and DOUBLE-THINK.

        That is why Calvin’s answer to the conundrum is: “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        And Ravi Zacharias describes perfectly the a byproduct of that psychology
        -quote
        “A person who embraces radical absolutes will constantly be looking for ways to SMUGGLE in concessions”

        And BTW SMUGGLING in concessions constitutes a large percentage of your exculpatory posts! :-]

        rhutchin
        Given that you have not identified anything irrational in Calvinism thinking, are you referring to yourself?

        br.d
        I’m sure glad that SOT101 readers can read our dialogs and see all of them for themselves! :-]
        For me – that is a win-win situation!

      57. BR.D – Keep doing what you are doing…how you show line by line the error is so good.

        I was recently sent this article…it was a comparison of how Islam and Calvinism are very much the same in that neither of these ideas of God has God as truly loving his creation…and as to determinism and damnation almost identical. It makes me wonder if the author of the Islamic god is the same as the author of the Calvinist god?
        https://faithalone.org/grace-in-focus-articles/islam-and-calvinism/

        Most of what is stated in this article I have observed previously so it was not new but the quotes from Koran were new to me and then they are set side by side with quotes from Calvinism. A scary picture indeed. But very revealing.
        https://faithalone.org/grace-in-focus-articles/islam-and-calvinism/

      58. Good catch GraceAdict!

        You will not be the first person to see a connection between Islam and Calvinism.
        From my understanding it has its basis in a connection between Islam and Catholicism.

        The connection as I understand it – with Catholic