Calvinism and Pastoral Care

What we believe shapes our lives and forms our behaviors. Theology never stays in the abstract, it always filters down to what we do and how we live. Most Calvinist pastors I have listened to are simply practical Christians. They may preach effectual grace one Sunday but the next Sunday extoll the responsibility of their congregants to behave like Christians. For those of us steeped in the soteriological controversies that may seem like an inconsistency but I see a Christian pastor being pastoral.

It is rare, in my experience, for a Calvinist pastor to tie Calvinism directly to its practical implications. Yet, that’s exactly what Pastor Tom Hicks over at The Founders Ministries endeavors to do in his article “Some Practical Implications of Calvinism”. While it would be fun to go through each point and discuss the inconsistencies contained therein, I’m going to focus on a single one.

Pastoral Care

Outside the core Master of Divinity coursework, I graduated with an emphasis in Pastoral Care. Pastoral care is a subject close to my heart. Fair or not, pastors have a great influence over the spiritual and emotional health of their congregation. So when your pastor says this…

“Calvinism helps calm our anxieties

…Scripture teaches that God works all things for the good of His chosen people which means we have no reason to be anxious. We can know that everything which comes to pass is God’s love to us, no matter what we feel or how things seem. We, therefore, can quiet our fears because God governs all things for the good of His people.

…think of it in terms of real people, the truly horrible circumstances they can find themselves in, and the crushing emotional states that result.

At first read, I thought this was simply a case of intellectualism where a pastor steeped in seminary and theology is disconnected from the emotional lives of those God has give him to shepherd. But that’s not the case with Pastor Tom. I looked over his other articles on The Founder’s website and lo!

Practical Calvinism and Abuse Victims

Tom Hicks seems like a pastor steeped in the real lives of his congregates. He tackles one of the most difficult aspects of pastoral ministry: what to do about abusers and victims. Keep his above practical advice regarding anxiety from a Calvinistic worldview in mind as you read his description of victims.

Survivors of domestic abuse have been deeply affected by their abusers. They often don’t leave their relationships, even when the abuse is very severe because of the great fear that their abusers have worked to instill into them. Women who are abused usually want to protect their children above all else, and may be afraid of doing anything that might set off their abuser and cause harm to their children.

This is true. Now, put yourself in the shoes of an abuse victim who just listened to a sermon from Pastor Tom in which he said something like “We can know that everything which comes to pass is God’s love to us, no matter what we feel or how things seem“. Think about the implications. Their feelings of fear and of danger for themselves and their children, and the abuse that brought it on, are God’s love to them.

So we are left to picture an abuse victim already feeling conflicted about leaving the husband they married before God and church, already afraid for what the manipulative abuser might do, but now add the crushing guilt of feeling that it is her fault for not being able to understand and believe that all of his abuse and manipulation are actually God’s love.

Pastor Tom continues:

Survivors of domestic abuse feel terrible shame because the very person they had hoped would love them is the one who has rejected them, made them feel like they are less than nothing…

Yes, especially if that person is God. It sounds good and pious to say that God controls everything and so we ought to fear nothing, but transporting that doctrine to the real world not only proves impossible but harmful to people who are in actual pain. Not “Dang it, my electric bill is higher this month” discomfort, but actual “the person who is supposed to love and protect me is the one hurting me” pain.

Calvinism dies in the face of the horror of our lives.

God the Manipulator

Pastor Tom explains another horrifying aspect of abuse.

Because of their abuse, they are tempted to believe that they shouldn’t trust people at all. They often come to believe that they can’t even trust their own thinking, since they have been told over and over that reality is the opposite of what they think it is. The mind games in abusive relationships are truly stunning and difficult to understand unless you’ve seen it first-hand. And I have. Survivors often learn to be suspicious of everyone’s words and motives, since every “kind” thing their abuser said or did always had an ulterior motive.

Mind Games. You mean like “Scripture teaches that God works all things for the good of His chosen people which means we have no reason to be anxious” while at the same time unchangeably ordaining an abuser to come into my life, move into my home, father my children, hurt me, scar me, and make me anxious and fearful every day of my life? I wonder what Pastor Tom would say to an abuse victim who asked him this question.

Survivors also struggle when they go to church on Sundays. People in the church might ask, “How are you doing today?” with a smile, and the abuse survivor is forced to choose between lying and saying, “I’m fine,” or telling the truth

Abuse survivors also struggle with the expectation in churches that Christians should always be happy and joyful, never deeply struggling in their lives and with their faith.

And who could possibly be giving abuse victims this expectation, Pastor Tom? Could it be pastors telling them from the pulpit that if they just believed good doctrine enough they would never fear anything?

If his article is any indication, I am sure that Pastor Tom blessedly disconnects his Calvinism from his pastoral care towards abuse victims. But are the victims in his congregations and other Reformed congregations able to do the same? I’m not as confident about that.

612 thoughts on “Calvinism and Pastoral Care

  1. I think “excluded” is the wrong choice of words here. It implies “unavailable to them”. Why not a word that places more responsibility on the hearer and none on the offerer (God)?

  2. Roger, I have a question for you. When you came to Christ, and first began reading the Bible, did any of the things you now believe regarding the “doctrines of grace” come to you spontaneously merely by reading, or at some point in your journey did you encounter Reformed theology and they explained everything to you?

    You have been posting here for a long time, but none of us knows anything about your story. It would be interesting to know more about the person who is – next only to Br.D – easily the most prolific commenter here.

    You can read my own story here: https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/x-calvinist-corner/#comment-22452

    It is my belief that nobody spontaneously arrives at TULIP by reading the scriptures. Nobody. They are taught it by those who themselves were taught it. Calvin was taught by the writings of Augustine – the father of determinism. And Augustine was informed not by the Bible, but by his pre-conversion, pagan teachers who themselves were not godly or biblical in their traditions or worldviews.

    Every Calvinist I have ever met or conversed with online was either a proselyte in some form or another, taught it when they started attending a Presbyterian or other Reformed congregation, or born into it – but regardless, all were taught it rather than simply reading scripture plainly and naturally arriving at the “doctrines”.

    This should give people pause. You could read and re-read the Bible a thousand times and not arrive at this doctrines unless externally aided.

    1. Any man who thinks he can reach a rational conclusion all by himself – when the truth is – someone external to him (in rhutchin’s case Calvin’s god) exclusively determines his mind’s every perception – is living in a make-believe world.

      A world in which one makes-believe his mind’s every perception is not determined by an external mind. :-]

      1. This might seem a little harsh, but it is of no consequence what his perceptions are, or how he came to them – they ain’t the oracles of God! “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

    2. Steve Sabin writes, “Every Calvinist I have ever met or conversed with online was either a proselyte”

      there are two basic arguments that convince people of the Calvinist position.

      1. God has infinite understanding and knew the future perfectly when He created the world. Thus, God knew the identities of the elect and non-elect when He created the world.
      2. John 6:44 is true, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” Thus, the elect, known to God from the foundation of the world, are drawn to Christ by God.

      These two arguments are effective because the non-Calvinist has ever disputed them. It is because of this that non-Calvinists are venturing into Open Theism or Open Future Theism having concluded that they must deny that God has a perfect knowledge of all future events if they are going to oppose Calvinism.

      1. rhutchin
        God has infinite understanding and knew the future perfectly when He created the world. Thus, God knew the identities of the elect and non-elect when He created the world.

        br.d
        Calvinist training: Learning to become proficient in DOUBLE-SPEAK talking points:
        Lesson #56:

        Always obfuscate and hide as much as possible Calvinism’s horrible decrees.
        An external mind – and not you – is in control of your perceptions.
        An external mind – and not you – causes every impulse in your brain to occur irresistibly

        Tip of the week:
        A great obfuscation strategy is to hide these facts behind the mask of “infinite understanding” – and thus hide “infinite decreeing”.

        By these obfuscation strategies – we are able to hide the fact that Calvin’s god DESIGNS the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure. And that he DESIGNS and PROGRAMS every nano-second of what every creature will be/do.

      2. br.d writes, “Tip of the week: A great obfuscation strategy is to hide these facts behind the mask of “infinite understanding” – and thus hide “infinite decreeing”.”

        When you cannot refute a point, pull out the obfuscation strategy excuse. Thanks br.d for another example.

      3. br.d
        Calvinist tip of the week:
        A great obfuscation strategy is to hide these facts behind the mask of “infinite understanding” – and thus hide “infinite decreeing”.”

        rhutchin
        When you cannot refute a point, pull out the obfuscation strategy excuse. Thanks br.d for another example.

        br.d
        Oh oh! Calvin’s god gave you yet another FALSE perception.
        I had not intention at all to refute anything – just simply highlight an example of how Calvinist obfuscation tactics work.

        We’ll have to add this latest FALSE perception to your count. :-]

      4. RHUTCHEN I love reading and fact checking everything written on this site but have never commented before so please give me grace.

        I would understand there is no time before creation as God lives outside of the realm of time. Therefore he knows as an all knowing being, not knew when. That is two very different things is it not? Am I wrong in accepting that? The bible doesn’t seem to give much definition on metaphysics.

        And in John Chapter 12 does Jesus add to this statement from John 6:44 that when he is lifted up he will draw all people to himself? Is he changing the guard from God needing to draw to Jesus drawing all? I am trying to get my head around that both statements in John must be true but does the latter make the former no longer, otherwise how can both be true?

      5. Hello Dan and welcome.

        N.T. Wright – would answer your question this way:
        There are general references in the scripture which show that in the relationship between man and God – God himself takes some initiatives.
        He tells us that he holds his hands out all the day. He tells us that he would gather us as a mother Hen gathers her chicks. He invites everyone who is thirsty to come to the waters and drink freely.

        The danger is with so much medieval and reformation theology – which focuses on certain bits it wants to see – and in that process doesn’t see other bits that are there. And when you take those bits out what you get is a theory of predestination. I’m not a Universalist. But I do think its possible for people to say “NO” to God – and God honors that.

      6. Dan writes, “Therefore he knows as an all knowing being, not knew when. That is two very different things is it not?”

        There are two positions on this. The Calvinist says that God has infinite understanding of His creation so there is nothing that He does not know about His creation including events in the future. The other position says that God is still adding to His knowledge (therefore His understanding is not infinite nor His knowledge perfect) as future events come to pass. So, either God has infinite understanding or He does not. I say He does.

        Then, “And in John Chapter 12 does Jesus add to this statement from John 6:44 that when he is lifted up he will draw all people to himself?”

        That’s fine. John 6:44 has this promise from Jesus, “I will raise [the one drawn] up at the last day.” So if you use John 12 to define the scope of John 6, everyone is raised up or saved – that is Universalism. The alternative is to understand that Jesus is saying that He will draw all to Him – meaning both Jew and gentile. This was then revealed to Paul as Paul writes in Ephesians 3 and Paul then identifies himself as the apostle to the gentiles.

      7. rhutchin
        There are two positions on this. The Calvinist says that God has infinite understanding of His creation so there is nothing that He does not know about His creation including events in the future.

        br.d
        Calvinist lesson #55: Always hide the horrible decrees!

        Always hide the fact that Calvin’s god foreknows every nano-second of the future ONLY because Calvin’s god decrees every nano-second of the future.

        For example:
        The phrase “infinite understanding” can work wonderfully as a mask to strategically hide the underlying doctrine of good-evil

    3. I totally agree. As a former Calvinist, I was always told what to believe about Calvinism. I do not believe anyone reads the Bible and “automatically” becomes a Calvinist.

      1. Hello Robert and welcome

        Yes I agree with your assessment.
        The Calvinist reading of scripture is highly predicated on certain very unnatural presuppositions.
        The primary presupposition – being that everyone’s fate (nano-second by nano-second) is fixed at the foundation of the world.
        And as such all human impulses, desires, and choices are likewise predetermined and occur outside of human control.

        One has to have presuppositions like that drilled into one’s head before one can pick up an bible and believe that is what it says.

      2. brdmod writes, “The Calvinist reading of scripture is highly predicated on certain very unnatural presuppositions.’

        Yeah, like the five solas.

        Then, “The primary presupposition – being that everyone’s fate (nano-second by nano-second) is fixed at the foundation of the world.”

        Or, omniscience.

        Then, “And as such all human impulses, desires, and choices are likewise predetermined and occur outside of human control.”

        Or outside and within human control.

      3. br.d
        The Calvinist reading of scripture is highly predicated on certain very unnatural presuppositions.’

        rhutchin
        Yeah, like the five solas.

        br.d
        Nah that’s not it
        The primary presupposition – being that everyone’s fate (nano-second by nano-second) is fixed at the foundation of the world.

        A nice little world of divinely controlled bio-bots :-]

        rhutchin
        Or, omniscience.

        br.d
        Nah – That’s not it either
        Its all human impulses, desires, and choices are likewise predetermined and occur outside of human control.”

        rhutchin
        Or outside and within human control.

        br.d
        Well that’s part of Calvinism’s DOUBLE-THINK
        They believe everything is predetermined in every part
        While going about their office *AS-IF* that is FALSE – and *AS-IF* they have control over their impulses, desires, and choices. .

      4. Robert writes, ” I do not believe anyone reads the Bible and “automatically” becomes a Calvinist.”

        Given that Calvinism defines Total Depravity as the absence of faith, I see a many people leaning toward the Calvinist system. Then, add the concept of omniscience whereby God knew the future perfectly when He created the universe, it’s not hard for most people to become 4-point Calvinists at the least.

        Why did you reject those two concepts – Total Depravity and omniscience?

      5. rhutchin
        Why did you reject those two concepts – Total Depravity and omniscience?

        br.d
        Calvinists and their rope-a-dope straw-man strategies!
        What a hoot! :-]

  3. rhutchin: Of course, anyone who does not hear the gospel is excluded from salvation as are those who hear the gospel but do not have faith.
    mrteebs: “I think “excluded” is the wrong choice of words here. It implies “unavailable to them”.

    If a person does not hear the gospel, salvation is not available to them. “Hearing the gospel” is a prerequisite for being saved. If a person does not hear the gospel, he cannot have faith. Without faith, no one can be saved.

    1. rhutchin
      If a person does not hear the gospel, salvation is not available to them.

      br.d
      A good example of a non- sequitur
      If the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.

      1. br.d writes, “If the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.”

        LOL!!! Paul tells us, “faith comes by hearing.” No hearing; no faith.

      2. rhutchin
        If a person does not hear the gospel, salvation is not available to them.

        br.d
        If the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! Paul tells us, “faith comes by hearing.” No hearing; no faith.

        br.d
        Therefore according to your thinking (per your statement above) if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.

        That’s called Calvinist logic! :-]

      3. rhutchin: “If a person does not hear the gospel, salvation is not available to them.”
        br.d: “If the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.”
        rhutchin: “LOL!!! Paul tells us, “faith comes by hearing.” No hearing; no faith.”
        br.d: “Therefore according to your thinking (per your statement above) if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is not available to the man.”

        br.d apparently confused this string with the string that dealt with his quote of Calvin.

        According to my thinking, “if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is STILL available to the man.” It’s sitting on the porch to be retrieved at a later time. By contrast, if a person does not hear the gospel, that faith is not sitting on the porch (so to speak) waiting to be retrieved. Faith can only be received by hearing the gospel.

      4. RH writes,
        “According to my thinking, “if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is STILL available to the man.”

        Aidan,
        If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it – does it make a sound?

        And, if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – was the package really delivered?

        But if a man does not hear the gospel – it was probably a different gospel!

      5. Aidan writes, “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it – does it make a sound?”

        Of course, it does.

        Then, “And, if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – was the package really delivered?”

        So, the person would check to see if there is a package. Maybe UPS did and maybe UPS did not. Whether one heard or not would not tell us what happened.

        Then, “But if a man does not hear the gospel – it was probably a different gospel!”

        Not really. Not everyone who hears the gospel ends up with faith. Have you observed a different outcome when you have witnessed the gospel being preached?

      6. rhutchin
        Maybe UPS did and maybe UPS did not. Whether one heard or not would not tell us what happened.

        br.d
        We already know what happened – it got delivered and the person didn’t hear it.
        And you then argued it was therefore not available

        rhutchin
        Not everyone who hears the gospel ends up with faith.

        br.d
        The Gnostic understanding of faith.
        Normal people are not born with the capacity to believe – thus faith is a gift – but only to select individuals who meet the divine criteria.

        That makes the Gnostic believer special – as he assumes he met the divine criteria.

      7. Aidan writes, “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it – does it make a sound?”

        RH
        “Of course, it does.”

        Aidan,
        Not to the one not there to hear it.

        Aidan
        “And, if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – was the package really delivered?”

        RH,
        “So, the person would check to see if there is a package. Maybe UPS did and maybe UPS did not..”

        Aidan,
        Not to the one who did not personally receive it. Maybe the package was stolen from the front porch!

        Aidan,
        “But if a man does not hear the gospel – it was probably a different gospel!”

        RH,
        “Not really. Not everyone who hears the gospel ends up with faith.”

        Aidan,
        Not everyone who ends up with faith has heard the true gospel. You must obey the true gospel to be saved – Galatians 1:6-8. For that reason I would like to see you converted from Calvinism.

      8. According to my thinking “if the man does not hear UPS deliver the package – then the package is STILL available to the man.”
        It’s sitting on the porch to be retrieved at a later time.

        br.d
        Yes – that would be normal.

        rhutchin
        By contrast, if a person does not hear the gospel, that faith is not sitting on the porch (so to speak) waiting to be retrieved. Faith can only be received by hearing the gospel.

        br.d
        Yes – that is consistent with Augustinian/Calvinian Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Christian determinism.
        But outside of that nexus – salvation is a gift offered and available to all people without exception – and they are “merely” permitted to to accept or reject the gift.

      9. br.d: “Yes – that is consistent with Augustinian/Calvinian Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Christian determinism.”

        Also, consistent with the Scriptures that require faith as a prerequisite for salvation and hearing the gospel as a prerequisite for faith..

        Then, “But outside of that nexus – salvation is a gift offered and available to all people without exception – and they are “merely” permitted to to accept or reject the gift.”

        Available to all but only accepted by those with faith. Those without faith reject salvation.

      10. br.d
        Yes – that is consistent with Augustinian/Calvinian Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Christian determinism.”

        rhutchin
        Also, consistent with the Scriptures that require faith as a prerequisite for salvation and hearing the gospel as a prerequisite for faith..

        br.d
        Nah!
        What is consistent with Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Christian determinism is the belief that people don’t have the normal capacity for faith – and as such it must be given as a divine gift.

        But outside of that nexus – salvation is a gift offered and available to all people without exception – and they are “merely” permitted to to accept or reject the gift.”

        rhutcin
        Available to all but only accepted by those with faith. Those without faith reject salvation.

        br.d
        For the WHOLE truth – see br.d’s answer above.

    2. I sometimes come back to threads like this and re-read. What occurs to me in re-reading RH (as well as Sproul and many other Reformed writers) is this strange and erroneous adherence to the supposed “letter” while ignoring the “spirit”.

      What kind of God would offer salvation but then make sure the recipient couldn’t hear it? What kind of God would insist that He’d offered and thus fulfilled the “letter” but hides His true intent behind clever and deceptive wording?

      Have you ever met someone who was so hung up on technicalities, parsing words, and arguing that the words didn’t precisely match the clear intent of something?

      It is exhausting and brings to mind 1 Tim 2:14…
      Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

      1. Good post Steve!

        Calvinist language often reminds me of a contract which contains provisos of provisos of provisos in a labyrinth of fine print.
        The Calvinist knows most people are unsuspecting and take what the Calvinist says at face-value – and in so doesn’t realize how many caveats are strategically hidden under layers of fine print.

      2. A good example is Prov 16:4 (since today is the 16th, I was reading the 16th chapter).

        Here is what John Calvin concludes:

        “Solomon also teaches us that not only was the destruction of the ungodly foreknown, but the ungodly themselves have been created for the specific purpose of perishing (Prov. 16:4).” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, pp.207-208)

        The Calvinist (in this case, John Calvin himself) is all too happy to cheerfully accept this one verse along with perhaps Rom 9 “by the letter” while simultaneously ignoring the letter and spirit of passages like Ez 18 and John 3:16 and 1 Pet 3:9 that state something completely opposite. So it demands reconciliation. Calvinists choose to do so as follows:

        “God is a monster, but not in such a way that He is a monster” (my paraphrase of the Westminster Confession).

        Non-Calvinists do so by letting scripture interpret scripture. Calvinist Bruce Waltke, in his commentary on Proverbs, translates the text literally as follows:

        The Lord works everything to its appropriate end, even the wicked for an evil day.

        Arminian and SEA president Brian Abasciano concurs and states that the passage literally reads as follows:

        God works everything to his answer/response, even the wicked for a day of calamity.

        So the non-Calvinist reconciles it as well. First by checking the text in original language to see what it says, and then by seeing that it is perfectly consistent with his beliefs — that God judges man according to his own choices, not that the man was meticulously created for an unalterable trajectory to the Lake of Fire.

      3. Steve Sabin writes, “God judges man according to his own choices, not that the man was meticulously created for an unalterable trajectory to the Lake of Fire.”

        We all know that everyone sins so for God to judge man according to his own choices means that all are condemned. It is God’s mercy that is at issue. Here, we have two positions: (1) Universalism (God saves all) and (2) non-Universalism (God saves some but not all).

      4. rhutchin
        We all know that everyone sins so for God to judge man according to his own choices means that all are condemned

        br.d
        Well – what the Calvinist knows is that Calvin’s god meticulously programs man’s every impulse, desire, choice *FOR* man – before man is created. Doesn’t permit man to be/do otherwise – and then judges man for what he meticulously programs.

        That’s called love in Calvin-speak! :-]

      5. RH writes,
        “It is God’s mercy that is at issue. Here, we have two positions: (1) Universalism (God saves all) and (2) non-Universalism (God saves some but not all).”

        Aidan,
        Using the term “all” in the sense you have used above; There’s a third position: (3) The Gospel (God has provided salvation for all) – John 3:16!

      6. Yes and with position (3) scripture is not turned into a GNOSTIC text – where words like ALL have hidden meanings that can only be rightly understood by those with the special GNOSIS

        But all esoteric texts can be decrypted – if one has John Calvin’s magic decoder ring. 😆

      7. One should always be wary of groups who somehow receive “special knowledge” about God. Here’s what the scriptures say,

        Deut 29:29,
        “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

        1 Tim. 2:4 – it is revealed that God, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” How amazing it is that they Gnosis that “all” does not mean all, because they’ve got the secret meaning of that passage;

        God, “desires (a few) men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Why not simply change their Bibles as they see it,

        1 Tim. 2:4 – ” who does not desire all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Which, by the way, is the complete reverse of what it actually says.🙃 There’s no mystery about it, it’s an exoteric verse.😏 Gnosis for ALL.😇

      8. Aidan writes, “One should always be wary of groups who somehow receive “special knowledge” about God.”

        Our knowledge of God’s plan of salvation is found in the Scriptures. Under God’s plan, “the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,” (Ephesians 3), and “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1), and “the gospel of Christ,…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1)

        By these verses, we can understand Paul to mean Jew and gentile whenever he uses the word, “all.” What Scriptures do you use to define the term, “all”?

      9. Rh writes,
        “the gospel of Christ,…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1)

        “By these verses, we can understand Paul to mean Jew and gentile whenever he uses the word, “all.” What Scriptures do you use to define the term, “all”?”

        Aidan,
        The only verse you quoted with the word “all” was the one above: “the gospel of Christ,…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) Which doesn’t mean ‘some of all types” as you want it to mean.

        I would quite happily use your scripture above to define the term “all”.
        The gospel is the power of God unto salvation “for everyone” among the Jews; and the gospel is the power of God to salvation “for everyone” among the Gentiles because – “it is the power of God to salvation FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES” (Rom. 1:16).

      10. Aidan writes, “I would quite happily use your scripture above to define the term “all”.
        The gospel is the power of God unto salvation “for everyone” among the Jews; and the gospel is the power of God to salvation “for everyone” among the Gentiles because – “it is the power of God to salvation FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES” (Rom. 1:16).”

        That’s fine. That is much different than saying that God desires everyone among the Jews and everyone among the gentiles to be saved. As John 3:16 tells us, it is only whosoever believes that is saved. Thus, we can conclude that God desires the salvation of those who believe and not those who do not believe. We can read 1 Timothy 2 as “God desires all men who believe to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” or we can say, “God desires both Jews and gentiles (all men) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

      11. Aidan wrote,
        “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation “for everyone” among the Jews; and the gospel is the power of God to salvation “for everyone” among the Gentiles because – “it is the power of God to salvation FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES” (Rom. 1:16).”

        Rh wrote,
        “That’s fine. That is much different than saying that God desires everyone among the Jews and everyone among the gentiles to be saved.”

        Aidan,
        I think you know that’s precisely what it means, for there’s no other conclusion from the language that is used.

        Rh,
        “As John 3:16 tells us, it is only whosoever believes that is saved. Thus, we can conclude that God desires the salvation of those who believe and not those who do not believe.”

        Aidan,
        Lol.🤣 It is “so that” whoever believes in Him shall be saved!

        John 3:14-16.
        “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
        so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
        “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

        God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, not because they already believe, but because they need to believe.🧐!!

      12. The JWs have to make scripture fit into their system – and so do the Calvinists :-]

      13. To the point that the system they created has become their god – a golden calf to lead them in the way. See how zealous they are to defend it! They revere it above everything else, even above scripture! It’s hard to convince somebody with scripture when they are more committed to another standard of authority. I should know, I was a Catholic for almost 24 years. No one can serve two masters – one of them is bound to get nothing more than lip service! Need I say more?

      14. Aidan
        One should always be wary of groups who somehow receive “special knowledge” about God.”

        rhutchin
        Our knowledge of God’s plan of salvation is found in the Scriptures

        br.d
        Interpretation:
        Our special GNOSIS of Calvin’s god’s plan – is always what our brains are conditioned to find in every verse of scripture.

      15. Aidan writes, “There’s a third position: (3) The Gospel (God has provided salvation for all) – John 3:16!”

        Not a 3rd option but John 3 describes the means by which one is saved – “everyone believing has eternal life.”

        Thus, God has provided the means whereby a person can be saved so we have two positions: (1) Universalism (God uses Christ’s death as the means to save all) and (2) non-Universalism (God uses Christ’s death as the means to save some but not all).”

      16. There is really only one position, the scriptural position, which is – The Gospel, through which God has provided salvation for all – John 3:16! This position cancels out your two positions.

        John 3:16
        “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        (1) Notice the scope of God’s love is the – World! Hence, the scope of the Son’s sacrifice is for the – World.Therefore the scope of this loving sacrifice embraces the whole world. This does not mean that the whole world is saved (Universalism), but rather speaks of intent – for whom He sacrificed Himself for.

        (2) So, “that whoever believes in Him” also speaks of intent and choice, but on the part of the individual. The “whoever” is not a collective term – some of all types. It is an individual term! Salvation is on an individual basis to whoever, to-every-one, who believes in Him! Literally, “who is believing in Him” which means that it is not a one time for all time type deal – it is only the “believing one” who will be saved.

        (3) Romans 10:21- “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” Same thing here:- God’s desire was for all to be saved, but not all were be saved, nor will be!

      17. Aidan writes, “the scriptural position, which is – The Gospel, through which God has provided salvation for all – John 3:16! This position cancels out your two positions.”

        That God has provided a means to salvation is not at issue. The number of people taking advantage of that means, whether all or some number less than all, is a different issue. It is the difference between a possible outcome and an actual outcome. You identified a path to salvation. I identified two outcomes from that path, only one of which could.actualize.

      18. Rh writes,
        “That God has provided a means to salvation is not at issue.”

        Aidan,
        That’s right, it’s the word “all” that’s at issue! What in the context of John 3:16 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone? What in the context of Romans 1:16 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone?What in the context of 1 Timothy 2:4 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone? Don’t you know the rule? You take words to mean what they would normally mean unless something in the context FORCES you to take it otherwise.

        As I’ve shown you with each of these 3 passages, there is nothing in their respective contexts that would force you to take “all” as any number less than all or everyone! I have especially proven this with Romans 1:16. Can you prove otherwise?

      19. Aidan,

        Kindly refer back to my list of 15 “rules” when engaging with Calvinists. You’ll find #6 especially relevant, but others as well…

        https://soteriology101.com/2020/05/07/calvinism-and-pastoral-care/comment-page-2/#comment-50268

        I should probably add a few more rules. Here is #16:

        When debating a Calvinist, remember that you must not only ask the perfect question but you must also ask it in the perfect way.

        For example, a Calvinist like RH will answer “all (or whole world or everyone) = Jews + Gentiles” never bothering to point out that the word ELECT must go on the right side of the equals sign. You forgot to ask the question perfectly. Hence, you received an elusive answer that would sound fine to the average listeners who would not presume the word “elect” is required. But Calvinism is like reading the warranty provisions with its 100 pages of single-spaced fine print. It is void on Tuesdays and odd numbered calendar dates if the appliance is plugged in providing service to members of the human race below the age of 149. Other than that, it is unlimited.

        There is a sneakiness in Calvinist literature, statements of faith, and dialog until such time as you have been vetted and found to be able to handle the “strong meat” of “the doctrines of demons grace”. They would drive normal people away so the heat in the pot must be turned up slowly and made to feel like a hot tub before it eventually comes to a boil and the acolyte has acclimated.

      20. Hey Steve,
        To a post I had sent to Br.d, in which I said that Calvinists read I Tim. 2:4 as: “God, “desires (a few) men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Which, as we know, means only the “elect few” are saved. Rh responded (not surprisingly) by trying to use Romans 1:16 to define “all” as just simply meaning Jew and Gentile. This of course, when translated into Calvinism, means “all” = only “some of all types.”

        Moving on to John 3:16, he then tried to twist “whosoever” as – “it is only whosoever believes that is saved. Thus, we can conclude that God desires the salvation of those who believe and not those who do not believe.” So again, the Calvinist twists it to, Jesus dying only for a “select few.”

        So, we see how he first imposes Calvinist teaching concerning the “elect” onto so-called prooftexts John 3:16 and Romans 1:16; and then reads that interpretation into passages like 1 Timothy 2:4 as: ““God desires all men who believe to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” or we can say, “God desires both Jews and gentiles (all men) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

        It is interesting that in Matthew 22:32, Jesus used “grammar” along with the principle of “necessary inference” in order to expose the false presumptions of the Sadducees. His tactic not only stunned them, but the whole crowd, when they saw how the truth was revealed. We need to do the same, by pushing back on these Calvinist prooftexts, using the same principles that Jesus used, not only to expose Calvinism, but also for the sake of those who want to know what the scriptures teach.

        Matthew 22:31-33,
        “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”

        I am aware of where these Calvinists are coming from with their so-called prooftexts. I will leave others to talk about the shenanigans. As for me, I keep in mind ” be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove” as I expose what these so-called prooftexts teach. I’m not so much interested in the politics as I am in what the scriptures say. I believe when push comes to shove, we need to let the scriptures do the talking – 1 Peter 4:11. Those who are willing to accept it, will accept it; and those who are not willing to accept it, will not accept it!

      21. Aidan writes, “Moving on to John 3:16, he then tried to twist “whosoever” as – “it is only whosoever believes that is saved.”

        LOL!!!!! Are you suggesting it means something else????

        Then, ‘we see how he first imposes Calvinist teaching concerning the “elect” onto so-called prooftexts”

        The prooftexts are Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1. Are we to think that the revelation of this mystery had no influences on Paul who “advanced in Judaism beyond many of his contemporaries in his own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

      22. rhutchin
        Are we to think that the revelation of this mystery had no influences on Paul who “advanced in Judaism beyond many of…..etc

        br.d
        Here we have what is called PROJECTION
        *AS-IF* Paul was also a Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic – after the model of Augustinian/Calvinism 😉

      23. Oops. Turns out I had already formulated the “ask the perfect question” rule. It is #13.

        If nothing else, Calvinists are completely predictable. Pull the string and you’ll get one of 20 helpful proof texts and the same explanations and sleight of hand as before, just at louder volume.

        Ask yourself sometime how old John Calvin was when he wrote “Institutes” and how much one can really know about life, the Bible, God’s character, etc. at that age. Jesus Himself was 30 before He started His ministry. While Calvin is so often praised for his brilliance, I read the man and see mostly a 27-year old that thinks he has the secrets of God and theology all figured out and speaks with all the assurance that typically accompanies youth. Like many 27-year old “geniuses”, he brings to mind the old definition of “positive”…

        “to be mistaken at the top of one’s voice” (Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary, 1906)

      24. I think is probably true to say Calvin was a Catholic at the time he wrote the institutes.
        Although N.T. Wright calls Calvin a Catholic with a small “c” even after the institutes, and being the abusive pope of Geneva.

      25. Aidan asks “What in the context of John 3:16 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone?”

        John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        We can take “whoever believes” to mean “all who believe.” The implication from the following verses is that some will believe and some will not. Throw in Matthew 7:21ff and other verses and we get the outcome that all will not be saved. So, John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He would give eternal life only to those who believe. The gist of John 3 is that some number less than “all” will believe.

        I don’t see the argument you are trying to make here.

        Then, “What in the context of Romans 1:16 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone?”

        Romans 1:16 – “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.”

        By itself, nothing. Together with John 3 and other Scriptures, it is the obvious conclusion.

        Then, “What in the context of 1 Timothy 2:4 would force one to take the term “all” as some number less than all or everyone?”

        1 Timothy 2:4 – “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”

        If “all” is defined to be each and every person, then nothing – If God desires all men to be saved then all men will be saved. If “all” is defined to be “Jews and gentiles,” then Jews and gentiles will be saved bit not necessarily all Jews and gentiles.

        Then, “Don’t you know the rule? You take words to mean what they would normally mean unless something in the context FORCES you to take it otherwise.”

        Agreed.

        Then, “there is nothing in their respective contexts that would force you to take “all” as any number less than all or everyone! I have especially proven this with Romans 1:16. Can you prove otherwise?”

        You cited three verses. You presented no argument for your position so necessarily, you proved nothing.

      26. rhutchin
        We can take “whoever believes” to mean “all who believe.”

        br.d
        Yes – that is the way the GNOSTICS took it – in order to affirm their doctrine that “believes” is only given to the special few GNOSTICOI
        .
        But the NORMAL Bible reader takes it as Whosoever exercises their normal functionality (i.e. the ability to believe)
        In this case, with Jesus as the object of belief.

        And that is why Augustinian/Calvinism – with its GNOSTIC underlying underpinning represents a minority view. :-]

      27. Rh writes,
        “So, John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He would give eternal life only to those who believe. The gist of John 3 is that some number less than “all” will believe.”

        “I don’t see the argument you are trying to make here.”

        Aidan,
        Let’s clarify the distinction between us. You are coming from the view that not all will be given the “gift of faith,” hence not all will truly believe and be saved. Therefore, because God never determined to give “faith” to everyone, God never determined for everyone to “believe” and be saved. And so, because God NEVER DESIRED for every human being on the planet to have eternal life, Christ never died for every human being on the planet. That then FORCES YOU to limit the term “world” in John 3:16 – to those who are determined by God to believe! Thus, we can conclude that God only desires the salvation of those whom He determined to believe, and not those whom He did not determine to believe.

        Again, my contention is: That John 3:16 speaks of the measure of God’s love for the whole world, by how much He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son for its salvation. He’s the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). But that salvation is conditional! You must believe, if you want to avail of it. Unless it’s coming from the OUTSIDE, there is nothing in the context of John 3:16 that would FORCE ONE to limit Gods’ LOVE for the world, as you do! Therefore, you are getting your view of John 3:16 from outside of that text.

        But you went on to agree with the rule, that: “You take words to mean what they would normally mean unless something in the context FORCES you to take it otherwise.” And then agreed that there was NOTHING IN THE CONTEXT of either Romans 1:16; or, 1 Timothy 2:4, THAT WOULD FORCE THE TERM “ALL” to mean the ELECT FEW? Hence, your view is not from anything in these texts, but rather, FROM OUTSIDE OF SCRIPTURE!

        Rh writes,
        “You cited three verses. You presented no argument for your position so necessarily, you proved nothing.”

        Aidan,
        I think if you look back on my recent posts to you, you will see that I did an exposition on John 3:16; and on Romans 1:16, wherein, I disproved your argument regarding those texts, not to mention the fact that I have also successfully refuted your position here. It’s up to you now to refute my arguments here, and there.

      28. Aidan writes, ‘That then FORCES YOU to limit the term “world” in John 3:16 – to those who are determined by God to believe! ”

        No. It requires me to define “world” in John 3 to refer to “Jews and gentiles.” It could refer to all people, in general, who have an ungodly worldview – that would be everyone. The only way to escape the “world” is “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        Then, “we can conclude that God only desires the salvation of those whom He determined to believe, and not those whom He did not determine to believe. ”

        No. According to John 3, we can conclude that God desires salvation only for “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

        Then, “my contention is: That John 3:16 speaks of the measure of God’s love for the whole world, by how much He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son for its salvation.”

        That’s fine. This issue here is to define the term, “world.” If you define “world” to be each and every person, then what about those who do not believe? Does God love them the same way He loves those who do believe?

        Then, ‘But that salvation is conditional! You must believe”

        So, God distinguishes those whom He saves from those He does not save by whether one person believes and another does not. So, the question then becomes, Where does the ability to believe come from? If all have the ability to believe, then what accounts for one person believing and another not believing?

        Then, “there is nothing in the context of John 3:16 that would FORCE ONE to limit Gods’ LOVE for the world, as you do! ”

        No. I do not limit God’s love fr the world. I apply a definition for the term, “world” that fits the context and does not end up with God loving those who do not believe but not loving them enough to save them.

        Then, “Hence, your view is not from anything in these texts, but rather, FROM OUTSIDE OF SCRIPTURE!”

        I explained that I took my view from Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1. Why is that going outside Scripture.

        Then, “I think if you look back on my recent posts to you, you will see that I did an exposition on John 3:16; and on Romans 1:16, wherein, I disproved your argument regarding those texts,”

        Guess I missed it.

      29. Aidan
        That then FORCES YOU to limit the term “world” in John 3:16 – to those who are determined by God to believe! ”

        rhutchin
        No. It requires me to define “world” in John 3 to refer to “Jews and gentiles.”

        br.d
        Another example of how Calvinists are IRRATIONAL.

        The Calvinist reading of the term “world” does force the Calvinist to limit what “world” entails.

        It is limited in order to conform to the GNOSTIC concept of “Limited Atonement”

        Where salvation is only for the select few.
        Limited to what the GNOSTICS call GNOSTICOI

        The joke however is – how many TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists there are running around – Calvin’s god having given them the special gift of FALSE Faith/Election/Salvation.

        Poor saps – living day in day out – having thousands of FALSE perceptions infallibly and irresistibly coming to pass within their brains.

        Only to wake up in the like of fire – and say with John Piper: “Calvin’s god does what is right! :-]

      30. Rh, here’s what you say in your last post about who the “world” is in John 3:16:

        “It requires me to define “world” in John 3 to refer to “Jews and gentiles.” It could refer to all people, in general, who have an ungodly worldview – that would be everyone.”

        Aidan,
        That makes you sound like a Non-Calvinist?

        Rh,..
        “If you define “world” to be each and every person, then what about those who do not believe? Does God love them the same way He loves those who do believe?”

        “I apply a definition for the term, “world” that fits the context and does not end up with God loving those who do not believe but not loving them enough to save them.”

        Aidan,
        Now you are beginning to sound like a Calvinist again! So inconsistent! So, putting two and two together, your definition for the term “world” excludes those who do not believe, whom you say, God does not love enough to save! So by your own definition then, that would mean that the term “world” in John 3:16 – only applies to those who believe. You are clear about this, because when it comes to salvation you said, “I apply a definition for the term, “world” that does not end up with God loving those who do not believe.” This, by definition, excludes most people in the world. By the way, you’ve just confirmed everything I said in my last post to you.

        So let’s apply your definition to “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..etc..”
        God so loved the “world”(meaning only those who would believe) that He gave His only begotten Son (again, only for those who believe) so that they should not perish, but have everlasting life. Again, as you’ve said above, you are limiting the term “world” in John 3:16 to exclude most people – those who do not believe. This is precisely what I said in my last post!

        The fact is, it says that Jesus was given for those who qualify as unbelievers and are perishing – that they “would believe and not perish.” But sinful unbelievers are those who qualify as perishing. Only a person who is perishing needs to “believe” in Him, so that they will not perish. Correct me if I’m wrong, those who are perishing make up most of the “world” and are “unbelievers.” There is nothing in John 3:16 that limits the term “world” to exclude anybody who is an unbeliever in the gospel. Otherwise, it would exclude everybody. “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

        Rh,
        “If all have the ability to believe, then what accounts for one person believing and another not believing?”

        Aidan,
        Choice! Nobody will be in hell who didn’t choose to be there.

        Rh,
        “I explained that I took my view from Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1. Why is that going outside Scripture.”

        Aidan,
        Where in Ephesians 3 and Colossians 1 does it use the term “all,” and then explain it as you explained it?

        Aidan wrote,
        “I think if you look back on my recent posts to you, you will see that I did an exposition on John 3:16; and on Romans 1:16, wherein, I disproved your argument regarding those texts,”

        Rh,
        “Guess I missed it.”

        Aidan,
        I’m sure you did!🙃

      31. rhutchin
        Not a 3rd option but John 3 describes the means by which one is saved – “everyone believing has eternal life.”

        br.d
        Only those who have the special GNOSIS read that into that verse.
        For all of the NORMAL Bible readers – its the 3rd option. :-]

      32. Yea – Calvin’s god does not permit man to be/do anything other than what he determines man be/do
        And then judges man for the very thing he determined man be/do

        Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that! 😉

      33. Here’s my take on that favorite Calvinist proof text.

        Proverbs 16:4 NKJV — The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

        Calvinistic leaning translations don’t clarify what “for Himself” really means.

        It literally means – God makes everything to literally – לַֽמַּעֲנֵ֑הו – “to answer to Him”. This is especially true for the wicked who will answer to God in a day of doom with which He will judge them. See Job 21:30, Jer 17:18

        The LXX has this as verse 9 and translates it this way – “All of the works of the Lord [are done] with righteousness; and the ungodly [man] is kept for the evil day.”

      34. I can certainly see that – as it parallels proverbs which speak of the Lord letting man fall into his own snare.

      35. Very nicely stated, Brian. “for Himself” = “accountable to Himself”. It is perfectly consistent with the rest of the Bible and perfectly complements scriptures like Ps 73 where (as we have all felt from time to time) Asaph feels like the wicked are “getting away with things” and won’t somehow answer to God one day. Verse 17 is where things pivot and goes hand-in-hand with Pr 16:4. Don’t despair or claim that God is unfair: all of His creation will justly answer to Him. Absolutely nowhere do we see any hint of people being created specifically for damnation – Romans 9 notwithstanding.

        And this underscores my point that Calvinists – like everyone else – must reconcile seemingly contradictory passages, but seem to cheerfully accept characteristics in God that are denounced throughout scripture. They read Romans 9 as “might makes right” instead of reconciling with the rest of the Bible and (properly) concluding that God is speaking of His inalienable right to choose the Jewish nation for His special service of bringing the Law, the Prophets, and The Messiah as well as His right to select Jacob’s seed for that honor rather than Esau’s seed – even before either one was born.

        I remain convinced that this video aptly sums up the way the Calvinist approaches scripture: https://youtu.be/DOW_kPzY_JY

      36. Perhaps Steve, the first part of the video fits… where they think the Scripture is saying something that it isn’t. But many are still going down the wrong road and have yet to wake up to the results of turning down that wrong road.
        And they are not listening to their friends “yelling” at them to look more closely at the map.

        May God “splash” more of them into an awakening situation, like he did Brother Leighton, to realize they weren’t following what Scripture actually was saying. 😁

      37. brianwagner writes, ‘May God “splash” more of them into an awakening situation, like he did Brother Leighton, to realize they weren’t following what Scripture actually was saying.”

        Calvinism says that no one is born with faith and without faith, a person cannot be other than Totally Depraved. Dr. Flowers was apparently immersed in a wakening solution that made him conclude that “response-ability” means that all people are born with faith and able to choose righteousness. The question is to identify who doused Dr. Flowers in that “awakening situation” and then discover what that awakening situation really was.

      38. Scripture is clear that all are born with the ability to believe in something.

        Three gifts of faith from God. seeking faith, the faith truth, established faith

        First the ability to “believe” is a gift of God at birth to all. Second, the information, at least sufficient light, or revelation to enable seeking His mercy, which He paid for in Christ, is given as “the faith” to trust in to each person a few times in their life.

        That enlightenment (the revelation faith) and opportunity to believe it (to exercise their ability faith) is given by God to each. If they do, then, third, the change in the new birth to “continually believe” (permanent faith) is given to each who exercise their God-given ability to believe (ability faith) in the God-given information (revelation faith) when the opportunity is there.

        But God doesn’t do the believing for us.

        *******
        Yep… believing the Scriptures according to normal rules of grammar and context does oppose Calvinism. The noun faith with the definite article “the” normally refers to the enlightenment “faith” that God must give and does give to all (Heb 12:2, John 1:9).

        The verb “believe” is the ability-faith, and the parable of the sower (Matt 13) proves unregenerate people can exercise that faith in a positive way.

        The verb “believe” in Greek, in the present tense, denotes continuous action, and stands for those born into God’s family whose faith expressed before that is now changed to be everlasting (1John 5:1). Praise His Name!

      39. brianwagner writes, “Scripture is clear that all are born with the ability to believe in something.”

        Of course, that “something” will not save a person from God’s judgment. Calvinists note that “faith” unto salvation is in Ephesians 2 – “by grace you have been saved through faith” – and a contrast is drawn between those with faith and those without faith in Romans 8 by those “who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” and in 1 Corinthians 2, with the natural man and the man who is in the spirit. So, the Totally Depraved are those described in Romans 8, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” and 1 Corinthians 2, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him;” Faith is that quality that enables a person to believe God and then do the works God gives hem as described in Hebrews 11. Without faith, the person is that described by Pail in Romans 3, “it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” Paul also describes the Totally Depraved in Romans 1, “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.”

        So, all are not born with faith – at least that faith that is unto salvation. If they were, then Paul could not contrast those in the flesh with those in the spirit in the way he did, or the natural man with the spiritual man, nor could God condemn mankind as Paul writes in Romans 3. As 1 John 5 says, ‘Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” The one who is not born of God does not have faith to believe so is Totally Depraved.

      40. brianwagner
        Scripture is clear that all are born with the ability to believe in something.

        rhutchin
        Of course, that “something” will not save a person from God’s judgment.

        br.d
        Here is a claim without any scripture to EXPLICITLY affirm it.

        Or perhaps the there is!

        We do have: “And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech”

        That verse should be sufficient for a Calvinist! 😉

      41. The phrase “faith unto salvation” and mentioning Eph 2:8 seems to confirm a belief in the clear biblical teaching that faith must be in place before saving grace can go through it or out of it.

        But faith doesn’t save anyone, any more than Paul really thought he actually “saved” anyone (1Cor. 9:22). But God saves through faith and through the hearing and understanding of the gospel… then he gives the new birth.

        Paul and Peter and James say this clearly – 1Cor 4:15, 1Pet 1:23, 25, James 1:18

        [1Co 4:15 NKJV] For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [you do] not [have] many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

        [1Pe 1:23, 25 NKJV] having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God…. But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

        [Jas 1:18 NKJV] Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

      42. Of course the Calvinist can’t accept the fact that people are born with the faculty of faith.
        Like the infant who is born with the faculty to believe his mother will feed him when he is hungry.

        And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make
        you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
        2 Timothy 3:15

        Let the little children come to me…..for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
        Matthew 19:14

        But the GNOSTICS don’t have that faculty.
        Neither do they have the faculty of RATIONAL thought.

        Calvin’s god has to give them the gift of faith.

        And he never gives them the gift of RATIONAL thought! 😉

      43. brianwagner writes, “The phrase “faith unto salvation” and mentioning Eph 2:8 seems to confirm a belief in the clear biblical teaching that faith must be in place before saving grace can go through it or out of it.”

        Yes. Romans 10 (faith comes by hearing) reinforces this. Thus, there is a time prior to hearing the gospel when a person has no faith (thus, Totally Depraved under Calvinist theology) and a time when a person does have faith but only after hearing the gospel. So, faith can be the product of God’s grace and necessary, but not sufficient, for salvation. When Paul said, “God He who has begun a good work in you,” and Jesus said, “unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” they could both be referring to the conveyance of faith to the person, among other things necessary to salvation.

        Then, “But God saves through faith and through the hearing and understanding of the gospel… then he gives the new birth.”

        Or, the new birth, because it conveys the ability to see the kingdom, precedes the conveyance of faith as faith would seem to depend on one seeing the kingdom in order to generate assurance of, and conviction in, that kingdom..

      44. Another sad example of ignoring clear Scriptures that the new birth is after hearing the gospel!

      45. brianwagner writes, “Another sad example of ignoring clear Scriptures that the new birth is after hearing the gospel!”

        Or the new birth precedes one’s ability to see the kingdom and the kingdom is there for one to see in the gospel – but only if he can see it.

      46. rhutchin
        Or the new birth precedes one’s ability to see the kingdom and the kingdom is there for one to see in the gospel – but only if he can see it.

        br.d
        That is the way the GNOSTICS would see it! :-]

      47. Another sad example of ignoring the clear Scriptures I gave above that clearly show the new birth is after hearing and believing the gospel. You can’t have a new birth before the gospel, when God’s Word says it’s through the gospel.

        The gospel has to be there first – preached, understood, and believed, before the power of the new birth is given through it. You can’t give something through something else if that something else is not already there to give that other something through it.

        But willing ignorance to truth is very real, and very sad. 😓

      48. brianwagner writes, “Another sad example of ignoring the clear Scriptures I gave above that clearly show the new birth is after hearing and believing the gospel.”

        Earlier, you wrote:
        “But God saves through faith and through the hearing and understanding of the gospel… then he gives the new birth.
        Paul and Peter and James say this clearly – 1Cor 4:15, 1Pet 1:23, 25, James 1:18
        1Co 4:15 NKJV] For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [you do] not [have] many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
        1Pe 1:23, 25 NKJV] having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God…. But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
        [Jas 1:18 NKJV] Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

        In these verses, we see that the new birth is brought about “through” the gospel. You have chosen to read this as “after.” Your statement that, “the new birth is after hearing and believing the gospel” is not the “clear Scriptures,” – at least, you have not shown how “through” should be read as “after” because that part is not clear.

        Ephesians 1 has: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,…” Here we see that one believes only after hearing and understanding the gospel and this through faith (the assurance and conviction gained from the gospel). That same gospel is also the means by which a person is born again. It is in being born again that one can see the kingdom and thereby hear and understand the gospel that is being preached concerning that kingdom. AS Pail said to the Ephesian Christians, “you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and then, “God, being rich in mercy…even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive…” It was God who began the work of salvation in the believer by making the person alive – giving the person a new birth.

      49. rhutchin,

        You got to an unknown town THROUGH the use of a map to tell you how to get there.

        Or

        You got to an unknown town AFTER consulting a map on how to get there.

        For there is no difference here, thru or after. One thing is certain here. You make a play on words that doesn’t need played.

        God presents you information, aka gospel, THRU WORDS WRITTEN. THRU. AFTER you read them, THEN YOU DECIDE.

        Me thinks you need 3rd grade English again.

        But that’s just me!! Lol.

        Ed Chapman

      50. Calvinism is 99% SEMANTIC SHELL GAMES!

        Its the only way they get the scripture to say what they want it to say.
        Words become like the pea.
        Various shell under which the pea is hidden are definitions for the word.
        When the Calvinist needs one definition – he puts the pea under that shell.
        When he needs another definition – he puts the pea under that shell.

        The trick is to do that without you seeing him move the pea! 😉

      51. chapmaned24 writes, “You got to an unknown town THROUGH the use of a map to tell you how to get there.
        Or You got to an unknown town AFTER consulting a map on how to get there.
        For there is no difference here, thru or after.”

        We have:

        [1Co 4:15 NKJV] “…in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

        [1Pe 1:23, 25 NKJV] having been born again… through the word of God…. ”

        So, you read these as:

        [1Co 4:15 NKJV] “…in Christ Jesus I have begotten you after the gospel.

        [1Pe 1:23, 25 NKJV] having been born again… after the word of God…. ”

        I guess we disagree on this. I see a difference between through and after that you do not see.

      52. rhutchin,

        You are right. I still see no difference. Map it out. In your references, it is AFTER the gospel is heard by you FIRST. You are saved THROUGH hearing and believing, and AFTER you heard and believed, you were begotten. How is this so hard for you to understand THROUGH what I have said? After i said it? But…

        I have another AFTER for you to ponder. The KJV, I believe it’s in ACTS 12, I can’t remember. But find where the English word EASTER is. Notice the word AFTER? This is unrelated to our previous conversation, but research the word AFTER, here, as it relates to AFTER EASTER. Again, this topic is just an “Oh, by the way “, unrelated to the topic at hand. But, I’ve got an answer to the use of the word here, as it relates to the original Greek for passover, but the KJV Easter.

        Ed Chapman

      53. ACTS 12, I – “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

        The word, after, in Acts is the translation of the Greek word meta. The English word, though, in Corinthians and Peter is the Greek word, dia. You write, “AFTER you heard and believed, you were begotten,” but this is not what the Greek text says – unless Brian can explain how it does.

      54. rhutchin, I told you Acts 12 is UNRELATED to our conversation, so i stand by what I’ve been saying, in agreement with Brian. You lose.

        So, define what META idea all about. Which again, has nothing to do with anything we are discussing. It’s only an OH, BY THE WAY. Look at the STRONG’s Concordance Greek Reference number and find out how many times THAT Greek word is used, and all English words used for it.

        It’s an interesting study, because there is a reason that Acts 1 states what it does in the KJV with EASTER instead of PASSOVER. That is, if you are willing to explore META. It’s extra credit so that you can pass the class, THRU my teaching, AFTER you first study it!!!!! Lol.

      55. If the package must go through something to get to its destination, that something must be in place for the package to go through it. The new birth is the HS’s presence. Eph 1:13-14 clearly indicates the HS is received after hearing and believing.

        And if that is not clear enough. Listen to Peter.
        Acts 15:7-9 NKJV — And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 👉So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit,👈 just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

        [Eph 2:5-6 NKJV] even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus,

        The parallel passage of Eph 2:5-6 is in the other prison epistle by Paul – Colossian 2:12-13 and uses the same Greek word for “raised together” – from συνεγείρω, and “made alive together” – from συζωοποιέω.

        In that parallel passage Paul clearly says that “raised together with Christ” is 👉”through faith”👈. The Calvinist wants to say that Eph 2 teaches their false “regeneration” – being “raised up” – is needed before God can speak effectively to the unregenerate spirit of man. They even try to falsely use the illustration of the raising of Lazarus.

        But Scripture and good exegesis prove once again that saving grace has to go through faith (Eph 2:8), and that faith must exist and be in place first for that grace to go “through” it. The order is light, then faith, then life. The gospel must be heard, understood, and believed before the new birth.

      56. brianwagner writes, ‘But Scripture and good exegesis prove once again that saving grace has to go through faith (Eph 2:8), and that faith must exist and be in place first for that grace to go “through” it. ”

        Ephesians 2, “For by grace you have been saved through faith [in Jesus Christ],…For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,…”

        God’s grace encompasses all the actions God takes to bring about salvation. Paul says, “God has begun a good work in you.” Faith is also by the grace of God and it is the vehicle that God uses to bring a person to believe, In Ephesians 1, “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,…” The process is (1) the person hears the gospel, (2) the person trusts (believes, has faith) in Christ, (3) the person is sealed (preserved) by the Holy Spirit.

        Faith results when a person hears the gospel In John 6, Jesus said, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to (believes in) Me.” Hearing the gospel is before faith. It is only when God gives hearing and learning to a person that the person gains the assurance and conviction in the gospel that is called faith. Faith then carries the person along to the completion of his salvation.

        However, you signore what Jesus said in John 3, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I take this to be a reference to salvation, so “seeing the kingdom” necessarily precedes any assurance and conviction one gains from hearing the gospel. If I remember right, you don’t see Jesus referring to salvation here. Thus, you ignore it. True?

      57. I’m not as good at ignoring Scriptural evidence about the new birth through/after faith in the gospel as some are, who then fall back on one verse they think clearly teaches what it doesn’t… not even using the words salvation or faith in the verse.

        John 3, 3

        The “kingdom of God” in this text does not equal “salvation”, and “seeing” is literal, as well as “entering”. The Calvinist tries to squeeze other non-literal ideas into that context, (faith and salvation) because he needs to make “born again” to be before faith to fit his theology. But that is a great example of eisegesis, bringing to the text what is not there.

        Jesus taught elsewhere one cannot “enter the kingdom” unless they have righteousness greater than the Pharisees (Matt 5:20). Thus justification must take place before entering the kingdom, right? And we both agree that justification is only through faith.

        Jesus and Paul and Peter both taught that the new birth is through faith in hearing (and understanding) the gospel… not a strange zapping of the will of a predetermined few.

        Jhn 12:36 NKJV – “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

        1Co 4:15 NKJV – For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [you do] not [have] many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

        1Pe 1:23, 25 NKJV – having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, … 25… Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

        The word “kingdom” does not mean salvation in John 3:3, but born again (3:7) means salvation (receiving the righteous life of God in Christ through faith).

        Considering these verses might help.

        Matthew 8:10-12 NKJV — When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

        Matthew 19:28 NKJV — So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

        Matthew 5:20 NKJV — “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

      58. rhutchin
        when a person has no faith (thus, Totally Depraved under Calvinist theology

        br.d
        And he gives Calvinists a special gift of FALSE faith – and along with that – he gives them thousands of daily FALSE perceptions of themselves as elect. Only to wake up at some point and find themselves in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

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

      59. You are miles off the mark with all of these scriptures. You make two main assumptions that are fallacies not given through scripture. The first major mistake is the assumed existence of a thing called Inherent Total Depravity. This is a major mistake that perhaps most denominations make today, to a greater or lesser degree. And it has skewed your view of the scriptures. It has led to all sorts of false assumptions. For example, here’s an exchange between a Calvinist and a Non-Calvinist:

        Non-Calvinist: ‘Why did they not believe’?

        Calvinist: ‘Oh, it must be because of that thing they call total depravity’.

        Non-Calvinist: ‘And why are they walking according to the flesh’?

        Calvinist: ‘Well, isn’t it obvious? It has to be that dirty old total depravity thing again’.

        Non-Calvinist: ‘Oh! I see! And is that why the scriptures say, all are “under sin,” and that “There is none righteous, no, not one?”

        Calvinist: ‘Now you’ve got it’!

        Non-Calvinist: ‘Yeah, but what about all those scriptures that tell us we can’t inherit sin, and that babies are innocent and are going to heaven, and that we only go astray over time’?

        Calvinist: Stop confusing yourself with the facts, lots of very clever people believe in total depravity, therefore, it has to be the most logical explanation. After all, that’s why Calvinism teaches it’.

        Non-Calvinist: ‘And is there any scripture that proves inherited total depravity exists’?

        Calvinist: ‘Look around you, man! Is there anybody born with faith? Look at all these people walking according to the flesh, the gospel is foolishness to them! Don’t you see? Inherited Total Depravity is true, what more proof do ya need?

        Non-Calvinist: ‘Okay! But being born into a corrupt world isn’t necessarily evidence that, I, myself, was born corrupt. I mean the two don’t necessarily correlate!

        Calvinist: You’re no TULIP!

        Non-Calvinist: Thanks a million!🙃

      60. If we speak the WHOLE TRUTH
        The “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP – really stands for Totally Predestined Nature

        The underlying foundation of the doctrine stipulates that whatsoever comes to pass (i.e., all created things and all movements of nature at any instance in time) are infallibly decreed before creation.

        Whatever the state of man’s nature is at any instance in time, is therefore totally determined before man is created.

        Since on this view, 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is exclusively up to a divine external mind, it goes without saying that absolutely nothing about the condition of man’s nature at any instant in time, is ever up to man.

        Calvinists don’t speak the WHOLE TRUTH about their doctrines – because they know people would reject it out of hand.

      61. Hey Br.d,
        I’ve a feeling today is going to be a long day.🙂 “The “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP – really stands for Totally Predestined Nature.” Yeah, I remember you posting this before. It makes perfect sense that they would believe this, whether they call it “Inherent Total Depravity” or, “Totally Predestined Nature.” After all, they believe in ‘Total Determinism’! Thanks to many of your posts, I now see this determinism behind everything they say. So, even when he says, Total Depravity, I see “Totally Predestined Nature” behind his words. But, even putting Calvinism aside, this doctrine of Inherited Total Depravity has at the least, some form of Determinism written all over it!

      62. I do not find Total Inability or Total Depravity or even “sin nature” in scripture. I find instead that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that all stand guilty before Him. I find that our righteousness is as menstrual cloths before Him, and that He seeks us, not vice-versa.

        But I cannot make the leap from any of these to a doctrine that asserts “cannot respond” versus “will not respond / defiance”. As FOH says, Calvinists make far too much out of “dead in trespasses and sins” to wrongly conclude this means and unresponsive spiritual corpse instead of merely a death sentence.

        Pay no attention to RH. None. He has frequented these pages for more than 5 years, convincing nobody along the way, contradicting himself regularly, and clutching the pearls of his “doctrines of grace” far more tightly than the scriptures themselves. He is here to argue — nothing more and it is long past time to ignore him. If you don’t feed the wildlife around the picnic table, they will eventually leave.

      63. “Doctrines of grace” – is another Calvinist tactic to hide the WHOLE TRUTH.

        What they really have is: Doctrines of Good-Evil.

        It becomes pretty obvious – the “Evil” part is what they need to hide.

        Advertising strategies are often about painting the product in a positive light.
        And we can see that Calvinists have a significant vested interest in getting people to buy their product.

      64. Br.d,
        “It becomes pretty obvious – the “Evil” part is what they need to hide.”

        Aidan,
        I know how they do it! 🙈🙉🙊

      65. Steve:
        “I do not find Total Inability or Total Depravity or even “sin nature” in scripture. I find instead that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that all stand guilty before Him.”

        Aidan,
        I think that’s a fair way to put it. The only place I’ve found these things is in the creeds of men, which seem to become more revered than the word of God. And this Calvinist leap to an unresponsive spiritual corpse is just more evidence of this. They impose the blueprint of their creed on every page of the Bible. The more I interact with them, the more evident this becomes for all to see. Perhaps that is the only benefit that can be derived from these exchanges with Rh. But, you could be right, because he is getting something out of this: “If you don’t feed the wildlife around the picnic table, they will eventually leave.”

        What would you say he is, a Swan🦢, or a duck🦆?

      66. I cannot say whether duck or swan, but I can say with a reasonable level of assurance that continued dialog is not going to be the key. He knows enough – after five years – to search the scriptures for himself and stop the incessant retorts. He knows enough that in the quiet of the night when he is alone with his thoughts and must reconcile his doctrine with what he reads in the scriptures, he cannot claim ignorance or insufficient input to render a verdict. Job 42:7 comes to mind as he dismisses the importance of God’s loving character for ALL and emphasizes sovereignty at the expense of almost every other divine attribute.

        He derives something from posting and the responses those posts elicit – in a manner that seems to be almost OCD-like. It is far beyond someone who is simply learning and asking the occasional honest and probing question, or iron sharpening iron. He frequents this site for the express purpose of being factious. Titus 3:10 comes to mind. Name a single point – with possible exception of OSAS – where he has not made it his mission to continually disagree and be factious by responding in a challenging and disagreeable manner to nearly every post. And ask yourself if that is normal behavior, productive behavior, or godly behavior after 5 years.

      67. You say Job 42:7 comes to mind when they distort God’s love, and then can’t even get sovereignty right. It’s funny, because Job 38:2 has always come to my mind when I hear others speculate about God so much. It’s a very dangerous thing for us to do! I often find myself thinking of what God said to Job, and I fear because it’s an easy trap to fall into.

        Worst motto:
        Job 38:2 “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”

        Best motto:
        1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

      68. aidan writes, “Worst motto:
        Job 38:2 “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”
        Best motto:
        1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

        As Paul wrote, “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.” We should preface what we say with, “As it is written,…”

      69. It’s even better if you can give them book, chapter and verse, and then encourage them to examine it for themselves (Acts 17:11).

      70. Thank you Aidan,
        And yes – when you look at what they advertise as the “T” in the TULIP is actually a way of obfuscating the WHOLE TRUTH about their system.

        Because the “T” as they currently advertise – is strategically designed to hide the fact that every attribute and movement of nature is 100% under the control of an external mind at every instant in time.

        By hiding this fact – the Calvinist presents a FALSE APPEARANCE of Adam’s sin being under Adam’s control – with the consequence of “depravity” being extended to mankind.
        .
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god “merely” permitted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.
        And we should know by now that Calvin’s god doesn’t “merely” permit anything.
        He only permits what he himself CAUSES people to be and do.

        This deception works to lure non-Calvinists into the Calvinist system – by virtue of the normal Christian sense of justice.

        But if Calvinists were to speak the WHOLE TRUTH that every instance of nature (including Adam’s nature) is 100% predestined and 100% controlled by an external mind – then Christians would recognize this as a form of divine sadism
        And they would reject Calvinism out of hand.

        And Calvinists are intuitive enough to know this – and thus they don’t speak the WHOLE TRUTH

      71. Thanks Br.d,
        It is such an insidious religion that hides the truth! People need to hear this message about ‘Total Determinism’ time and time again, because that is at the back of everything they teach!

        What did the Calvinist say to the Non-Calvinist? Many things in life are ‘accidentally on purpose’ mere chance.🤭

      72. Aidan writes, ‘What did the Calvinist say to the Non-Calvinist? Many things in life are ‘accidentally on purpose’ mere chance.”

        Of course, the Calvinist would never say this. Nothing happens accidentally in God’s plan and naturally, nothing God decrees comes about by chance.

      73. rhutchin
        Of course, the Calvinist would never say this. Nothing happens accidentally in God’s plan and naturally, nothing God decrees comes about by chance.

        br.d
        Actually – in Calvinism – nothing actually happens “naturally”.

        Firstly:
        Nature does not have the ability or power to do anything that is infallible – only Calvin’s god has the attribute of infallibility
        And in Calvinism everything that comes to pass (i.e. every movement of nature) occurs infallibly – by infallible decree.
        Which means – each movement of every substance of nature cannot-not come to pass.

        For example, every movement of every bio-neurological impulse actualized within the brain of every creature – occurs as am infallible movement. And nature – in and of itself – does not have the ability or power to accomplish that.

        Secondly:
        For any movement of nature to occur “naturally” would logically entail Calvin’s god “merely” permitting it to do so.
        And “mere” permission does not exist in Calvinism.

        So in Calvinism – nothing occurs “naturally”.

      74. br.d writes, “And in Calvinism everything that comes to pass (i.e. every movement of nature) occurs infallibly – by infallible decree.”

        This says that God is omniscient and knows future events in His creation perfectly.

        Then, ‘For any movement of nature to occur “naturally” would logically entail Calvin’s god “merely” permitting it to do so.
        And “mere” permission does not exist in Calvinism.”

        This says that God is sovereign over His creation.

      75. br.d
        And in Calvinism everything that comes to pass (i.e. every movement of nature) occurs infallibly – by infallible decree.

        rhutchin
        This says that God is omniscient and knows future events in His creation perfectly.

        br.d
        If Calvin’s god does not have the brains to know what he infallibly decreed (past tense) to come to pass – then he’s uses omniscience as a compensation! 😆

        Secondly:
        For any movement of nature to occur “naturally” would logically entail Calvin’s god “merely” permitting it to do so.
        And “mere” permission does not exist in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin
        This says that God is sovereign over His creation.

        br.d
        Calvinist’s do love their SEMANTIC SHELL GAMES

        It simply says – in Calvinism – it is a LOGICAL impossibility for anything which comes to pass – to simply occur “naturally”.

      76. br.d writes, “If Calvin’s god does not have the brains to know what he infallibly decreed (past tense) to come to pass – then he’s uses omniscience as a compensation!”

        LOL!!!

      77. br.d
        If Calvin’s god does not have the brains to know what he infallibly decreed (past tense) to come to pass – then he’s uses omniscience as a compensation!”

        rhutchin
        LOL!!!

        br.d
        Yes – Calvinism – with all of its deceptive marketing language – is good entertainment! :-]

      78. Aidan writes, ‘What did the Calvinist say to the Non-Calvinist? Many things in life are ‘accidentally on purpose’ mere chance.”

        RH,
        “Of course, the Calvinist would never say this. Nothing happens accidentally in God’s plan and naturally, nothing God decrees comes about by chance.”

        Aidan,
        That’s the point of the joke, nothing happens accidentally, but rather “accidentally ON PURPOSE.” Which in turn would be a Calvinist’s definition of so-called “mere chance.” This used to be an in-joke among my friends when you pulled a prank on someone, and then pretend it was just an accident. Someone would say, you did that “accidentally on purpose”🙄 and then everybody would laugh.

        I knew yesterday was going to be a long day, being the 21st of June an all.🤣

      79. Aidan, interesting dialog to show a Calvinist has cognitive dissonance about total depravity. But I think this one part weakens your presentation.

        “Non-Calvinist: ‘Yeah, but what about 👉all those scriptures👈 that tell us we can’t inherit sin, and that babies are innocent and are going to heaven, and that we only go astray over time’?”

        It may need some rewording imo to make it more bullet proof. 😊

      80. Hey Brian,
        Then again, maybe the weakness in the presentation is in the eye of the beholder!🧐 Maybe, they have never been willing to accept the truth on this matter!

        Besides👉 Ezekiel 18:20,👈 what scriptures would you suggest I use to make it more bullet proof? As Jesus said, “How do you read it?”🙃

      81. Aidan… I was just thinking “all those scriptures…that babies are innocent and going to heaven” is quite an exaggeration. We see verses that we can make reasonable but not logically necessary inferences from on that matter. But Calvinists have verses where they try to do the same about TD. I think it’s just better to not exaggerate claims if we don’t want them to do so too. 🤔

      82. Brian,

        I believe that scripture supports babies going to heaven by using SEVERAL verses. Yes, I know all those expert theologians that states that the Bible is SILENT on the matter, but that just goes to show that they are not LOOKING.

        Abraham is the FOCAL point, but no one wants to go there. The phrase, KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil is a phrase that no one wants to go there. Romans 5:13, that one verse gets a bad rap from both sides of the Baptist camp, so no one wants to go there. Romans 7, completely ignored, so no one wants to go there, either. Spiritual interpretation of the PROMISED LAND (an important part of the bullet) is dismissed, due to EXPOSITORY interpretations only. I could go on and on. It’s easy to prove that babies go to heaven, but it’s hard to convince those who don’t want to believe it, and insist that everybody has SIN and that sin MUST be judged with PUNISHMENT. The problem with that, IGNORNACE excuses sin, and therefore, that ignorance of sin does not impute the sin. Acts 17:30 is just one example of many.

        But then again, Acts 17:30 gets dismissed due to the Baptists insistance that Romans 1 is ALL OF CREATION, instead of “just the Jews only”.

        Ed Chapman

      83. Of course Ed if there was just one verse that clearly said – “All babies go to heaven” – we wouldn’t be having this discussion. 😉

      84. Brian,

        That’s the problem. People are always looking for explicit words, hence the Jews missed Jesus. Where can you find that jesus is the promised seed in the Hebrew scriptures? If you rely on Isaiah, they are looking for a dude named Emanuel. So much for explicit expository words. But, i can still prove it based on my previous comment alone. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

      85. Of course you know Brian, besides grammar and context, “DIRECT STATEMENTS” are not the only way to establish the truth.

        We also have “APPROVED EXAMPLES” which is an example approved by inspired men, (e.g.)- “WHEN” to eat and drink, Acts 20:7.

        Then we have “NECESSARY INFERENCES” which are logical conclusions that are necessary from the given data, (e.g)- We know the FREQUENCY of the eating by a necessary inference, Acts 20:7.

        Hence, I agree that some things involve working out in this way. So how do you read Matthew 19:14? “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” It’s a “direct statement,” and perhaps you could even say an “approved example,” but tell me Brian – what can you NECESSARILY INFER from His statement in that verse? Remember, anything beyond that is mere speculation.🙃

      86. Logical inferences, yes, are necessary. But reasonable sounding or possible ones may not be necessary and therefore cannot be used dogmatically. When Jesus said “of such is” was He saying as a logical necessity “of all such are”? I don’t think so. It may be reasonable to conclude He meant all, but one cannot say it’s a logical or necessary inference.

      87. Matthew 19:14-(NKJV) But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

        Matthew 19:14-(NASB) But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

        Brian Wagner wrote:
        “Logical inferences, yes, are necessary. But reasonable sounding or possible ones may not be necessary and therefore cannot be used dogmatically. When Jesus said “of such is” was He saying as a logical necessity “of all such are”? I don’t think so. It may be reasonable to conclude He meant all, but one cannot say it’s a logical or necessary inference.”

        Aidan writes,
        I take it we are still talking about infants and small children in our discussion? So let’s picture the scene here. There’s a huge crowd and many are bringing their little children up to Him so that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuke them. All the crowd watch, including the parents, to see how Jesus will respond. With a smile Jesus looks down at all the little children around Him and says, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Do you think anyone standing there that day would have misunderstood what Jesus meant concerning little children? Would we have misunderstood Him, if He pointed to our little ones and said, “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?” Could anyone have logically concluded, He doesn’t necessarily mean ALL such as these? Really? I don’t think so! Unless you can point to a text where Jesus made an exception to this – you cannot exclude ANY child “such as this” from the kingdom of heaven.😇

        Thus, it is both a logical and “necessary implication” that ALL such are included in His statement. And if heaven is of “such as these” then it is up to you to prove otherwise. But I am here to tell you that nothing “corrupt” can inherit everlasting life (Gal. 6:8). What does that say then about “ALL” such as these?🤔

      88. Unfortunately, Aidan, if you know anything about logical fallacies, you know you can’t make a undistributed term (some) have a distributed meaning (all) no matter what you assume a crowd or you may have thought if it.

        Jesus also is certainly not saying “only” infants will be in the kingdom of heaven. But your misuse of what He said would open the door for me to make that inference and say it too was logically necessary, when it wasn’t.

        But I would be making the same formal fallacy of an undistributed middle.

        The whole circumstance also includes them coming to Jesus, or being brought to Jesus. Is that a factor in the meaning “of such”? Can’t you see that you have ignored that also to try to prove “all infants”, even ones not brought to Jesus will for certain be in heaven?

        Again… I’m not suggesting there aren’t reasonable sounding inferences being made by you… just not logically necessary ones, needed for dogmatism.

      89. Brian,

        Please, dude, go BACK to the garden. INNOCENT AND IGNORANT. FREE spirited. They could do ANYTHING. They could SNORT COKE, and and still be innocent.

        Let me show you something that you refuse to see:

        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.

        If you know ANYTHING about SPIRITUAL interpretation, this is discussing the PROMISED LAND. What is the SPIRITUAL Promised Land?

        If Jesus is the SPIRITUAL Promised Seed, then what is the SPIRITUAL promised land?

        If you know ANYTHING about SPIRITUAL intepretation, then you would KNOW that both CALEB AND JOSHUA are among those people IN ADDITION TO those in the above that get to go to the Promised Land.

        So what is the SPIRITUAL conclusion?

        I’ll tell ya:

        THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH GET TO GO TO THE PROMISED LAND, which is what YOU are hammering down to Aidan about.

        BUT

        Childred who have NO KNOWLEDGE OF SIN get to go there, too.

        I am NOT A FAN of your expository preaching, cuz you don’t learn anything. Point blank.

        But if that isn’t enough, WHAT IS BAR AND BAT MITZAH ALL ABOUT? Don’t give me a Gentile explanation, give me a Jewish one.

        Ed Chapman

      90. Hey Brian,
        I understand you believe that babies are born with a ‘corrupt nature’. So I can see why you would want to make this passage apply “only” to a few children.🙂 Also, no one is saying “only” infants will be in the kingdom of heaven. I thought you understood that our conversation was “only” meant to pertain to little children/infants? Adults were not part of the discussion!

        You asked if the whole circumstance of them coming to Jesus is a factor in the meaning “of such”? No, because that factor is purely incidental. What you ignore is, Jesus often used incidental situations as opportunities to teach – universal, spiritual truths. We see it happen with the woman at the well, with Nicodemus, and even in Matthew 18. But more importantly, we see it in this “incident” over the little children. It was not unusual for Jesus to use situations in this way.🙃

        But the crux of the matter is this: Who does Jesus say the kingdom of heaven belongs to? Does it “only” belong to (some) little children, or, does He mean it belongs to (all) little children?
        Earlier, in Matthew 18: 2-3; It says, “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Then in Matthew 19:14; Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; FOR OF SUCH is the kingdom of heaven.”

        So first we have, “unless you.. become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” THEN, “do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”😇 In both situations, Jesus holds up ‘little children’ to represent such as belong to the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, both context and the generic term “OF SUCH”, broadens it out to include ALL who are little children. Clearly the kingdom of heaven truly belongs to (every infant), and not just to (the few) whom you want it to.🙃

        We also find the same universal principle in John 4:23, where Jesus says, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” In this case, the word “SUCH” refers to all whom the Father is seeking to worship Him. Both context and the generic term SUCH, mean that from now on, the true worshipers are ALL who will worship Him in spirit and truth – “for the Father is seeking SUCH to worship Him.”

        I don’t expect to convince you of the truth here, because, obviously you are invested in reading these scriptures with a certain bent. But hopefully others will examine it, and see just how erroneous your position truly is.🧐

      91. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Aidan. I’m sorry I haven’t explained sufficiently enough the issue of logic as it relates to being dogmatic. I will just make a couple more comments and you can take the last word.

        The child in Matt 18 is identified as believing (vs 6). The people discussed in John 4 are worshipping in spirit and truth. Infants don’t do either.

        I actually do believe the evidence reasonably infers that all infants who die go to heaven or at least might get a chance later (during the millennium maybe? 😊) to mature and make a decision of faith. But a final question from me… if all children are born in the kingdom, when do they leave… at what age or event do they get kicked out? 🤔

        Stay safe, my Irish friend! Wish I was there!

      92. Brian,

        Forgive me for “intruding” here in your discussion to Aidan about children, but I feel I must interject.

        You had said:
        “I actually do believe the evidence reasonably infers that all infants who die go to heaven or at least might get a chance later (during the millennium maybe? ��) to mature and make a decision of faith. But a final question from me… if all children are born in the kingdom, when do they leave… at what age or event do they get kicked out? ��”

        The Deuteronomy reference that I mentioned the other day lays it all out of who gets to go to heaven when they die, to wit:

        1. Faith: Caleb and Joshua

        2. Children who have NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

        NOTE:

        The ONLY WAY to get KNOWLEDGE IS:

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

        And WHEN do children leave the kingdom? Well, let’s see:

        Romans 7:7
        I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

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

        Romans 7:9
        For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

        THOSE 3 VERSES are based on BAR MITZAH (13 years old for males, 12 for females), when Paul finally has either read the law, or it was read to him. NOTE: FOR ADAM AND EVE, IT WAS GIVEN TO THEM SUPERNATURALLY FROM A TREE. THIS DEATH is SPIRITUAL DEATH, meaning that, as verse 9 states, spiritually alive before KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. And once known, you die a spiritual death, meaning, NO ONE IS BORN SPIRITUALLY DEAD, JUST LIKE ADAM AND EVE.

        We go thru the SAME cycle as Adam and Eve. The same. Spiritually alive, then comes spiritual death, THEN come BORN AGAIN, hence the word AGAIN.

        It’s just that simple, and I’m finding it strange that you, as a teacher, don’t know this stuff. Forgive me for being so bold and to the point about this.

        How can your side promote that the bible is silent on this stuff? It’s SHOUTING very loudly. But who is listening?

        Ed Chapman

      93. Brian,

        Just one last thing, Brian. Children are the closest thing to God, when you realize my last comment to you. There is NO ADULT that is closer to God than a child who has no clue what sin even is. So the next time you see a child, don’t think of that child as EVIL, cuz that child has more righteousness in them than the most pious person on earth that knows he is a sinner.

        But let me go deeper than even this: WHEN WERE YOU, “YOU” created? Was it on the 6th day, or sometime many years later?

        IF you say the 6th day, you are correct. So then what are you to conclude of things BEFORE you were born? Not only that, if you were to say that you were CREATED when you were born, then what does that tell you about CREATION?

        I thought creation was over and done. Is God still creating people? Or is man creating man?

        When you can answer all those questions, then you will see that God is with children UNTIL they get knowledge of sin. Then and only then does God depart, hence spiritual death. No different than Adam and Eve.

        Ed Chapman

      94. Brian writes:
        “Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Aidan. I’m sorry I haven’t explained sufficiently enough the issue of logic as it relates to being dogmatic. I will just make a couple more comments and you can take the last word.”

        Aidan:
        I understand your point about logic. It’s pretty much the same thing as inferences vs necessary inferences in terms of establishing truth. I believe common folk understood what Jesus was saying without needing to learn about syllogisms.🙃 But I thought it best to focus on where you are coming from, theologically speaking.

        Brian writes:
        “The child in Matt 18 is identified as believing (vs 6). The people discussed in John 4 are worshipping in spirit and truth. Infants don’t do either.”

        Aidan:
        The child in Matt 18 is also identified as the disciple who has become like the little child He set before them, as per (vss 2-4). And the point in John 4 has to do with the principle of logical conclusions, not infants.😉

        Brian writes:
        “But a final question from me… if all children are born in the kingdom, when do they leave… at what age or event do they get kicked out? 🤔”

        Aidan:
        All I can say for definite is this: We are told God is the Father of spirits (Heb 12:9). That children are not born separated from God in the guilt of sin (Ezek. 18:20; Isaiah 59:2). And, that of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14). Therefore when an infant dies, it dies destined for the kingdom of heaven. That’s about as much as I can say on that!
        But we are not born astray, instead – “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”(Isaiah 53:6). Seemingly, we begin to bend towards evil even from our youth (Gen. 8:21). But at what particular age an individual becomes accountable before God? I don’t know. That might depend on the individual. Your guess is as good as mine.🙃

        Perhaps you might be able to answer this…if all children are born with a “corrupted nature” because of Adam’s sin….would you include Jesus in that? If not, why not? After all, Luke shows Jesus’ blood descent, – “seed of David according to the flesh”(Romans 1:3) – all the way back to Adam.🧐 Son of Adam and Seed of Eve.

      95. Since you asked Aidan, I’ll try make a brief response. Infants aren’t born with guilt but do have flesh prone towards sin, imo. Jesus got some of that same “proneness” in the part of his body and soul that He got from Mary.

        But the another “half” of that human body and soul was created by the Spirit to replace what would have come from Joseph. And that half of body and soul didn’t have that “proneness” to sin. His spirit must have been fully divine or at least “half”, and perhaps the human half was created innocent and not inherited.

        So I conclude as a theological guess the divine parts “outranked” the human parts. But even if they didn’t, He never sinned, which is the most important premise we can definitely be dogmatic about. 😊

        Thanks for trying to answer when infants get kicked out of the kingdom, if you’re view is correct that they are already in it, and not just innocent. I hoped you might see how my question might relate to the view of some that salvation can be forfeited, and for you to consider in your view exactly what it would take to forfeit it. Does it take less for an infant? 🤔

      96. Maybe, Brian, if you considered that my answer might be speaking about the kingdom of heaven in terms of one’s final destination, then you would have understood how I answered your question. As you said yourself “I actually do believe the evidence reasonably infers that all infants who die go to heaven.” The only difference Brian, is, I’m sure they will, you’re not! And, yes, I did spot your trick question about the kingdom in an effort to build a strawman!😏

        Tell me, just in reference to reaching the age of accountability, which I know you believe in: How many sins does it take to spiritually die? Does it take many sins, or just one sin to die? And what happens if one physically dies in their sin?🤔 But where would they go if they died and had no sin? Could it be they must enter the kingdom of heaven?😇

        Thanks for confirming your belief that, if all children are born with a “corrupted nature” because of Adam’s sin…. you would include Jesus in that. I hope you know that God is the Father of spirits. Our spirit comes from God who formed it (Zech 12:1). And if men are born with a “corrupted nature,” they are no longer in the image of God. But whatever you mean, what is interesting here is the absence of scripture telling us that men are born with a corrupt nature. Instead, what we find is scripture indicating the complete opposite, telling us that men are not born corrupt, but rather – they BECOME corrupt.🧐

        Psalms 14:2-3 (NASB)
        The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
        To see if there are any who understand,
        Who seek after God.

        They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
        There is no one who does good, not even one.

      97. Aidan,

        I wholeheartedly agree with ALL of your premise regarding babies going to heaven. However, when it gets to the “age of accountablility” side of the conversation, the JEWS actually did have an actual age of accountability. 13 for males (Bar Mitzvah), 12 for females (Bat Mitvah). And the reason: What was the NAME of the TREE in the Garden? One KEY WORD sticks out: KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil.

        The Jews are INTRODUCED to the Law, and it is at THAT POINT that they realize their sins, and it is at that point that they die spiritually, which God “departs” from them, and then they are ACCOUNTABLE, held to account, etc. But also keep in mind that they had sacrifices and a yearly DAY OF ATONEMENT to COVER sins, as well.

        So my point, KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil must come before one is even accountable. Ignorance is bliss. Without that knowledge, NO ONE is held to account, HENCE references such as Romans 7:7-9, and Acts 17:30. It’s NOT “mercy”, because one must be CHARGED with a sin for it to be mercy. IF one is ignorant of the sin, it’s not charged against them. Abraham married to his sister is a GREAT example. Not chargeable, and why? NO KNOWLEDGE of it even being a sin, so it was not charged, BUT because it was a sin, Abraham was not able to go to heaven after he died, he went to ABRAHAM’S BOSOM until Jesus died.

        There is so much to discuss here about this, but Brian is concerened with such things as GRAMMAR.

        Now, since the Jews had the law in order to KNOW good and evil, and we don’t, THE LAW IS OUR SCHOOLMASTER to bring us to Christ.

        It is only then when we know what our sins are to God, and THEN we can repent. You can’t CAN’T CAN’T repent from something that you have no clue about. Why? You don’t have that knowledge. Preachers can preach STOP SINNING all day long, but until you KNOW what sin he is discussing, how can one stop sinning? Is picking your nose a sin? Apparently, if the preacher deams it a sin, it must be a sin, huh?

        Romans 3 states, FOR BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.

        Now, what about those who have NO KNOWLEDGE of sin and die, yet NOT a child?

        Romans 2:14-16 plain and simple. Judged based on your CONSCIENCE, or SECRET THOUGHTS. Here comes the word NATURE here in that reference, that BY NATURE they obey laws that they have no clue about, so where is this SINFUL NATURE? It’s NOT THERE. By nature, people are doing good things. Love is NATURAL, love is not learned.

        I’ve looked and inquired about the ole famous catch phrase, “sin nature”, but it’s not there. But I have found that when you KNOW what the law is, the NATURAL FLESH will indeed gravetate to what it KNOWS is sinful. And Romans 7 tells us that.

        All in all, I do not buy into the doctrine of original sin. Those who teach it, they get it wrong by making the PHYSICAL DEATH of Adam into a SPIRITUAL DEATH for all. We all die a natural death due to Adam’s sin; THAT was the ONLY thing passed to us, not spiritual death, as they teach. We are not born dead, we die, hence again, Romans 7, where Paul states that BEFORE the law (for him) he was alive. ALIVE before the law, and for him, sin was DEAD, meaning non-existant. This is the same for each and every person’s life.

        If I were to title this comment, it would be: Knowledge of Good and Evil, vs. NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

        It flabbergasts me that the EXPERTS have no clue about this stuff, and maintain that the bible is SILENT on the matter, when it isn’t silent at all.

        Ed Chapman

      98. Hey Ed,
        Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. Had to bring the sister-in-law to the hospital today because she put her back out and could hardly move. But regarding this issue “sin nature”? You’re absolutely bang on in saying that it is nowhere to be found in the scriptures. It just doesn’t exist, either in name or in concept. Like you said, Romans 2:14-16 plain and simple doesn’t square with this theory of an inherited depraved SINFUL NATURE! Excellent scripture, by the way. They might not have it written on paper, but there is plenty that is good written on their hearts.
        And besides, Psalms 14:3 says we TURN aside, we BECOME corrupt. But hold on, I thought confession/creed such and such said that we are BORN CORRUPT? Yeah! Well! Why do you need the creeds of men when you have a bible in your hands? Amm! I dunno! That’s right, otherwise you would have known that men are not – in any way, shape, or form – born corrupt or depraved!

        But to be fair to Brian, his version of “inherited corrupt nature” is not the same as those who teach total depravity. He still believes that condemnation doesn’t kick in until the age of accountability. Having said that, there’s still something twisted about his doctrine that is hard to put your finger on. It has left him unsure as to whether babies would go to heaven or not. But like you said, where is the scripture for it? There’s none! Here’s a passage that says it all for me:

        Ezekiel 18:20
        “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

        We can try to blame our father Adam all we like, but the fact is: None are held accountable for anyone else’s sins but their own. We will only reap what WE have sown (Gal. 6: 7-8). And we are only “corrupt” not because we were “born corrupted”, but because we ourselves BECAME CORRUPTED (Ps. 14:3). You can’t get any fairer than that!

      99. Absolutely, Aidan,

        OK, so the word CORRUPT is being also MISUSED by them as well. Corrupt is NOT just the MIND regarding sin. That English word is also used as a means to describe a DEAD decaying body.

        Hope your sister in law gets better!

        Ed

      100. Aidan… innocence in mortal flesh, which is subject to physical death, is not sufficient to enter heaven. Divine righteousness imputed through faith is sufficient. Infants aren’t born with that divine righteousness. Perhaps that helps further explain my view. But thanks for the backup. 😊

      101. Brian,

        WRONG! It is sufficient.

        God is with a child from before birth, and therefore, the child never died a spiritual death. One only dies a spiritiua death (GOD DEPARTS) AT THE MOMENTof KNOWLEDGE of good and evil.

        Romans 7:7-9
        7 …I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

        8 …For without the law sin was dead.

        9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

        Physical death of the mortal body is the only thing we inherited from Adam. Nothing more. Sin is dead when you don’t know anything about good and evil.

        God does NOT depart that individual when sin is dead, sin cannot be imputed when sin is dead. Therefore, there is no spiritual death, meaning God never departed from them. End result, HEAVEN.

      102. Brian….don’t you know? Only sin can separate a person from God(Isaiah 59:2). What sin separates an infant from God? There is nothing to condemn them, they have no need of forgiveness. BABIES ARE NOT UNRIGHTEOUS! But you are conflating the righteousness which is through faith 👉 for sinners with sinless babies. The righteousness OF FAITH which Romans speaks of, is that righteousness which God bestows UPON A SINNER in forgiving him of his sins (Romans 4:6-8). It only has to do with justification for those who are sinners.🙃

        Romans 3: 22-23 (NKJV)-
        “even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”🤔

      103. Aidan,

        I also like your FATHER OF SPIRITS mention. You’ve made that a bullet comment a few times now, but I don’t know if anyone is listening.

        I’m CONFUSED about Brian’s explaination about 1/2 of the body being human, and the other 1/2 of the body being God. That sounds almost, not quite, but almost like a Catholic explanation, but then again, if the Catholics only reformed, they’d still be Catholic?

        Here is a better explanation.

        ALL of the body of Jesus was HUMAN FLESH. What, did only 1/2 of his body die on the cross? What makes Jesus God, is that God is a SPIRIT and it was that ONE GOD RESIDING in the BODY of Jesus, a fully human man, not 1/2 man, 1/2 God.

        Jesus is son only as a body of God, but God is a spirit, which is what makes Jesus God.

        You must know that LIFE requiress a body. Without a body, you are known as DEAD. How many times does the bible state that we have a LIVING God. Many times, right? Now, what does that tell you about John 4:24 now? It tells me that God, the spirit (FATHER) HAS A BODY, DOESN’T IT?

        That body is known as Jesus, THE MAN. And this is why I do not buy off on the trinity. Jesus is the ONLY GOD, hence ONE GOD. THE Father is his spirit, the body of the spirit is Jesus. ONE SPIRIT, ONE BODY.

        I know, I know, you will als add “ONE BAPTISM”, lol. But you are on the right track by the bullet, FATHER OF SPIRITS. Do you know how hard it is to convince TEACHERS that you are a spirit, first and foremost? And try asking the teachers when THEY were created as a spirit, and listen to their multiple answers. Some will say in the womb at conception, others will say at birth, and some will answer correctly, ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CREATION. But they don’t really grasp that they are a spirit, hence the 7th Day Adventists/Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching SOUL SLEEP.

        Ed Chapman

      104. Did you notice Brian’s other statement where he says: “I actually do believe the evidence reasonably infers that all infants who die go to heaven or at least might get a chance later (during the millennium maybe? 😊) to mature and make a decision of faith.”

        Notice that he doesn’t think it “definitely infers”, but instead it “reasonably infers” they go to heaven. And, because he’s not sure, then comes his very Catholic view that perhaps they’ll get a second chance during the millennium? That view is just purgatory/limbo in another form. And also his half and half cocked theory about Jesus, where he says perhaps the divine parts “outranked” the human parts? He admits that this is just a “theological guess”. But that’s the problem. This is what happens when you create a theology first, and then try to make it fit in with the scriptures. NO SCRIPTURES for this stuff, just speculation, so that it can be made fit with the theology! Oh😣man!!

        Regarding the Trinity, which you would probably be the only one here not to believe in it: What’s your view on Genesis 1:26? That would be one of the verses that helped convince me of the trinity. And don’t forget, I’m Irish, we’ve got the Shamrock.😏

      105. Aidan,

        Yes, I’ve heard about that 2nd chance at the millenium thing for years, but usually that comes from SPLINTERS of the 7th Day Adventists, etc., not mainline Christianity.

        They usually infer this DUE TO the wording of “THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION”, thinking that there will be a second resurrection for the righteous.

        But, there is two resurrections. ONE for the Righteous (flesh and BONES, NO BLOOD), and ONE for the UNRIGHTEOUS (flesh and BLOOD), for the purpose of judgment, and they will DIE AGAIN, meaning the 2nd Death. It’s further interesting to also note that the 2nd death is mentioned twice in two different contexts, tho.

        1. Death of the body (Flesh and BLOOD)
        2. Spiritual Death (eternally separated from God, never to be seen again)

        The righteous, only ONE resurrection, which debunks any notion that anyone will get a 2ND CHANCE. God never departed children to begin with, so for them, there is not even a need for a FIRST CHANCE.

        Ed Chapman

      106. Aidan,

        I forgot to respond to your Genesis 1:26…oops. So, here it goes:

        First off, I NEED to stipulate that, as the Newsboys sing, I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER, I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

        And yes, I believe that ALL THREE of them are ONE GOD.

        The part that I don’t believe, is that they are 3 SEPARATE BEINGS.

        1. SPIRIT
        2. SOUL
        3. BODY

        So let me quote Genesis 1:26

        And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

        But wait, there is MORE…

        What about verse 27?

        27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

        So it went from “our image” in 26, to HIS OWN image in 27. In other words, verse 26 is a plural, verse 27 is a singular.

        But lets look at something else.

        Genesis 1:1
        1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

        Check out the Strong’s Concordance on the word GOD here.

        Elohym, right?

        430 ‘elohiym el-o-heem’ plural of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:–angels, X exceeding, God (gods)(-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

        433 ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; rarely (shortened) >eloahh {el-o’-ah probably prolonged (emphat.) from 410; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. See 430.

        OK, so you believe in 3 PEOPLE playing the role of ONE GOD, right?

        Well, if we are made in the IMAGE of 3 PEOPLE, then WHAT IMAGE is that? We are only ONE PERSON, not THREE PEOPLE.

        John 4:24 states that God is a SPIRIT, am I right? Well, if God is a spirit, WHAT IS JESUS, since he’s God?

        And if we are made in the image of God, doesn’t John 4:24 tell you that we are a spirit, too? YES, it does, and you made it a point in referencing FATHER OF SPIRITS.

        And if you have a BODY, and you are made in the Image of God, what does that tell you about John 4:24?

        And finally, DOES GOD HAVE A SOUL?

        Leviticus 26:11
        And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

        That’s the FIRST mention of God’s soul.

        NEXT…

        You are made in the image of God, and therefore, you are a spirit. And if YOU have a body, SO DOES GOD. And if YOU have a soul, SO DOES GOD.

        There is your 3 in one and that is ONE PERSN, not 3

        Spirit AND Soul AND Body.

        So, would you agree that a SPIRIT is an INTELLECT?

        Would you ALSO agree that a SOUL is an INTELLECT, separate and distinct from SPIRIT? I would.

        The Greek word for Soul is PSUCKE. The Latin transliteration is PSYCHE. What does that tell you? It tells me, “AND ADAM BECAME A LIVING THINKER.

        Does LIFE require a body? What happens when your body is dead? Your SPIRIT departs, right? James 2:26, the body is dead without YOU in it? Right?

        Life requires a body, and does the bible state that we have a LIVING God, or a dead one? A SPIRIT by itself is not considerred LIVING unless it has a body to LIVE in. Existing, yes, living, no.

        Spirit gives LIFE to the body, and in our MORTAL flesh, BLOOD KEEPS THE FLESH ALIVE.

        In the resurrection, NO BLOOD, immortal bodies. Everlasting LIFE, which again, requires a BODY.

        So when we see JESUS, the man, we can say that we see God, IN THE FLESH.

        The spirit of Jesus is God the Father, not a separate spirit.

        The HOLY SPIRIT is known as:

        1 Corinthians 2:16 [Full Chapter]
        For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

        FINALLY, in the gospels, when Philip asked Jesus, and I’m paraphrasing,

        “show us the father and that will be sufficient.”

        But lots of people who believe in the Trinity will say that Jesus was just making a figure of speech in his response, that if you have seen him, you have seen the father, and they make the example of a SON that has the PHYSICAL charachteristics as his father.

        The problem with that is sons NEVER look like their father. They look like their mother. Girls look like their father.

        Nevertheless, Jesus was SERIOUS, not making a figure of speech. ONE GOD, a SPIRIT ( JOHN 4:24, CANNOT BE CONTAINED IN A SMALL BODY LIKE A MAN’S BODY, therefore God is EVERYWHERE, but Jesus had the FULLNESS of that God IN THAT BODY, and it is THAT SPIRIT ALONE that makes Jesus FULLY GOD, because he is God.

        Oh, one last thing, I mentioned that a spirit is an intellect, and a soul is a SEPARATE intellect. That can be proven in something that you don’t believe in a spiritual gift for today, however, Paul, in discussing speaking in tongues, states…well, let me just show it:

        1 Corinthians 14:14
        For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

        1 Corinthians 14:15
        What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

        Understanding is the THINKING part, aka THE SOUL, yet YOUR spirit prays. 2 Intellects.

        I say that, because there were some things that Jesus said that ONLY THE FATHER KNOWS, meaning, if Jesus was God, he’d know, right? Hence the TRINITY doctrine people thinking that they have a GOTCHA!

        2 INTELLECTS IN ONE BODY.

        Again, we are made in the image of God by way of SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY. We have ONE LIVING GOD, and life requries a body, otherwise, we have a dead God, not a living one. So God is NOT JUST A SPIRIT now, is he? If you have a body, so does he.

        Ed Chapman

      107. Is it okay if I ask you a few questions, because there’s quite a bit to think about. I’m glad I only asked you to do one verse🤣 But I might bring in some other passages to throw at you along the way.

        Genesis 1:26-27,
        26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

        I knew about Elohiym being a plural word for God. But when you read these verses, it looks like God (Elohiym), is speaking to others besides Himself, if you know what I mean? Let Us make, in Our image, in Our likeness! And then verse 27 further confirms that God, (Elohiym), that He has an Us and Our to His nature. But what really is striking is that He is speaking to an Us, like you would if you were speaking to more than one person. Generally no one speaks that way to themselves alone. Does this verse then not seem like there are a plurality of persons in the Godhead? “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (v.1) Also seems to confirm the same thing as v.26?

        Daniel 7:13
        “I was watching in the night visions,
        And behold, One like the Son of Man,
        Coming with the clouds of heaven!
        He came to the Ancient of Days,
        And they brought Him near before Him.

        Here we see a picture of Jesus ascending into heaven, and then being brought before the Ancient of Days to receive an everlasting kingdom. How would you explain this?

        John 1:1-3
        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
        He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

        The Word is God, or Deity in nature, and is described as literally being with (the) God in the beginning. He(the Word) was with God in the beginning. All things were made through (Him) i.e. – the Word. And remember, the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters in Genesis 1. It is hard to see how all of this does not point to the (Us) of Genesis 1:26 as being a plurality of persons in the Godhead. But perhaps that’s enough for now.😷

      108. Aidan,

        Prelude:

        Isaiah 44:8
        Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

        Isaiah 43:11
        I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

        Isaiah 44:6
        Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

        Isaiah 45:5
        I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

        Isaiah 45:6
        That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

        Isaiah 45:21
        Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

        Is there 3 people talking above in each? Or 2? Or 1?

        So Jesus comes along, and states that he is God, and the Jews say, BLASPHEMY! Can you blame the Jews for rejecting Jesus? I can’t.

        I have no doubt that you think that there are OTHER people in Genesis 1:26 considering the word US. But when you consider the NEXT verse, “US” didn’t make man in OUR image. US wasn’t involved. “HE” was the ONLY one involved.

        Genesis 1:27 King James Version (KJV)
        So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

        That is still Elohym, or PLURAL SINGULAR Deity. Makes no sense, huh? This exactly why I mentioned SPIRIT AND SOUL.

        A PERSON is SPIRIT AND SOUL AND BODY. 3 in one. INSIDE THAT “ONE BODY” IS “ONE SPIRIT” AND “ONE SOUL”.

        I also MADE A POINT in DISTINGUISHING the difference between spirit and soul. I think you missed it.

        1. SPIRIT IS YOU
        2. SOUL IS YOU
        3. and they both live in a body.

        Both 1 and 2 above are SEPARATE and distinct intellects. SEPARATE.

        Spirit thinks SPIRITUAL thoughts, your soul thinks EARTHLY thoughts, and BOTH are NOT in sync with each other. You (SOUL) have NO IDEA what your spirit thinks, or feels, or prays, etc. It’s like YOU ARE CUT OFF from that part of you.

        That is why I mentioned the Apostle Paul regarding his conversation about speaking in tongues, where a person’s spirit is using that person’s MOUTH to speak, but YOU HAVE NO IDEA what you are even saying, but SOMEONE present should be there to interpret.

        Do you see yet? Separate intellects in ONE BODY. EACH of then SPEAKS, but your mind has NO CLUE of what your spirit prays, thinks, feels, etc.

        So let’s break it down:

        1. FATHER = SPIRIT
        2. SON = BODY
        3. HOLY SPIRIT = MIND OF CHRIST

        That is ONE PERSON, not three people

        ————————————————————————

        Moving on…LOGOS

        I listened to WALTER MARTIN many years ago debating this with Jehovah’s Wtinesses on the John Ankerburg show many years ago. I was NOT convinced with Walter Martin’s explaination regarding “face to face”, if your’ve ever seen that episode. I’ve read Walter Martin’s “Kingdom of the Cult’s”, and thought that was a GREAT book, but I disagreed with him on a few MINOR things, such as LOGOS as it relates to Jesus.

        First thing that must be done is to DEFINE LOGOS.

        But before you even define it, there is ANOTHER Greek word for the English word “WORD”, also, that needs to be LAID out on the table for a COMPARRISON.

        That word is RHEMA.

        A key word in the definitions for both is UTTERANCE, but we will leave that word aside for a moment. Ignore it just momentarily.

        Definition of LOGOS is:

        SPOKEN WORD, “INCLUDING THOUGHT”.

        Most people neglect to include, “INCLUDING THOUGHT” as part of the definition. And that is a problem. That “INCLUDING THOUGHT” part is what sets the DIFFERENCE between Logos and Rhema.

        For example. You’ve heard the phrase, “IT’S YOUR WORD AGAINST MY WORD”?

        Which would be Rhema, and which would be logos?

        Before you answer that:

        Romans 14:12
        So G3767 then G686 every one G1538 of us G2257 shall give G1325 account G3056 of G4012 himself G1438 to God. G2316

        Did you know that we must give a LOGOS to God? The English word above for ACCOUNT is LOGOS.

        We must SPEAK to God OUR OWN WORDS THAT ORIGINATE IN OUR OWN MIND. That is LOGOS.

        If my utterance (speach) originates in MY MIND, then that is LOGOS.

        If my utterance (speach) originated in YOUR mind, that is RHEMA.

        Jesus is LOGOS. He’s NOT the Rhema of God, meaning, he’s not a separate person.

        When you do a “WORD” (no pun intended) study, NOTICE the many uses of EACH of Logos and Rhema, and you will see if SOMEONE originated the thought, or is quoting someone elses words. Some references get a bit tricky, but it’s interesting.

        Logos vs. Rhema.

        ————————————————————-

        Last…YAHWEH, and the KJV use of the REPLACEMENT of YHVH to “THE LORD”.

        That’s easy. The NT quotes an HEBREW verse, but DOES NOT use YHVH, or any equivalent at all. It is PENNED IN GREEK the same GREEK WORD for “LORD”.

        We know that there is ONLY ONE LORD. So, which is it? The Father or the Son? Can’t be both if only ONE is, right? Or is it?

        These are Games to play with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or in your case, EXTRA CREDIT.

        Feel free to ask for more, or for clarifications. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the REASON that I delved into this, when PROVING that Jesus is God. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out that the ONENESS PENTECOSTALS believe in the same thing that I do, regading, as I’ve heard it sarcastically before, “JESUS IS HIS OWN FATHER”!!!

        But, I’ve also noted to you before, that NO WHERE from Acts and Beyond, do we read ANYTHING of ANYONE being baptized in the Name of the Father, let alone in the NAME OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (what is the name of the Holy Spirit anyway?). Not one mention of being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit.

        No phrase can be found, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

        Can’t the apostles follow ONE SIMPLE “GREAT COMMISSION” commandment correctly? The only name that I have found that they baptized in was the name of the son, Jesus.

        Sarcasm aside, THAT IS A HINT. Have a good day, Aidan.

        Ed Chapman

      109. Aidan,

        This “ONE” helped me out a lot, as well:

        John 10:30 King James (KJV)
        I and my Father are one.

        The last word, “ONE” is the last word in that verse.

        Many will ADD a word or two, such as: “IN UNION”, or “IN AGREEMENT”. But it doesn’t say that. Again, “ONE” is the LAST WORD.

        So, I suppose you didn’t know, but there are MORE than ONE Greek word for the English word “ONE”.

        Strong’s Concordance Greek Ref# G1520
        εἷς heîs, hice; a primary numeral; one

        As a numeral, ONE is defined as:
        adjective
        being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing, item, or object rather than two or more; a single:

        An adjective describes a person, place, or thing. One here is not a noun, and it’s not a pronoun. So, as an adjective, you can say:

        I and the Father are a SINGLE UNIT.

        ———————————————–

        Now here is TODAY’S lesson on the word ONE (If it reminds you of SESAME STREET…)

        John 10:16
        And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

        This verse has TWO English word ONE’s.

        1. ONE fold
        2. ONE shepherd

        Jhn 10:16
        And G2532 other G243 sheep G4263 I have, G2192 which G3739 are G2076 not G3756 of G1537 this G5026 fold: G833 them also G2548 I G3165 must G1163 bring, G71 and G2532 they shall hear G191 my G3450 voice; G5456 and G2532 there shall be G1096 one G3391 fold, G4167 and one G1520 shepherd. G4166

        Which one is #G1520, as in John 10:30? Answer: ONE SHEPHERD.

        So, that leaves, ONE FOLD left to dissect.

        Strong’s Concordance Greek Ref# G3391
        μία mía, mee’-ah; irregular feminine of G1520; one or first:

        This is defined in the dictionary (merriam-webster) as:

        Adjective
        used before a noun to indicate that someone or something is part of a group of similar people or things

        A single fold has more than one sheep, like a ONE TEAM has more than one player, hence a different Greek Word to denote the difference between ONE and ONE.

        I and the Father are ONE is the same as ONE shepherd, but NOT the same as ONE FOLD.

        Ed Chapman

      110. Hey Ed,
        The verses you quoted from Isaiah in your previous post simply establish Monotheism. I see what you are trying to say, but Trinitarians would not disagree that there is one God. And according to Genesis 1:26 “US” did make man in “OUR” image, in “OUR” likeness. But then, Elohim created man in HIS image (v.27). This simply means that HE (Elohim) of (V27) = “OUR” – “US” of (v.26) Implying that there is a plurality “US” in the Godhead here!

        In John 10:30 King James (KJV)
        I and my Father are one. The word “are” is a plural verb. In other words, Jesus is saying, (I and My Father, WE are one). A plurality (we) of Persons, namely, “I and My Father” are one.

        When people ask you to explain John 1:1-3, how do you explain them?🤔

      111. Aidan,

        Are you not hearing me? I discussed at length SPIRIT and SOUL… for a reason.

        I don’t concentrate on words such of monotheism or trinity.

        1 Thessalonians 5:23 mentions 3 words…

        1. Spiriit
        2. Soul
        3. Body

        And if we are created in the image of God, then God is MORE THAN just a spirit as John 4:24 states, and if God is A (SINGULAR) Spirit, then we cannot declare that God is 3 (Three), or plural spirits.

        There is ONE SPIRIT AND ONE BODY.

        ONE PERSON IS A SPIRIT. 3 people are not one spirit.

        God is a spirit. That spirit is what i identify as…THE FATHER.

        JESUS is not a separate person. The body of jesus is the temple of these father.

        None of us are the temple of the father. We have the holy spirit, aka the mind of christ.

        I’m not into religious words, aka monotheism.

        It’s easier to just say, ONE GOD EQUALS ONE PERSON.

        As regarding John 1:1-3 and John 10:30, I already addressed both. Did you not read it?

        Ed Chapman

      112. Ed,

        I hear what you are saying, but like I said from the outset, I would have questions and throw some other passages at you along the way. Am I not allowed to ask questions, or disagree with some things? I mean, it’s not as if I haven’t believed in the Trinity all my life, is it?🙄

        You said you explained John 1:1-3? If you have, I don’t see it. You certainly didn’t reference it when you did. I asked you to explain Daniel 7:13 and saw nothing on that either? These are legitimate passages that raise serious questions to your understanding of things! And regarding Monotheism? That’s simply the belief in only one God. This is what Trinitarians believe in and therefore they would agree with all those verses in Isaiah. But there are many passages you need to explain in light of what you believe. Another example is found in Matthew 3, where we have God the Father speaking from heaven, God the Spirit descending like a dove, and Jesus, Son of God, submitting Himself to baptism. Three separate and distinct personalities within the Godhead if you like, all distinguishable, yet all Deity – all one God. It fits in well with all these other passages like👉 Genesis 1:26; John 1:1-3; and Daniel 7:13👈 to mention just a few.

        Matthew 3:16-17
        “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

      113. Aidan,

        When i said that i addressed John 1:1-3, it’s in regards to the word LOGOS. So i reiterate that I already covered John 1:1-3.

      114. Regardi g Matthew 3:16-17. Jehovah’s Witnesses love to bring this one up all the time, with sarcasm, of course, asking if jesus throws his voice like a magician. I gotta laugh at that false narrative for two reasons.

        How many miles is heaven from earth? Isn’t it amazing that anyone can audibly hear God’s voice from that many miles away in the first place? Seems scientifically impossible, doesn’t it?

        Second, and most important, several verses, Jesus said, “Father, which is in heaven”.

        Matthew 5:16, 5:45, 5:48, 6:1, 6:9, 7:11, 10:32, 12:50, 16:17, 18:10, 18:14, and 18:19. And that’s just Matthew.

        But… this gets missed:

        John 14:10

        Jesus said in that, that the father dwells in him.

        Concentrate on the word DWELLS. So, God the father,is in heaven, and in Jesus, at the same time. Yet, God never left his throne, in heaven, but is also in jesus… at the same time.

        Summary… Jesus is:

        Spirit=Father
        Body=Son
        Soul=Mind of Christ

        One person. Not three people. They have the same personality, not three separate personalities.

        One spirit is one person.

        I again implore you to dissect the word ONE in John 10:30, because until you do, you will bring forth continued catholic doctrine of 325 ad to the table. What else did the church fathers bring forth that no one but Catholics believe anymore? Purgatory? Can priests really forgive sins? It amazes me that trinity is held as orthodox, just as purgatory was once orthodox. Rio catholic’s, it’s still orthodox. Baptists are struggling with purgatory, as Brian is, regarding babies going to hell. Shouldn’t we question the orthodoxy of church fathers? Especially from men who wear white dresses and dunce caps to this day? Waving a smoke filled canister back and forth in a rigid religious ceremony as if God is impressed with that?

        In my opinion, Catholics in 325 ad got the trinity wrong.

        To conclude, I believe all 3 are God, but that all three “ARE”, “ARE”, “ARE”, if you get my drift, “ONE”, “ONE”, “ONE” PERSON, not three people.

        Ed Chapman

      115. Ed,

        The thing about Matthew 3:16-17, is that you have all three in the Godhead reveal themselves here, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; yet manifestly separate and distinct from each other. There’s only one way to naturally read this!

        You mentioned John 14:10: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” And then used the fact that Jesus said “the Father DWELLS in Me” as proof that Jesus is the Father, one person? But here are some other verses that speak of God DWELLING.

        In John 15:4, Jesus said to His disciples, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” Does that mean that His disciples were no longer separate persons, because Jesus DWELLS in them? I don’t think so!

        In 1 John 4:13, “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:15, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” Does a person become God because he abides in Him, and God in that person? So, No! On that basis I don’t think you can use John 14:10 as proof that Jesus is the Father!

        There’s something else that’s interesting about John 14:10: Jesus said, “The words(Rhema) that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” Then in John 17:8, Jesus said, “For I have given to them the words(Rhema) which You have given Me; and they have received them” But you said that when “Rhema” is used it indicates that it came from another person? If that’s the case, then you have God the Father as another Person, so to speak, IN THE GODHEAD! 🤔

        Just as in John 10:30; the word “one” has a distinctive plurality implicated in it, namely, Jesus and the Father.

        John 10:30; “I and My Father are one.” In other words, “We” are one!

        The natural reading of the scriptures in this matter is the most obvious, and is best!

      116. I’m at work, so this will be short. I again reiterate SOUL and SPIRIT, and that both dwell, reside, in a BODY, and that the Father was both in heaven and on the body of christ at the same time. You can’t conclude things based on one or two references. You gotta take everything.

        For example, John 10:30, your focus is on TWO, aka “are “, and ignore “ONE “. Me, are is self explanatory, to mean FATHER AND SON, but I’m focused on “ONE”, and i told you about ther Greek words regarding that word.

        But take out back to genesis 1:26-27.

        Just concentrate that we are created in the image of God, then LOOK at us! What are we?

        What are we?

        1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells you.

        Spirit and soul and body.

        So if I have a body, so does John 4:24.

        Point blank. That’s jesus. The body of christ is the temple of God that jesus said he’d rebuild on 3 days. Jesus is God DUE TO the Father dwelling in him. The body of the father is the son.

        Point blank

        Ed Chapman

      117. Yeah, I too am at work as I normally am when responding back and forth to SOT 101. Probably has something to do with the time difference. And I’m taking things on the basis of the whole bible, especially the fact that the N.T. reveals more about who God is, and sheds light on a lot of O.T. passages. You say that God must have a Body, Soul, and Spirit based on 1 Thess 5:23, which is speaking about humans? What Body did He have in eternity past, before the creation?

        I think you are the one whose “gotta take everything” instead of ignoring 95% of what’s there to concentrate on “one” word – pun intended.
        If John 10:30; “I and My Father are one” means that Jesus is the Father, how do you explain the following passages which have the exact same Greek word for “ONE” according to Thayer.

        John 10:30; “I and My Father are one”

        John 17:11; “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (Same Greek word for ONE)

        John 17:20-23; “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one,..” (Same Greek word for ONE)

        It seems these verses destroy your argument regarding John 10:30. And then in Genesis 1:26, no matter what way you look at it, there’s an “US” a WE creating man in OUR IMAGE. And Daniel 7, JESUS being presented BEFORE THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, who is visibly seated on His throne before all.

        Daniel 7:9,10,13,14 (NKJV)
        “I watched till thrones were put in place,
        And the Ancient of Days was seated;
        His garment was white as snow,
        And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
        His throne was a fiery flame,
        Its wheels a burning fire;

        A fiery stream issued
        And came forth from before Him.
        A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
        Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
        The court was seated,
        And the books were opened.

        “I was watching in the night visions,
        And behold, One like the Son of Man,
        Coming with the clouds of heaven!
        He came to the Ancient of Days,
        And they brought Him near before Him.

        Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
        That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
        His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
        Which shall not pass away,
        And His kingdom the one
        Which shall not be destroyed.

        There are just so many verses we could go to showing a plurality in the Godhead, proving that Jesus is not the Father!

      118. Aidan,

        On break… lol. Seems that all your gotcha questions to me are going to be me continually responding with, ONE SPIRIT and ONE BODY.

        One spirit in one body equals life.

        Without a spirit in a body, there is no life. All ya got then is a corps (James 2:26). Life requires a spirit in a body. You can’t get around that. A spirit exists independently without a body. But that’s not life. It’s existing. It’s a ghost.

        Go back to my ORIGINAL discussion on the Greek word ONE for John 10:30 when i compared it with another John verse that mentions ONE SHEPHERD with ONE FLOCK.

        ONE shepherd was the same ONE in John 10:30 BUT was not the same ONE in ONE FLOCK.

        FINALLY to answer your first, you ask what body did jesus have before creation in eternity past? You answered your own question in the question. Eternal body in eternity past.

        The best way to explain it is to say that GOD TOOK OFF HIS ETERNAL BODY AND CLOTHED HIMSELF IN A BODY THAT DIES, THEN ROSE FROM THE DEAD INTO ANOTHER ETERNAL BODY.

        Jesus is still called a man in the NT epistles. He’s still fully man due to a body, and God due to his spirit.

        Life is a spirit in a body. God was dead for 3 days and 3 nights.

        If you have a body, so does God, otherwise, we have a dead God.

        If you have a soul, so does God.

        If God is a spirit, so are you, hence 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which you think is only exclusive to humans, yet, we are created in his image and likeness.

        Since life is your spirit in your body, then spiritual life is God’s spirit also living in your body, as well.

        ONE:

        OUR ONE SPIRIT LIVES IN THE BODY OF CHRIST ON EARTH, AND GODS ONE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN ONE BODY (we being many are one body) OF CHRIST ON EARTH.

        ONE.

        One body, one spirit. It boils down to that.

        John 4:24 states that GOD is a spirit. It does NOT say that GOD is THREE spirits.

        Ed Chapman

      119. So if the Word had a body, and the Spirit had a body, and the Father had a body, what kind of body would you say they had? I mean did they have a physical or a spiritual body? We know that God is spirit, John 4:24! I can’t think of any specific verse that mentions God’s body in pre-existent eternity.

        And the scriptures you are referring to – “we being many are one body” is speaking about the church.

      120. First of all, it’s the same body, because jesus is that body for the father. So there is no THEY.

        Second, a spiritual body IS a physical body.

        Jesus, in front of doubting Thomas, in a physical body, an immortal physical body, that is a spiritual body.

        1 cor 15 explains the difference between a NATURAL body, and a spiritual body, but both are PHYSICAL.

        Angels, however, have no body.

        God physically walked in the garden of eden… in the cool of the day it states in genesis.

        Ed

      121. You do know that a spirit does not have flesh and bones? So what kind of spiritual body are you talking about in eternity past? If Jesus said that God is spirit, and no man has seen God at any time, what then? Are you going to speculate about God who is spirit?

        You said Angels have no body, yet did they not take on corporeal form? Yahweh and two angels appeared in the form of men to Abraham? Other than that, I don’t think I want to speculate about God like the Mormons do! As far as I understand, no man has seen God the Father at any time (1 Jn 4:12).

      122. You are confusing words. A spiritual body is NOT a spirit body. A spiritual body I’d a physical body. A spiritual body is an eternal body. A spiritual body is an immortal body. Jesus, after he rose from the dead, that resurrected body is a spiritual physical immortal eternal body. And in eternity past, before he was conceived in Mary, had a spiritual physical eternal immortal body. He has been here on earth several times, as i mentioned that he said that no man has ascended but he that came down from heaven. He had a meal with abraham, he wrestled with Jacob, and there are other OT references of him being here. Moses saw him. Spirits LIVE IN PHYSICAL BODIES.

        And you missed where jesus told his disciples, including apostles, that they have seen the father.

        Have seen. I’m not off work yet, but i can provide the exact words in a few hours.

        Ed

      123. OBVIOUSLY, THESE SCRIPTURES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU!

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

        Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
        “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
        BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME.

        “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

        “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

        “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”

        “for a spirit does not have flesh and bones.”

        The Apostle John said, “No one has seen God at any time.”

      124. Aidan,

        I’m gonna only respond to this first comment that you made, and get back with the rest this weekend, when I have time to open up my PHYSICAL bible and be more specific. I did this study long ago, doing just that, so what I do now with you is just based off of memory.

        But…

        You had said:

        “You do know that a spirit does not have flesh and bones?”

        Here, you are quoting what Jesus said, and CONTEXT must be put into it. The disciples were thinking that they were seeing a GHOST, aka SPIRIT.

        A few times YOU had declared, “FATHER OF SPIRITS” to Brian. Just in that alone, you are ADMITTING that you are a spirit. AREN’T YOU? So if you are admitting that you are a spirit, DON’T YOU HAVE FLESH AND BONES?

        Demons are cast out of people. Those demons are spirits. THEY seek to LIVE in A BODY. And if they do, THEY HAVE FLESH AND BONES. Do they not?

        A spirit BY ITSELF does not have flesh and bones, but once they occupy a body, they sure do have flesh and bones. So the disciples thought that Jesus was a GHOST, aka SPIRIT.

        Now, why did Jesus say BONES instead of BLOOD? I can tell you. For the LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD. FLESH AND BLOOD cannot inherit the kingdom of God. BLOOD being the key word here. What keeps an IMMORTAL BODY ALIVE? NOT BLOOD. Currently, we are FLESH, BLOOD, AND BONES. But a resurrected body does NOT have blood. And since we know Jesus has a body of flesh and BONES, we know that the resurrected body can walk thru walls, since Jesus entered a LOCKED building and talked with the disciples, etc.

        Are you NOT a SPIRIT? If you are NOT, then why reference FATHER OF SPIRITS? If you are, do you not have flesh and bones…and blood?

        NEXT…

        You had referenced to me:

        “As far as I understand, no man has seen God the Father at any time (1 Jn 4:12)”

        MY BIBLE does NOT say that. Here is what the KJV states:

        12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

        It does NOT specify FATHER, SON, OR HOLY SPIRIT. Just GOD. Whatever bible you are using has INSERTED the words “THE FATHER”.

        And since it only states the word GOD, and you acknowledge that Jesus is God, THEY DID SEE GOD.

        1 John 4:12 can also be equated to:

        John 1:18
        No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

        But more SPECIFICALLY, here is what Jesus said:

        John 5:37
        And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

        John 14:6-9 King James Version (KJV)

        6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

        7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

        8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

        9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

        SEE VERSE 7 ABOVE? FROM HENCEFORTH, YE KNOW HIM, AND HAVE SEEN HIM.

        Then Philip asks Jesus to SHOW THEM THE FATHER, and that will be sufficient. And Jesus shakes his head, and states, DUDE, AREN’T YOU LISTENING?

        They have SEEN THE FATHER. DON’T PUT WORDS at the END of that to say what it doesn’t say…that is what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, just like they do with John 10:30, and others.

        HAVE SEEN THE FATHER. I do believe that FROM HENCEFORTH is KEY to that. And since they seen the Father (JESUS, OR THE WORD IN THE FLESH), then RESTUDY 1 John 14…

        1 John 3:6
        Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

        Genesis 32:30
        And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

        Judges 13:22
        And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

        John 1:18
        No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

        WHO did Moses see? Didn’t God show Moses his BACK SIDE in the cleft of the rock?

        Exodus 33:22-23 King James Version (KJV)

        22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

        23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

        It is the words “FROM HENCEFORTH” that I would concentrate on, in John 14:7. Jesus is TELLING THEM that they have seen the Father.

        Ed Chapman

      125. Ed,

        I disagree! If someone says, for example, I think it’s a ghost or a spirit, it immediately connotes the idea that it is BODILESS. Human beings don’t say, “I am a spirit” that wouldn’t be correct; but rather, “I have a spirit.” And when demons possess someone, the body of that person is possessed by an evil-spirit, an entity whose nature is NON-PHYSICAL. Therefore, when people refer to a ghost, or a spirit, they are not referring to a PHYSICAL BODY WITH FLESH AND BONES. Hence, Jesus’ response in Luke 24:39, “..for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When I’m dead, then I can be referred to as a SPIRIT. I ain’t afraid of no GHOSTS.🙃

        “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
        And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7).
        And if God is the FATHER OF SPIRITS, how can they say man is not made UPRIGHT?

        NEXT…

        1 John 4:12 “No one has seen God at any time…”

        If you had looked at the context like I suggested, you would see that it refers to God the Father.

        9 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us…”

        This whole passage reminds me of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,..” If this passage is not referring to God the Father, I don’t know what is.

        Moving on to John 14:6-9:
        Jesus DID NOT SAY HE IS THE FATHER here! To say such is a complete misunderstanding of the passage.

        You quoted verses 6-9, but look how He answers Philip’s question in the next verse, John 14:10: Does Jesus say, ‘How can you say, ‘show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am the Father’? NO, BUT RATHER:
        “..how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.”

        There is such a oneness between the Father and the Son, evidenced by the fact that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Him! Jesus makes this clear by saying, ‘the words that I speak to you, I SPEAK NOT FROM MYSELF, BUT THE FATHER ABIDING IN ME DOES THE WORKS’. So that we have two persons – the Father and the Son – acting and speaking AS ONE. Yet “NOT FROM MYSELF” Jesus says, “BUT THE FATHER ABIDING IN ME, He does the works”.

        Then in (v.11) Jesus makes it imperative they continue to: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” Believing especially that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father in Jesus, so that whoever hears, and sees Jesus’ works – SEES THE FATHER HIMSELF, IN THESE WORDS AND WORKS. What greater evidence did they need?

        IN JESUS THEN, THE DISCIPLES SEE THE FATHER!

        John 7:16
        Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”

        John 8:26, 28
        “… He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
        “..I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.”

        John 5:30
        “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

        John 12:49-50
        “For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what I should say and what I should speak; and I know that his commandment is life eternal. What therefore I speak, as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”

        CLEARLY, JESUS IS NOT THE FATHER!

      126. Aidan,

        One last thing for today. DO THE JEWS BELIEVE IN A “HOLY SPIRIT”? IF SO, DO THEY CALL THAT THE 2ND PERSON OF GOD?

        Psalm 51:11
        Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

        Isaiah 63:10
        But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

        Isaiah 63:11
        Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

        “MY SPIRIT”
        (WHO IS “MY”, AND WHAT SPIRIT?)

        Genesis 6:3
        And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

        2 Samuel 23:2
        The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

        1 Kings 18:12
        And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not;

        Joel 2:28
        And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;

        We DEFINATELY KNOW that Joel 2:28 is the HOLY SPIRIT, due to ACTS CHAPTER 2. DO THE JEWS CALL THAT THE 2ND PERSON OF THE BI-INITY?

        Of course not. So why do TRINITARIANS call it the 3rd PERSON of the trinity? Just something to ponder!

        Ed Chapman

      127. Ed,

        Matthew 22:42-46 (NASB)
        “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They *said to Him, “The son of David.”

        He *said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,

        ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
        “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
        UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”’?

        “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

        “No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.”

        IF the Jews had understood their own scriptures about the Messiah, they would have understood WHO was coming! Perhaps then it wouldn’t have been such a stretch for them to believe WHO the Spirit is either. They certainly wouldn’t have been so quick to have crucified the Son of God.

        Psalms 139:7
        “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
        Or where can I flee from Your presence?”

        Just something for the UNITARIANS to ponder!🤔

      128. Agreed. I use that reference a lot that proves jesus is God. That Matthew quote is also in either Mark or Luke. Matthew is to the pharisees. The other reference is tho the common foke. They couldn’t answer either.

        Also, look at revelation. Jesus is the ROOT AND OFFSPRING of David.

        But keep in mind, the pharisees were not wrong in their answer. Jesus is the son of David. See Matthew 1:1. But… Jesus created David, and that’s what they could not grasp from the question.

        No man could answer!!

        Ed Chapman.

      129. Aidan,

        In regards to your references of John, and 1 John…study BODY AND SPIRIT.

        The PHYSICAL BODY of Jesus is in heaven, and the FATHER is IN his BODY.

        NOW, His Holy Spirit (ONE SPIRIT) is IN “we being many are ONE BODY “.

        SO, there is ONE BODY AND ONE SPIRIT.

        We are in his body, and he is in our body. Our spirit’s are in his one body of Christ. His one spirit is in our, being many…ONE BODY of Christ.

        One body, one spirit. Look into that. Those words are in ther bible.

        Then you’ll be able to grasp when jesus states, I in them, they in me.

        Ed Chapman

      130. I already understand about the one body, one Spirit. But what I don’t understand is why you won’t deal with your own contradictory arguments/reasoning?
        For example, you used John 14:10, the fact that Jesus said “the Father DWELLS in Me” as proof that Jesus IS the Father? But John 15:4, and 1 John 4:13,15; use the same greek word for DWELLS, saying that God DWELLS in Christians too. If we were to apply your reasoning as per John 14:10, then we’d have to say that Christians are God – because God DWELLS in them too? Therefore your argument in John 14:10 doesn’t stand. You need to explain the contradiction, or else ditch it!

        You also made another argument from a Greek word “Rhema” to prove that Jesus is the Father. You said that if the word “Rhema” is used, then that “word” came from another person’s mind. In John 14:10; and John 17:8; Jesus used the word “Rhema” to indicate that He got His “word” from the Father, thus dismantling your argument. You need to ditch that too – or explain it! Your arguments here are not consistent with the rest of scripture!

      131. The father does not dwell in Christians. The holy spirit, aka the mind of christ, does. The FATHER is in heaven, not on earth.

        I’m not being contradictory at all. Jesus is there BODY of THE FATHER, no different than YOU ARE THE BODY OF YOU.

        JESUS IS THE BODY, whereas THE FATHER IS THE SPIRIT.

        You are a spirit first and foremost.

        And that’s how jesus is GOD. The body of God is jesus. That’s how jesus is the father, because jesus is identified by his spirit, first and foremost, not his body, and his spirit is the father. He is son due to his body alone.

        Jesus has the father that dwells in him, we don’t have the father dwelling in us. We have the holy spirit.

        That is the MIND OF CHRIST.

        And finally, I also told you that ther word rhema and logos can get a bit tricky, and ther main reason is the reasons you bring up. I also mentioned as an example where jesus clearly states that only the FATHER KNOWS, NOT THE SON… these are things that jehovah’s witnesses bring up to prove jesus is not God. This is why SPIRIT AND SOUL needs to be studied because as i keep saying, YOUR OWN SPIRIT SPEAKS, PRAYS, THINKS, but your mind is not in sync with it, and has no clue what it thinks, prays, or thinks. Paul mentions this in the topic of speaking in tongues.

        Dude, really, this takes a lot of time to study this out, and can’t be done on a back and forth with gotcha stuff.

        I’m not gonna buy off on 3 people, one God doctrine. One God is one person, all due to

        Father=SPIRIT
        Son=BODY
        Holy Spirit=MIND OF CHRIST (Soul)

        If you look at jesus, he alone is jehovah. There is no other God but jesus.

        Ed

      132. 1 Jn 4:15 says, ‘God DWELLS in the Christian’. I think if you start at vs 9 – the context refers to God the Father. Therefore 1 Jn 4:15 is saying that THE FATHER DWELLS in THE CHRISTIAN. Check it out!

        You say: JESUS IS THE FATHER, because Jesus is the BODY of THE FATHER? But this is not what the scriptures teach!

        Instead:
        Jesus is the WORD MADE FLESH – not the FATHER MADE FLESH! Therefore – Jesus is the BODY of THE WORD! The only begotten of the Father – the WORD MADE FLESH!
        John 1:14; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

        You say: THE FATHER IS THE SPIRIT? But this is not what the scriptures teach!

        But:
        Yes, God is spirit, but THE FATHER IS NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT.

        The scriptures make a clear distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This couldn’t be more evident than in the following passage:
        “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

        But then you say: The Spirit is THE MIND OF CHRIST.

        Not as you say, but rather:
        HE REVEALS THE MIND OF CHRIST. He is a member of the Godhead, distinct and distinguishable from Christ and the Father within the Godhead.

        John 14:16-(NKJV)
        “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth” (v.17).

        Notice the distinctions in personalities here between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was preparing to leave the Apostles. The Father would send ANOTHER HELPER to the Apostles. This OTHER HELPER, or Comforter – the Holy Spirit – was to take the place of the personal presence and guidance of Christ (Jn 14:25,26).

        Notice HOW the Holy Spirit was to guide the Apostles into all truth(John 16:13-14)
        “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

        1 Cor 2:10;
        “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

        HE REVEALED THE MIND OF CHRIST. The Apostles and prophets had received “the mind of Christ” – through revelation (1 Cor. 2:16). The “mind of Christ” is the thoughts of Christ as revealed to them through the Holy Spirit. Who did not speak from Himself, or by His own authority – but spoke and declared only that which He had heard or took from Jesus (John 16:13-14).

        And finally, “Rhema” only gets tricky for you because of your position, not because of the scriptures. And I’m sorry, but your view about the ‘spirit and the understanding’ from 1 Cor.14, is also false. It’s a complete misunderstanding of the passage!

      133. Aidan,

        Ditch (get rid of) NATURAL reading of scripture, and dig much deeper than surface stuff. The bible wasn’t written for the natural man to understand spiritual things. There is a verse that discusses this, too.

        Ed

      134. Ed,

        Jesus spoke to common folk just like you and me – fishermen, farmers, soldiers, tax-men, the blind and the poor, in language that they could NATURALLY understand. And many did understand! This is not Gnosticism or Mysticism where words don’t mean what they are supposed to mean. If poor old uneducated granny was meant to understand it as she heard it – then so are we! The natural man are those who don’t want to understand it, because he has his mind set on the things of the flesh – he’s got no time for anything else other than the things of the world. Therein lies the difference!

      135. And yet, those common folk had no idea that he was gonna die on a cross to save them from their sins. Even his own disciples had no clue what jesus was talking about after the third time of explaining it to them. But it was explained to them after he rose from the dead.

        Jesus spoke a lot of spiritual stuff that the common foke didn’t understand.

      136. Ed, wrote:
        “Jesus spoke a lot of spiritual stuff that the common foke didn’t understand.”

        Aidan writes:
        Sure there were things they didn’t understand until after He was raised from the dead. And yet both Jesus and the Apostles spoke to a lot of common folks, who were well able to understand the gospel in its clear and unambiguous language! All it takes is a willingness to know the truth.

        John 7:17 (NASB)
        “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. (See the distinction being made here between Jesus and His Father)?

        John 8:31-32 (NKJV)
        Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

        Ephesians 3: 3-6 (NKJV)
        3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 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: 

        C’mon you simple folk!🙃

      137. Regarding your John 10:30, the word “are” is irrelevant. My concentration is the last word, “one”, not “are”. I could care less the word “are”, because that’s a no-brainer.

        Ed Chapman

      138. No word is irrelevant. Especially since it shows that there is a plurality involved in this “one” – namely, Jesus and the Father.

      139. Aidan,

        In an above sentence, I said, “Rio catholic’s, it’s still orthodox”. That was a typo, thanks to my phone. I meant to say, “To”, not “Rio”. Oops!

        Ed Chapman

      140. Aidan,

        I’m not sure why you wish for me to address Daniel 7:13, but…

        Daniel 7:13 King James Version (KJV)

        13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

        The word SON OF MAN indicates that he’s A MAN. He’s “one of us”.

        But here is something that Jesus said of himself:

        John 3:10-22
        10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

        11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

        12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

        13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

        14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

        15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

        16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

        17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

        18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

        19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

        20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

        21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

        22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

        NOTE:

        I need to quote all of those, because it is all words of Jesus from verse 10, beginning with the word “ART”, and ending with verse 21, ending with the word “God”. The reason that I must, is due to those who think that those words are those of Matthew, or that some are of Jesus, and others are of Matthew, as if there is a break here, because my focus here is…

        Verse 13:
        13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

        So, here we have Jesus speaking to Nicodemus from verse 10-21, and the last part of verse 13 states: SON OF MAN WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

        But wait one minuite here. Jesus is in heaven, at the same time he’s on earth, speaking to Nicodemus FACE TO FACE? YES! Jesus is in TWO PLACES at the same time.

        But notice something else in that same verse?

        Based on the words, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven…”

        He’s talking about himself, being here MANY TIMES BEFORE, and what kind of a BODY do you think he had? A mortal (dying) one, or an IMMORTAL (eternal) body?

        And since verse 13 states, “but he that came down from heaven”, let’s equate that to:

        John 6:38
        For I came down from heaven

        John 6:42
        And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

        So, Jesus came down from heaven, and NO ONE has ever ASCENDED to heaven, (means that he is “IN” a body, becasue we believe that Elijah, and Enoch are with God, without a body), showing that he’s BEEN HERE BEFORE.

        But my point here, as in my earler comments of Jesus THROWING HIS VOICE, as you mention Matthew 3:16-17, I provide you with John 14:10 showing that the Father is ON EARTH LIVING IN JESUS, as well as IN HEAVEN, and I show John 3:13, that Jesus is ON EARTH speaking with Nicodemus, while he is also telling Nicodemus that he’s IN HEAVEN at the same time.

        And I had to quote verses 10-22 to prove that there is not a break in the conversation, as some will false claim that there is a break in verse 13 after “but he that came down from heaven”, with Matthew picking up at “even the Son of man which is in Heaven.

        In any case, that is my explaination of your Daniel 7:13, the SON OF MAN. Jesus is known BOTH as the SON OF MAN, and the SON OF GOD.

        He’s man by the BODY, and God by the Spirit. He’s not a hybrid, as if to say that 1/2 of his body is God, and the other half is man.

        Jehovah’s Witnesses was my first quest to study (NOT TO BE ONE, mind you). I had to figure out WHY they do not believe that Jesus is God, but more importantly, WHY DO I BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS GOD. I’m not gonna take the word of a preacher, because all he’s gonna tell me is that some men in dresses decided FOR ME in 325 AD. That’s not a good enough answer for me.

        Ed Chapman

      141. Brian writes,
        “We see verses that we can make reasonable but not logically necessary inferences from on that matter.”

        Aidan,
        Yes, but what seems “reasonable” to you, or others, is not how truth is established. Where conclusions have to be made, “necessary inference” must always be the standard of authority.

        And,.. If just one scripture teaches that babies are innocent and going to heaven, then ALL scripture teaches that babies are innocent and going to heaven.😇

      142. Aidan writes, “The first major mistake is the assumed existence of a thing called Inherent Total Depravity.”

        Total Depravity means that a person does not have faith. A person cannot have faith without hearing the gospel. If the term, “Total Depravity,” offends you, then replace it with “People without faith.”

      143. rhutchin
        Total Depravity means that a person does not have faith.

        br.d
        It is wisdom to remember – Calvinists will never speak the WHOLE TRUTH

        In Calvinism – man’s nature at any instance in time – and in every part – is 100% determined before man is created.

        The fun part is watching TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists – walking around – Calvin’s god having given them the gift of FALSE faith/election.

        Spending their days – having thousands of divinely determined FALSE perceptions of who they are.

        And not one Calvinist has discernment to know who the TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists are!

        What a hoot! :mrgreen:

      144. RH writes:
        “Total Depravity means that a person does not have faith.”

        Aidan,
        No it doesn’t, ye just made that up after ye made up the term, “Inherited Total Depravity.”

      145. RH “Total Depravity means that a person does not have faith.”
        Aidan,: “Nye just made that up”

        Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

        Paul said in Romans 8, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” We know from Hebrews 11, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

        Let’s help the Calvinist put these two truths into a logical argument:
        Premise 1 those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. without faith it is impossible to please God.
        Conclusion: those who are in the flesh are without faith

        Work it through yourself. Do you arrive at the same conclusion as the Calvinist or do you get something different?

      146. rhutchin
        Premise 1 those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. without faith it is impossible to please God.
        Conclusion: those who are in the flesh are without faith

        br.d
        This syllogism is fallacious.
        According to syllogism rules – the minor premise (in this case “in the flesh”) must be distributed in at least one other premise.
        So this syllogism commits the fallacy of Excluded Middle

        Like so:
        Premise 1: Those who are in Calvinism cannot please Calvin’s god
        Premise 2: Without money it is impossible to please Calvin’s god.
        Conclusion: Those who are in Calvinism do not have money

        The conclusion does not follow from the premises.

      147. br.d writes, “This syllogism is fallacious.
        According to syllogism rules – the minor premise (in this case “in the flesh”) ‘

        To help you understand this, I’ll rephrase it.
        Premise 1 People who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. People cannot please God.without faith
        Conclusion: People who are in the flesh are without faith

      148. br.d
        This syllogism is fallacious.
        According to syllogism rules – the minor premise (in this case “in the flesh”) ‘

        rhutchin
        To help you understand this, I’ll rephrase it.
        Premise 1 People who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. People cannot please God.without faith
        Conclusion: People who are in the flesh are without faith

        br.d
        Sorry RH – you still lose.
        The misunderstanding is still on your part.

        Look at the example of your syllogism that I provided
        That should help you understand your error.

        Additionally:
        Your appeal to the phrase “in the flesh” is way too broad in scope.

        It presupposes (for example) a Calvinist cannot be born-again and then fall into some temptation – and at the time he is sinning be “in the flesh”.

        A Calvinist pastor (for example) having a sexual relationship with a married woman in the congregation.
        Obviously that sinful act is not “of faith”
        But that does not presuppose that that pastor is -quote “without faith”.

        So firstly: your syllogism still fails
        And secondly: your un-precise appeal to “in the flesh” also fails.

      149. Whats more – in Calvinism – the whole business of “Pleasing Calvin’s god” also manifests Calvinism’s GOOD-EVIL DUALISM.

        Because whatsoever comes to pass – must first be conceived by Calvin’s god – and secondly must be determined to come to pass by Calvin’s god. And whatever Calvin’s god determines people to be/do – he does so for his -quote “good pleasure”.

        As John Calvin states:
        -quote
        God thus turning the unclean spirits hither and thither at his pleasure, employs them….(Institutes)
        -quote
        While the matter and guilt of wickedness belongs to the wicked man, why should it be thought that God contracts any impurity inusing it at pleasure as his instrument? (Institutes)
        -quote
        god does according to his pleasure even in the hearts of the wicked.

        So in Calvinism its is a LOGICAL impossibility for a person “in the flesh” to not “Please Calvin’s god”.

      150. br.d writes, “Sorry RH – you still lose. The misunderstanding is still on your part.”

        Romans 8 tells us, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
        I changed this to, “People who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Exchanging “people” for “those” does not change the sense, So no misunderstanding here.

        Hebrews 11 tells us, “without faith it is impossible to please God,”
        I made it, “it is impossible to please God without faith.” Again no change in the sense of the verse. So no misunderstanding here.

        So what does br.d mean??

        He then explains it this way, ‘Look at the example of your syllogism that I provided
        That should help you understand your error.”

        “So this syllogism commits the fallacy of Excluded Middle
        Like so:
        Premise 1: Those who are in Calvinism cannot please Calvin’s god
        Premise 2: Without money it is impossible to please Calvin’s god.
        Conclusion: Those who are in Calvinism do not have money
        The conclusion does not follow from the premises.”

        What does br.d mean? He means that a Calvinist can have money and still not please God. Is that true? The premises deal specifically with the one condition, “Without money it is impossible to please Calvin’s god.” It does not deal with the condition where a person does have money. Obviously, the premises say that money is necessary to pleasing God. Is is possible that a person can have money and still not please God? We don’t know because we are not given that information. Contrary to what br.d says, the conclusion does follow from the premises. br.d’s complaint is that we have to consider other information that we do not have, and br.d says that such additional information will negate the conclusion. So, br.d claiming to have more information that contained in the above premises proposes that the conclusion is false. br.d first imagines an excluded middle and then concludes that the premises are inadequate to account for the excluded middle. But what if there is no excluded middle? br.d doesn’t seem to care; his humanist philosophy always has an excluded middle to be played when necessary.

        Then, ‘Additionally: Your appeal to the phrase “in the flesh” is way too broad in scope.”

        To one who has a humanist philosophy, any appeal to the Scriptures is suspect. He then gives an example of a person who is not in the flesh who then sins in the flesh. Even Paul understood this situation and addressed it in Romans 7. Of course, no sin is of faith. The person in the flesh has no faith so he naturally sins as that is his nature.

      151. br.d writes, “Sorry RH – you still lose. The misunderstanding is still on your part.”

        rhutchin
        Romans 8 tells us, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
        I changed this to, “People who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Exchanging “people” for “those” does not change the sense, So no misunderstanding here.

        Hebrews 11 tells us, “without faith it is impossible to please God,”
        I made it, “it is impossible to please God without faith.” Again no change in the sense of the verse. So no misunderstanding here.

        So what does br.d mean??

        He then states:
        “So this syllogism commits the fallacy of Excluded Middle
        Like so:
        Premise 1: Those who are in Calvinism cannot please Calvin’s god
        Premise 2: Without money it is impossible to please Calvin’s god.
        Conclusion: Those who are in Calvinism do not have money
        The conclusion does not follow from the premises.”

        What does br.d mean?

        br.d
        DUH!
        I simply created another syllogism following the exact same mode as yours.
        Sorry you can’t see how the conclusion does not follow from the premise.

        He means that a Calvinist can have money and still not please God. Is that true? The premises deal specifically with the one condition, “Without money it is impossible to please Calvin’s god.” It does not deal with the condition where a person does have money. Obviously, the premises say that money is necessary to pleasing God. Is is possible that a person can have money and still not please God? We don’t know because we are not given that information.

        Contrary to what br.d says, the conclusion does follow from the premises.

        br.d
        RH – why don’t you take that example syllogism to someone you know – who knows logic.
        You need help!

        rhutchin
        br.d’s complaint is that we have to consider other information that we do not have, and br.d says that such additional information will negate the conclusion.

        br.d
        Firstly – there is no complaint.
        Just a simply showing how your syllogism is fallacious.
        Again I suggest you take that example to a friend you know – who hopefully knows logic

        rhutchin
        br.d first imagines an excluded middle and then concludes that the premises are inadequate to account for the excluded middle.

        br.d
        Its not an imagination.
        You are prone to that particular error.
        Brian has called you out on it before.

        br.d
        Additionally: Your appeal to the phrase “in the flesh” is way too broad in scope.”

        rhutchin
        To one who has a humanist philosophy, any appeal to the Scriptures is suspect.

        br.d
        Now your just casting straw-man ad-hominems – which means you have nothing LOGICAL to offer.
        No one but yourself will be impressed with that. :-]

        rhutchin
        He then gives an example of a person who is not in the flesh who then sins in the flesh. Even Paul understood this situation and addressed it in Romans 7. Of course, no sin is of faith. The person in the flesh has no faith so he naturally sins as that is his nature.

        br.d
        Obviously you have your own definition of “in the flesh” in this case.
        So you don’t believe when a person is sinning they are “in the flesh”.
        I suppose you think they are “in the spirit” when they are sinning? :-]

      152. rhutchin
        He then gives an example of a person who is not in the flesh who then sins in the flesh.

        br.d
        Here your very statement proves my point that your appeal to the phrase “in the flesh” is to broad in scope.

        Here you have a person who is not “in the flesh” and at the same time you have that person sinning “in the flesh”.

        You ought to be able to see by your own statement – that the phrase “in the flesh” can be understood in two different ways – because you yourself used it two different ways in the same sentence.

      153. br.d writes, “Just a simply showing how your syllogism is fallacious.”

        Given the truth of the premises, the conclusion is true. You are injecting imaginary premises into the argument that you alone seem to know (probably with some latent Gnostic ability).

        Then, ‘So you don’t believe when a person is sinning they are “in the flesh”.

        In the context of Romans 8, “in the flesh,” means unsaved and is contrasted with “in the spirit” or saved. It distinguishes between the one who does not have faith and is therefore “in the flesh” and unable to please God and the one who has faith, who is in the spirit.

      154. rhutchin
        Given the truth of the premises, the conclusion is true.

        br.d
        Sorry RH you are simply gambling now.

        If that is true – then my latest example syllogism is true – which concludes “rhutchin is without money”
        And if that is true for you – I feel even more sorry for you :-]

        rhutchin
        You are injecting imaginary premises into the argument that you alone seem to know (probably with some latent Gnostic ability).

        br.d
        Nope – just following the exact model of your syllogism.

        br.d
        So you don’t believe when a person is sinning they are “in the flesh”.

        rhutchin
        In the context of Romans 8, “in the flesh,” means unsaved and is contrasted with “in the spirit” or saved.

        br.d
        This shows my point concerning your appeal to the phrase: “in the flesh” which is too broad in scope.

        You actually proved my point here with your statement “He then gives an example of a person who is not in the flesh who then sins in the flesh.

        So by your own statement – you show your appeal to “in the spirit” to be problematic.

        I also provided another syllogism example – to make it even more easier for you.

        Both premises are true – but the conclusion does not follow from the premises – and that example should be easy enough for you to recognize why.

        Lastly – a Calvinist pastor having a sexual relationship with another man’s wife is not said to be “in the spirit” while he is sinning.
        If that were the case – then John’s use of the phrase “in the spirit” in Revelation 1:10 would be meaningless.

        And as I also noted – you have yet another problem
        Because according to John Calvin there is not such thing as Calvin’s god not getting pleasure from the wicked.
        Do you want to argue that the wicked are “in the spirit”?

      155. Here is another example syllogism a little more obvious.
        Lets see if you can figure out whats wrong with it

        Premise 1: rhutchin cannot purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Premise 2: without money it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Conclusion: rhutchin is without money

      156. Premise 3: there can be no other reason than money
        Premise 4: the man cannot (not “will not”) make money unless he is one of the elect
        Premise 5: if he is one of the elect, he will eventually own the Ferrari
        Premise 6: once he owns the Ferrari, he can never sell it.

      157. Very cool!

        Perhaps when everyone in the world finds out they get a Ferrari for believing in Calvinism – everyone will have an incentive to believe in Calvinism

        And of course – per Calvinism’s model of “Good-Evil” – it would have to be a “Good-Evil” Ferrari 😉

      158. br.d writes, “Here is another example syllogism a little more obvious.

        Premise 1: rhutchin cannot purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Premise 2: without money it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Conclusion: rhutchin is without money”

        Let’s rephrase Premise 2 – “it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio without money.”

        The problem here is that the argument does not connect “cannot purchase” with “without money.” The conclusion assumes that “cannot purchase” means “without money.” Without a Premise to the contrary, that is reasonable to assume. It is a poorly constructed example.

        My original argument was–

        Premise 1 People who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. People cannot please God without faith
        Conclusion: People who are in the flesh are without faith

        This is in the form–
        A then B
        B then C
        Therefore: A then C.

        This is a solid logical argument.

      159. br.d writes, “Here is another example syllogism a little more obvious.

        Premise 1: rhutchin cannot purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Premise 2: without money it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        Conclusion: rhutchin is without money”

        rhutchin
        Let’s rephrase Premise 2 – “it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio without money.”

        The problem here is that the argument does not connect “cannot purchase” with “without money.” The conclusion assumes that “cannot purchase” means “without money.”

        br.d
        Good!
        And that shows the fallacy of excluding a middle condition.

        rhutchin
        Without a Premise to the contrary, that is reasonable to assume. It is a poorly constructed example.

        br.d
        Well – since it follows the exact model of your syllogism – then you know what you are saying there. :-]

        Now since you discovered the conclusion does not follow from the premises – and since both premises are true – and since the model of the premises are exactly the same as your syllogism – you now should be able to connect the dots.

        rhutcin
        My original argument was–

        Premise 1 People who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        Premise 2. People cannot please God without faith
        Conclusion: People who are in the flesh are without faith

        This is in the form–
        A then B
        B then C
        Therefore: A then C.

        br.d
        FALSE

        Your syllogism is:
        IF [A] THEN [C]
        IF [B] THEN [C]
        Therefore [A] = [B]

        And my latest example should be easy enough for you to see why the conclusion does not follow from the premises.

        Just because you can’t purchase a Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio – and just because money is required to purchase a Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio – it does not follow that you are “without money”.

      160. Interesting you think that is funny – since it goes with the fact that your conclusion does not follow from your premises – as I’ve shown.

        Perhaps now you want to say “yes” it is true – you are “without money” 😛

        Because – as your syllogism goes:
        You can’t purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
        and
        Without money it is impossible to purchase a new Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio

        It should be obvious to everyone through this – that the phrase “without faith” need not imply “absence of faith” altogether.

        In this case – in order to conform to Calvinism – you simply interpret it that way.
        But as the syllogism shows – it doesn’t LOGICALLY follow.

        And your appeal to “in the flesh” is also problematic – as I’ve shown.

        And lastly – according to John Calvin in multiple places – Calvin’s god derives pleasure from the wicked.

        So you’re left with yourself believing whatever makes you happy to believe. :-]

      161. RH wrote, as evidence of “Inherited Total Depravity”
        Paul said in Romans 8, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

        Aidan,
        The carnal mind is a mind – a way of thinking, a mindset, a general bent of thought and motive – that is set on the “things” of the flesh. The mind set on the flesh is opposed to God without whom there can be no life! That doesn’t necessarily mean you are that way because you were born totally depraved! Your conclusions are far too presumptuous! One has to first prove the existence of Inherited Total Depravity before they can start assuming anything!

        Romans 8:5-8
        “5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

      162. rhutchin
        Calvinism says that no one is born with faith and without faith, a person cannot be other than Totally Depraved.

        br.d
        Yes – that is exactly what the GNOSTICS would say.

        The fun part here is just how many TOTALLY DEPRAVED Calvinists there are – running around – Calvin’s god having divinely deceived them – with a special gift of FALSE Faith/Salvation/Election.

        Poor saps – spend the remainder of their days here on earth – having thousands of predestined FALSE PERCEPTIONS – all which irresistibly come to pass within their brains.

        Only to wake up some day in the lake of fire – and say with John Piper “Whatever Calvin’s god does is right” :-].

      163. Syeve Sabin writes, “It is exhausting and brings to mind 1 Tim 2:14…
        Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”

        Yeah, but we also have Jude, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed…ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ…these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves…These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

        I think you meant 2 Timothy, that in context says, “Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen. Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness, and their message will spread its infection like gangrene.”

  4. rhutchin writes…

    there are two basic arguments that convince people of the Calvinist position.

    1. God has infinite understanding and knew the future perfectly when He created the world. Thus, God knew the identities of the elect and non-elect when He created the world.
    2. John 6:44 is true, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” Thus, the elect, known to God from the foundation of the world, are drawn to Christ by God.

    These two arguments are effective because the non-Calvinist has ever disputed them.

    ——————

    First, please clarify the last sentence above. Did you mean to say “never” instead of “ever”? Perhaps restate it differently so the meaning is clear.

    Both of the above can be easily refuted, but I will not do so until you first answer my original question, which I will repeat below. I know that you saw it, and deliberately chose to ignore it, because the answer is awkward and revealing and uncomfortable for you – working contrary to the idea that Calvinism can be easily deduced by a plain reading of scripture alone. If you will not answer, neither will I answer. I interact with people who I can trust are likewise dealing transparently and in good faith. You do not yet qualify as either of those.

    Roger, I have a question for you. When you came to Christ, and first began reading the Bible, did any of the things you now believe regarding the “doctrines of grace” come to you spontaneously merely by reading, or at some point in your journey did you encounter Reformed theology and they explained everything to you?

    You have been posting here for a long time, but none of us knows anything about your story. It would be interesting to know more about the person who is – next only to Br.D – easily the most prolific commenter here.

    I will also respond to your comments on the bronze serpent of Numbers 21 in which you deflected every problem posed to Calvinism by simply ignoring it and changing the subject. However, my answers will not be forthcoming until you address the above question.

    1. Steve your posts are appreciated!!! and I’d like to hear an answer to your earlier question too!

      Also I get this comment below from your blog, because I’ve had this feeling though I didn’t grow up in the church.

      “I remember feeling a sense of panic and dread. “Is this the God that I have spent my life studying about, loving, and serving?”

      Agreed foreknowledge and causation are different indeed!!!

    2. Steve Sabin writes, “First, please clarify the last sentence above. Did you mean to say “never” instead of “ever”?”

      Delete”:ever.” So, these two arguments are effective because the non-Calvinist has not disputed them.

      Then, ‘When you,,,irst began reading the Bible,…’

      I have been attending Southern Baptist churches pretty much all my life. I got into a real good church (with the basic Arminian slant) when I got married. Also started listening to Christian radio where almost anything and everything is espoused. That was the time for Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth,” So, my first serious introduction to the Scriptures came in studying about the second coming of Christ. I was young and it was exciting. I came out of that rejecting the pre-millenial position and was basically an Amillanialist. Tim LaHaye moved into the area and came to work part-time at my church teaching a SS class so I bought a couple of his books and looked at his arguments. I was not swayed. The tongues movement went through the area, but I quickly rejected that. I then started listening to Family Radio, and Harold Camping (famous for predicting the coming of Christ in 2011). I liked Harold and found his bible study methods reasonable.. He was an engineer and got caught up in numerology and that never convinced me. I still liked him. Harold had a Q&A program at night and responded to questions on a variety of Bible issues. That was mu introduction to a fairly in-depth system of Bible study. Every now and then, a person would call and ask if he was a Calvinist. He would deny that he was, but accept that he had come to the same basic conclusions as Calvin. That was my introduction to “Calvinism.” Mostly, I was checking out Harold’s conclusions by going through the Scriptures and verifying the things he was saying. In the early 2000’s, I got into RC Sproul and the rest is history. Sproul was a smart guy and convincing.

      Now, respond to the two points I made.

      1. RH,
        “I came out of that rejecting the pre-millenial position and was basically an Amillanialist.”

        Aidan,
        Glad to hear you were going in the right direction at least in something. Now, you just need to get out of Calvinism!

      2. RH writes…

        1. God has infinite understanding and knew the future perfectly when He created the world. Thus, God knew the identities of the elect and non-elect when He created the world.
        I have not been able to find a single scripture that says God knows everything from eternity past. I find quite the opposite actually. A God that changes His mind based on man’s response is recorded at least a dozen times in scripture. A God who goes to Adam to see what he’ll name the animals. For Whom children sacrificed to Molech “never even entered His mind”. I find a single scripture (Ps 147:5) that says “infinite” but even this does not mean “everything” because as anyone fluent in even high school math can tell you, infinity minus 500 billion is still infinity. And infinity divided by 10 is still infinity. So this scripture does not demand that “everything” be interchangeable with “infinite”. In fact, the Hebrew word appears 117 times yet is translated only once as “infinite” in the NASB and contains a note that says “innumerable”. But regardless, I have shown elsewhere (https://soteriology101.com/2017/08/13/john-644/#comment-50090) that even if God does know the outcome of choices not yet made, it does not mean He caused those choices. You Calvinists want to consistently turn “foreknew” into “predestined” and you make the same mistake here. I find nothing in scripture to support #1. It is an unproven assertion – nothing more. The burden of proof here rests with you – not me.

        2. John 6:44 is true, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” Thus, the elect, known to God from the foundation of the world, are drawn to Christ by God.
        This is not even worth answering again because your auto-immune response is so great as. Brian Wagner has answered you multiple times on this question and there is little I can add. This scripture poses no problem whatsoever for me and non-Calvinists. God draws everyone. That does not necessitate they come any more than the Geico advertisement “drawing” everyone to buy their car insurance necessitate that I comply. The Greek word here is, by the way, distinctly different than the one used for “forcibly drag” so “draw” is indeed correct.

      3. Steve Sabin writes, ‘2. John 6:44 is true, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” Thus, the elect, known to God from the foundation of the world, are drawn to Christ by God.”
        …Brian Wagner has answered you multiple times on this question and there is little I can add.”

        Maybe you can explain how Brian’s explanation works in John 6:44. His explanation would work fine if plural terms were used, but 6:44 uses terms that are singular. I understand why the non-Calvinist has to make 6:44 read as a plural – Dr. Flowers is pretty direct on this reading 6:44 as “. unless the Father who sent Me draws THEM.” This seems to be what Brian seeks to do You seem to agree by saying “God draws everyone.” This may be true, but 6:44 does not say so. You have to cite 6:44 with another Scripture to get to this conclusion. If you cite John 12, as many non-Calvinists do, then you run into the problem note below.

        Then, “That does not necessitate they come any more than the Geico advertisement “drawing” everyone to buy their car insurance necessitate that I comply.”

        No, the drawing does not necessitate that the person come (or believe). That guarantee is necessitated by Christ at the end, “and I will raise him up at the last day.” The one whom God draws is the one whom Christ raises at the last day. If it is true that “God draws everyone,” then it must be true that Christ raises everyone – i.e., that all are saved.

        Then, “The Greek word here is, by the way, distinctly different than the one used for “forcibly drag” so “draw” is indeed correct.”

        I’d like to see the supporting documentation/argument that leads to that conclusion.

      4. Thanks Steve for your agreement. Calvinists also need to admit that drawing in John 6:44 doesn’t fit well with their fantasy moment of irresistible new birth. If regeneration is before drawing, why is the dragging necessary? If regeneration is after drawing, how is man responding positively to God before regeneration?

        They also try to shoehorn being raised up as just being based on the condition of being drawn being fulfilled… but that promise is only for those drawn who actually use their divinely given ability to come and do come.

      5. Nice point Brian!

        Calvinists tend to have numerous logical conundrums in their selections of proof-texts.

        I remember a Calvinist who insisted that the “elect” are literally “in Christ” at the foundation of the world.

        Doesn’t work to well with “at that time you were without Christ being aliens from the common wealth of Israel – but now in Christ you who afar off are now made nigh.

        I think in most cases they are looking for some word or phrase within a verse that can work for them – and they have to find a way to fit it into the paradigm. And that fit turns out to be self contradicting. In this case the word “Draw” has to somehow fit into the system.

      6. brianwagner writes, “Calvinists also need to admit that drawing in John 6:44 doesn’t fit well with their fantasy moment of irresistible new birth. If regeneration is before drawing, why is the dragging necessary?”

        The new birth makes it possible for a person to hear the gospel (the means God uses to draw/drag a person to Christ). Prior to hearing the gospel, “No one can come to Christ.” Apparently, a person that is reborn still needs to be dragged to Christ, since that is what John tells us..

      7. RH,
        “Apparently, a person that is reborn still needs to be dragged to Christ, since that is what John tells us..”

        Aidan,
        Can you scripturally DEFINE what “reborn” means?

      8. Thanks Aidan
        I didn’t get this statement from RH
        That answers my second question to him. does Calvin’s god drag people around before or after the divine spark of regeneration.

      9. Thanks Br.d,
        I don’t think Rh knows the biblical definition of what they call regeneration/new birth.

        I know this is madness, but I’m going to help him out here with your question. I think he might say that the “regeneration” part is where the fish are caught in the net. And THEN the dragging begins. The problem with that is, don’t they say that after a person is regenerated – he now comes willingly in faith through the preaching of the word? Where’s the dragging then? It’s in the ‘coming willingly in faith’. That’s as soft as a non-Calvinist comes. Either way, we shall see!

      10. Aidan asks, “Can you scripturally DEFINE what “reborn” means?”

        Paul defines it for us in Ephesians 2, “you God made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others….God…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…”

      11. RH, writes, “Apparently, a person that is reborn still needs to be dragged to Christ,

        Aidan asks, “Can you scripturally DEFINE what “reborn” means?”

        RH answers,
        “Paul defines it for us in Ephesians 2, “you God made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world,…..God…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…”

        Aidan,
        RH defines “reborn” as – made alive together with Christ.

        So, you define reborn as – made alive together with Christ – and yet say he still needs to be dragged to Christ to be saved? I hope you see how unscriptural that is, even from the verses you quoted? But those verses show the very opposite to what you say. They show that a person who has been “reborn” 👉 made alive with Christ 👈 is already saved and in Christ. Notice how verse 5 defines it.

        Ephesians 2: 4-6:
        4. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

        5. even when we were dead in trespasses, 👉made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)👈

        6. and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

        Notice the terminology above, ➡ were dead in trespasses, made us alive with Christ, and raised us up ⬅
        When and where did all this occur? What is Paul alluding to here? When is a person who is, dead in transgressions, made alive and raised up with Christ? Is it not in baptism according to Paul in Colossians 2?

        Colossians 2:11-13:
        “…in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,”

        Notice that Paul used the same language above in Baptism:

        👉 “were dead” in your transgressions, 👈

        👉 “made you alive” having forgiven our transgressions, 👈

        👉 “raised up with Him” 👈

        👉 “newness of life” 👈

        Clearly your “rebirth” – made alive together with Christ – only happens, when, in faith, one is buried in water baptism for the remission of sins! He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 👂

      12. I am not sure if this is true of all Calvinists (probably not), but have you noticed the number of times a conversation such as this has occurred?

        Us: The earth is spherical.

        Him: The earth is a cube.

        Us: Do you agree that the earth has no corners?
        Him: Yes.

        Us: And do you agree that all surfaces reflect curvature?
        Him: Yes.

        Us: And do you agree that the earth’s horizon for a 6-foot tall person on level ground is about 3 miles away because of this curvature?
        Him: Yes.

        Us: And do you agree that any cross-section you cut through the earth would yield only a circle and not some other shape?
        Him: Yes.

        Us: And do you agree that the duration of daylight Each day and how it changes with the seasons and with latitude / longitude is only consistent with a spherical earth?
        Him: Yes.

        Us: And what does all this require regarding the shape of the earth?
        Him: That it is a cube because Paul said so.

      13. Calvinist:
        I have traverses the circumference of the globe – and the scripture clearly teaches – the earth is flat!

        :-]

      14. I have found there are three basic ways to establish authority for something in scripture: By express statement, approved example, or necessary inference. In this case we have the Calvinist making inferences(conclusions) all over the place – which are not necessary inferences. This is a common mistake people make all the time! What’s the difference between an inference and a “necessary” inference? Here is a definition I read years ago which I like to use:

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

        It seems some will always want to see a “cube,” even when the conclusion from which there is no escape – is a “sphere.”

      15. Aidan writes, “By express statement, approved example, or necessary inference. In this case we have the Calvinist making inferences(conclusions) all over the place – which are not necessary inferences.”

        Here are the basic positions taken by Calvinists.

        1. God is omniscient and knows all future events perfectly.
        — God knows the identities of the elect and non-elect when He creates the world.
        2. God is omnipotent and can turn any future event any direction He wants.
        — God’s decisions on how to exercise His power within His creation were decided before He created the world.
        3. No one can be saved apart from faith.
        — No one is born with faith; faith can only be conveyed to a person through the gospel.

        So, just so we have a level playing field, which of the above do you disagree with and how do you see it? Steve can chime in, also, and give his position.

      16. Calvinist subtle talking-point #1
        1. God is omniscient and knows all future events perfectly.

        br.d
        Here we have obfuscation.
        What is hidden – that foreknowledge is derived simply from predetermining every nano-second of the future

        Calvinist talking-point #2
        God knows the identities of the elect and non-elect when He creates the world.

        br.d
        Here we have obfuscation
        What is hidden – that such knowledge is simply derived from pre-designing each person for a specific purpose.
        The vast majority of all human souls are specifically designed for eternal torment in a lake of fire – for his good pleasure

        Calvinist talking-point #3
        2. God is omnipotent and can turn any future event any direction He wants.

        br.d
        Here we have magical thinking
        At the foundation of the world – before created things – Calvin’s god choreographs every nans-second – making everyfuture event unalterable Not even Calvin’s god cannot create something immutable and mutable at the same time.
        Calvinists however need a FACADE of future events that can APPEAR as prevented or intervened.
        What they end up with are meticulously choreographed events designed to SIMULATE divine intervention.

        Calvinist talking-point #4
        God’s decisions on how to exercise His power within His creation were decided before He created the world.

        br.d
        See answers (1-3) above

        Calvinist talking-point #5
        No one is born with faith; faith can only be conveyed to a person through the gospel.

        br.d
        Here we have a derivative of Gnosticism embraced by Augustine – the Gnostic camel being swallowed by Calvin.

        Gnostic/NeoPlatonists taught that “pistis” (faith) and “gnosis” (knowledge) are only available to a few “special” people.
        Only those who meet the divine criteria for election are granted the “pistis” and “gnosis”.

      17. Aidan writes, “Clearly your “rebirth” – made alive together with Christ – only happens, when, in faith, one is buried in water baptism for the remission of sins!”

        I like your analysis. Now could you incorporate John 3 into that analysis and explain where you think it fits it – maybe you don’t think John 3 refers to the same thin, then do you think it precedes or follows what we have in Ephesians/Colossians/

      18. Aidan writes, “Could you be a bit more specific with John 3?”

        The part where Jesus speaks of the need to be born again. Just to help you, here it is:

        3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

        5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

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

      19. RH writes,
        “I like your analysis. Now could you incorporate John 3 into that analysis and explain where you think it fits it ”

        Aidan,
        When you say, “I like your analysis” I take it to mean my conclusion from Ephesians/Colossians, where I say:
        “Clearly your “rebirth” – made alive together with Christ – only happens, when, in faith, one is buried in water baptism for the remission of sins!”

        Since John 3 is talking about being born “anew” from above, we are dealing with the – “new life” – that is brought about in Christ. And I believe that the “water” of John 3, is the water of baptism. And for that reason, I believe that the term – “being made alive” – referred to in the baptism of Colossians 2:11-13, is the very same. Interestingly, Rom. 6: 4 also connects baptism with this – “newness of life.”

        In John 3:5, Jesus explains to Nicodemus that this “newbirth” consists of two things – water and the Spirit. And that is consistent with a number of passages dealing with baptism. Note the following:

        John 3:5, Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is 👉born of water and the Spirit👈 he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

        Acts 2:38, Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of “the Holy Spirit.” – Hence, 👉the water and the Spirit👈

        Titus 3:5, “..but according to His mercy He saved us, through the “washing of regeneration” and renewing of “the Holy Spirit,” – Hence, 👉the water and the Spirit👈

        Rom. 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him 👉through baptism👈 into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in 👉newness of life.”👈 – Hence, the (water and newness of life)

        Eph 2:5, “even when we were dead in trespasses, 👉made us alive together with Christ👈 (by grace you have been saved),

        Col. 2:12,13; “having been 👉buried with Him in baptism,👈…When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He 👉made you alive together with Him,👈 having forgiven you all trespasses,” – Hence, the (water and made alive)

        Clearly the “water and the Spirit” of John 3:5 fits with the – water and the Spirit of baptism – in all these other passages. But also, the forgiveness of sins and “newness of life.”

      20. Aidan writes, “Since John 3 is talking about being born “anew” from above, we are dealing with the – “new life” – that is brought about in Christ.”

        John 3:3 tells us that the new birth allows a person to see the kingdom of God. A person must be able to see the kingdom before anything else happens. This same new birth also prepares a person to enter the kingdom of heaven

        Then, “In John 3:5, Jesus explains to Nicodemus that this “newbirth” consists of two things – water and the Spirit. ”

        No, v5 says that being born of water plus the spirit prepares a person to enter the kingdom of God (or be saved). Thus, the new birth is necessary to salvation but not sufficient to obtain salvation. We also know that a person who can see the kingdom of God can also hear the gospel and receive faith and faith is also necessary to salvation.

        I am not sure that Jesus had baptism in mind in 3:5, but clearly 3:3 tells us that the new birth precedes the water and the water plus the spirit enables a person to enter the kingdom of God.

        How does 3:3 fit into your analysis?

      21. So on this Calvinistic process of dragging people around
        Why does Calvin’s god’s dragging process involve dragging out of the water both the good fish and the bad fish?
        And does this Calvinistic process of dragging people around – occur before or after the divine spark of regeneration?

      22. I didn’t see your answer to the 2nd question within your previous statement – people who are “reborn” still need to be dragged around for a while.

      23. I think it is time to rewatch this video and contemplate the parallels to the Calvinist interpretations of their beloved proof texts:

        https://youtu.be/DOW_kPzY_JY

        Is it the GPS that is wrong or your interpretation that is wrong?

      24. Thanks Roger for confirming the difficulty Calvinists have clarifying why a newly regenerated will still needs to be dragged… pretty funny!

        The bigger problem is that you put regeneration “prior to hearing the gospel.” Wow! Paul and Peter both said the new birth happens “through” the gospel. The hearing, understanding, and believing of the gospel must be first. I’m sticking with them.

        1 Corinthians 4:15 NKJV — For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you 👉through the gospel👈.

        1 Peter 1:23 NKJV — having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, 👉through the word of God👈 which lives and abides forever,

        Nothing happens “through” something else unless that something is in place/in existence first for the other thing to go through it.

        I have nothing else to add. But I hope all is well with you and those you love. 😊

      25. brianwagner writes, “the difficulty Calvinists have clarifying why a newly regenerated will still needs to be dragged…”

        The newly regenerated person still lacks faith and still desires sin. The regenerated person still needs help, so God drags him out of the quicksand of sin, gives him assurance and conviction in the gospel, and then seals him with His Holy Spirit when the person believes.

        Then, The bigger problem is that you put regeneration “prior to hearing the gospel.” Wow! Paul and Peter both said the new birth happens “through” the gospel”

        I agree. Hearing the gospel is required for regeneration to occur. If a person never hears the gospel, he cannot be regenerated and cannot receive faith.

        Then, ‘The hearing, understanding, and believing of the gospel must be first. I’m sticking with them.”

        I don’t think they said that. At least, mot in the verses you cited.

      26. rhutchin
        The newly regenerated person still lacks faith and still desires sin.

        br.d
        FALSE – Calvin’s god simply causes the Calvinist to desire different sins.
        Because Calvinists are not without sin
        And whatsoever comes to pass does so by infallible decree – which includes sinful desires

        rhutchin
        The regenerated person still needs help, so God drags him out of the quicksand of sin,

        br.d
        FALSE
        If he was dragged out of the quicksand of sin – then he would be sinless.
        Calvin’s god simply decrees him to have a different set of sinful desires

        rhutchin
        gives him assurance and conviction in the gospel, and then seals him with His Holy Spirit when the person believes.

        br.d
        But as far as the Calvinist knows – Calvin’s god only gives a PERCEPTION of assurance, conviction, sealing and belief.

        As John Calvin says:
        -quote
        Yet sometimes he also CAUSES those whom he illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he….. forsakes them……..and strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes)

        Then, The bigger problem is that you put regeneration “prior to hearing the gospel.” Wow! Paul and Peter both said the new birth happens “through” the gospel”

      27. brianwagner writes, “that promise is only for those drawn who actually use their divinely given ability to come and do come.”

        John 6:44 uses the singular in each of the three phrases in John 6:44. So,

        – No individual can come to Christ
        – unless God draws the individual
        – Christ promises to raise the individual drawn to Him by God.

        No individual described as being drawn by God to Christ will be left behind or not raised on the last day. Thus, all whom God draws to Christ will come to Christ.

      28. Steve Sabin writes, ‘I have not been able to find a single scripture that says God knows everything from eternity past…. I find a single scripture (Ps 147:5) that says “infinite” but even this does not mean “everything”…”

        Psalm147 – “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” Infinite is not understanding; it describes God’s understanding. It means no one can measure God’s understanding. Isaiah 40 describes God this way, “With whom did Gd take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?…The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” God has always had an infinite, unmeasurable understanding. By this understanding, God can know the effects of His works and the effects of those effects so that nothing is hidden from Him.

        Then, “…even if God does know the outcome of choices not yet made, it does not mean He caused those choices.”

        If God knows that pain results when a dentist drills into your tooth, it doesn’t mean that God caused the pain. Similarly, a person putting his hand on a hot stove experiences pain and God knew this but did not cause the pain. In both cases the cause of the pain can be traced to the hot stove and the dentist’s actions. In both cases, the end result was determined by preceding factors. So, it is for all things. Because God understands all things and thereby knows the future perfectly, He determined that future when He created the world but just because all things were determined when God created the world does not make God the immediate determiner of all future events. God made man with the ability to feel pain, but that does not mean that God must directly cause the pain that a person experiences even if God knows beforehand the pain that will come about.

      29. rhutchin
        if God knows that pain results when a dentist drills into your tooth, it doesn’t mean that God caused the pain.

        br.d
        Actually – in Universal Divine Causal Determinism – that is FALSE

        The infallible decree CAUSES whatsoever comes to pass.

        But we understand Calvinists are DOUBLE-MINDED on these things.

      30. br.d: “Actually – in Universal Divine Causal Determinism – that is FALSE”

        Then, Calvinism is not Universal Divine Causal Determinism. God made man with the ability to feel pain but God does not have to cause the pain felt. This even though God knew what pain was to happen in the future.

      31. br.d
        Actually – in Universal Divine Causal Determinism – that is FALSE”

        rhutchin
        Then, Calvinism is not Universal Divine Causal Determinism.

        br.d
        The infallible decree CAUSES regeneration
        And that is a minuscule part of whatsoever comes to pass
        And whatsoever comes to pass obviously includes whatsoever pain comes to pass! :-]

      32. Thanks for confirming again my observation that every Calvinist is cultivated in a greenhouse. You will never find one growing wild that arrived there simply by reading his Bible. In your case, it was Harold Camping and R.C. Sproul. Whether they called themselves “Calvinists” or not is immaterial. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck…

        I’m familiar with Camping as I worked in a Christian radio station in my teens and twenties. Even then, as a relative youngster in Christ, I was not impressed with his teachings.

        He is also clearly another example of my “Cultivated Calvinist” rule: all are grown in a greenhouse. There are no exceptions to this rule. Here is his background (he did not arrive at it solely by reading the Bible) along with places where he apparently allowed the Bible to truly guide him (my emphasis in bold) as well as places where he was a quack:

        From Wikipedia…

        After leaving the Christian Reformed Church in 1988, Camping taught doctrines that explicitly conflicted with the doctrines and confessions of the Christian Reformed Church and churches of the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions. Examples of Camping’s teachings which varied from conventional Reformed doctrines include:

        Departing from Calvinist doctrine, Camping taught a relative free will for humanity and that humans are not totally depraved.
        However, he subscribed to the idea that salvation is unmerited, cannot be achieved by good works or prayer, and is a pure act of God’s grace.

        Departing from the doctrine of eternal torment for the unsaved in a place called Hell, Camping taught annihilationism: that life will end and existence will cease for the unsaved soul.

        Departing from scriptural doctrines stating that no one can know the time of Christ’s second coming, Camping taught (until 2011) that the exact time of the Rapture would be revealed sometime near the end of the world (as per the Daniel 12:9–13 prophecy).

        Camping taught that all churches have become apostate and thus must be abandoned. He encouraged personal Bible study and listening to his Family Radio broadcasts.

        In March 2012, Camping admitted that his [rapture and end of world] predictions were in error, stating: “We humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing.” He also announced the “End to Doomsday Predictions”. In May 2012, a year after the failure of Camping’s prophecy, Religion Dispatches published a report on Camping’s disillusioned former followers, some of whom had reportedly come to view him as a cult leader.

        Even as a babe in Christ, I was astute enough to ignore this man as a reliable teacher with teaching I could trust.

  5. R writes:

    “there are two basic arguments that convince people of the Calvinist position.

    1. God has infinite understanding and knew the future perfectly when He created the world. Thus, God knew the identities of the elect and non-elect when He created the world.
    2. John 6:44 is true, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” Thus, the elect, known to God from the foundation of the world, are drawn to Christ by God.

    These two arguments are effective because the non-Calvinist has ever disputed them. It is because of this that non-Calvinists are venturing into Open Theism or Open Future Theism having concluded that they must deny that God has a perfect knowledge of all future events if they are going to oppose Calvinism.”

    Number one is refuted everywhere in the Bible. Even a cursory reading reveals that God does not have an exhaustive knowledge of the future. I.E. God regrets, God is astonished, God issues conditional statements, God plans something and changes His mind as events unfold, etc.

    Therefore, your number two statement does not follow.

    Additionally, I would also love to hear R’s origin story and how early he ran into his Calvinist mentor.

    1. Carl writes, ‘Number one is refuted everywhere in the Bible. ”

      Except where it tells us that God has infinite understanding. So, we have two positions: (1) God has infinite understanding; and (2) God does not have infinite understanding. That helps explain the difference between Calvinists and some non-Calvinists.

      1. rhutchin
        (1) God has infinite understanding; and (2) God does not have infinite understanding. That helps explain the difference between Calvinists and some non-Calvinists.

        br.d
        Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)
        Otherwise – what we have is called a bluff.

        And everyone knows that bluffing is Holy Spirit inspired! :-]

      2. br.d: “Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)”

        Carl wrote in the comment to which I responded, “Even a cursory reading reveals that God does not have an exhaustive knowledge of the future.” Even you should be able to work out the connection between an exhaustive knowledge of the future and infinite understanding.

      3. rhutchin
        (1) God has infinite understanding; and (2) God does not have infinite understanding. That helps explain the difference between Calvinists and some non-Calvinists.

        br.d
        Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)
        Otherwise – what we have is called a bluff.
        And everyone knows that bluffing is Holy Spirit inspired! :-]

        rhutchin
        Carl wrote……etc

        br.d
        My post concerned what you wrote – not what Carl wrote.

        Perhaps you should come back after having a good cup of coffee?
        Get the brain running on all cylinders

      4. br.d: “Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)”
        rhutchin: “Carl wrote……etc”
        br.d: “My post concerned what you wrote – not what Carl wrote.”

        Let;s see. br.d wants me to quote a non-Calvinist so I quote Carl. Then br.d says, “My post concerned what you wrote – not what Carl wrote.”

        Can anyone explain what br.d is trying to say?

      5. rhutchin
        (2) God does not have infinite understanding. That helps explain the difference between Calvinists and some non-Calvinists

        br..d
        Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)

        rhutchin
        Let;s see. br.d wants me to quote a non-Calvinist so I quote Carl.

        br.d
        Ok then – please provide where Carl quotes of (2)

      6. rhutchin: “(2) God does not have infinite understanding. That helps explain the difference between Calvinists and some non-Calvinists”
        br..d: “Please provide a quote from a non-Calvinist that states assertion (2)”
        rhutchin: “Carl wrote in the comment to which I responded, ‘Even a cursory reading reveals that God does not have an exhaustive knowledge of the future.’”
        br.d: “My post concerned what you wrote – not what Carl wrote.”
        rhutchin: “Let;s see. br.d wants me to quote a non-Calvinist so I quote Carl.”
        br.d: “Ok then – please provide where Carl quotes of (2)”

        Carl wrote in the comment to which I responded, “Even a cursory reading reveals that God does not have an exhaustive knowledge of the future.”

        I also added, “Even you should be able to work out the connection between an exhaustive knowledge of the future and infinite understanding.:

      7. The fallacy here is that ” exhaustive knowledge of the future.’” does not equate to “infinite understanding”.

      8. br.d writes, ‘The fallacy here is that ” exhaustive knowledge of the future.’” does not equate to “infinite understanding”.”

        Infinite understanding begets an exhaustive knowledge of the future. They are not equal even though many people treat them as equals.

      9. br.d
        The fallacy here is that ” exhaustive knowledge of the future.’” does not equate to “infinite understanding”.”

        rhutchin
        Infinite understanding begets an exhaustive knowledge of the future. They are not equal even though many people treat them as equals.

        br.d
        Perhaps this is a cloaked way of saying Calvinists treat them as equals.

        Are you equating “foreknowledge” with “understanding”?
        Let your communication be YEA or NAY

      10. br,d writes, “Perhaps this is a cloaked way of saying Calvinists treat them as equals.’

        Nope.

        Then, “Are you equating “foreknowledge” with “understanding”?”

        No. God’s understanding is the basis for His counsel that determines His works. So, when Paul writes, “God works all things according to the counsel of His will,” we see that God’ understanding is part of His counsel else what would His counsel draw from. Then, God’s foreknowledge is knowledge of His works.

      11. br.d
        Are you equating “foreknowledge” with “understanding”?”

        rhutchin
        No…….

        br.d
        How strange!
        When you assume that equation within Carl’s statement.

  6. rhutchin writes…
    there are two basic arguments that convince people of the Calvinist position.

    br.d
    Taking a Calvinist seriously is always one’s first mistake.

    How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide. (Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay)
    Notes:
    An ideologue mentality is a mentality that is unable to revise its current beliefs. Often because the belief-system provides the individual with a vicarious identity. Trying to have a conversation with someone in such a condition almost never results in an actual conversation. An ideologue mentality doesn’t speak with you – it speaks at you.

    The ideologue typically doesn’t speak extemporaneously. It only knows how to recite talking-points. The ideologues identity and sense of worth have been remapped – to a grandiose guild, society, or product. And this facilitates vicarious boasting.

    He cannot boast in himself without appearing pompous – but he can boast in his grandiose guild, society of product. Thus he acquires a sense of a superior identity – through vicarious boasting.

    1. CALVINISM PARTISAN IDENTITY
      Vicarious Boasting—and the seductiveness of hero worship:

      Kenneth Burke (1897), an American literary theorist, in Attitudes Toward History describes the sociological phenomenon of an individual’s re-mapping of personal identity. From an insignificant persona, to an identity of preeminence by association with a group.

      Burke clues us, that ‘vicarious boasting’ is one of the outward manifestations to look for:
      -quote
      “One may note, however, the subtle ways in which identification serves as braggadocio. By it, the modest man can indulge in the most outrageous ‘corporate boasting’. He identifies himself with some corporate unit (church, guild, company, lodge, party, team, college, city, nation, etc.) –and by profuse praise of this unit, he praises himself – for he ‘owns shares’ in the corporate unit. And by ‘rigging the market’ the value of the stock as a whole, he runs up the value of his personal holdings.

      Such identification will be observable even among mistreated clerks of rival business concerns, as the sales girls of one department are somewhat contemptuous of the goods of the department store across the street (an attitude that the heads of the business are prompt to ‘cash in on’ by putting ‘company loyalty’ against interference from outside agitators and union organizers).

      The function of ‘vicarious boasting’ leads into the matter of ‘epic heroism’ and ‘euphemistic’ vocabularies of motives.
      When heroes have been shaped by legend, with the irrelevant or incongruous details of their lives obliterated, and only the most ‘divine’ attributes expressed, the individual’s ‘covert boasting’ (by identification with the hero) need not lead to megalomania (extreme delusion of grandeur)….the legendary hero, is by definition, a superman. He is the founder of a line.

      -end quote

  7. Roger,

    Thank you, incidentally, for your definitions. They did not go unnoticed by me or the other readers here, I am sure.

    They are quite revealing and thus fulfilled my primary strategy in asking for them: they illustrate perfectly how the Calvinist uses language specially constructed to serve his own ends to tilt the table so every marble “magically” rolls to his end.

    Let’s take an example of just a single word: “predestines”.

    A reasonable approach would be to say something like “to determine in advance” and then to perhaps list all the places the Greek word (προορίζω [proorizō]) appears, and ditto for the Hebrew if any OT occurrences. Instead we get this:

    Predetermines: By His sovereign act to create the universe, God determined all future events that were to occur in that creation. Future events were determined by God’s sovereign act of creation that presupposed His infinite understanding of His creation and of those events He would bring about by virtue of His omnipotence. Because all future events were determined at the point of creation, God is said to have predetermined those events as He decided how He would interact with His creation before He created.

    The careful reader will note the following:

    1) Roger cannot even get through the first sentence without his Calvinism tilting the table. The word “predestines” contains nothing that would demand the extent of its application by God, but notice that God was somehow duty-bound to determine ALL future events that were to occur in creation. One is left to ask why the definition must necessarily include this and what explicit scriptures can be cited to support it.

    2) Sentence two tosses in a bunch of other words being defined elsewhere like “sovereign” “understanding” and “omnipotence”.

    3) A specific point in time is demanded (at creation) and the extent (all* future events) is also included.

    *the reader may here be assured that “all” indeed means “all”. We now rejoin our regularly scheduled program.

    So we see that we get not so much the plain meaning of a word in Roger’s definitions, but an entire theology — and one carefully crafted and curated to demand the very thing he is “objectively” asserting: his Calvinism.

    Lesson one: never allow the Calvinist to go unchallenged in his use of words. Agree on a neutral source, not the Calvinist’s source.

    You will note that Roger makes quite a fuss at those with the audacity to use a dictionary when defining words. It raises the question of exactly where the translators are supposed to go when they employ a word if not to a dictionary? It is fine to point out scriptural context and to incidences where the same word is translated differently, but again, if a dictionary is going to be mocked as a source of the plain meaning of words, then one must ask what speakers and translators of the language are expected to employ in their place.

    I am not going to bother to critique the other definitions. My purpose has been amply served by allowing Roger to expose his numerous biases for all to see.

    1. What is Predestined:
      Is there one verse in the NT which explicitly points to “salvation” as what is predestined?

      Or is it actually the case that the what is is always something Post Salvation and therefore ancillary, accompanying, or subsidiary of salvation?

      The word “Predestinated” shows up 4 times in the NT – but what is predestined
      1) The image of the son = Ancillary to or a Subsidiary of salvation
      2) The adoption of Children (i.e., the redemption of the body) = Ancillary to or a Subsidiary of salvation
      3) The inheritance (i.e., joint heirs with Christ) = Ancillary to or a Subsidiary of salvation
      4) To be justified and glorified = Ancillary to or a Subsidiary of salvation

      EXAMPLE:
      At the graduation ceremony of the Navy Seals advanced division – the general declares that each graduate’s destiny is to be the worlds most advanced warrior.

      But was he predestined to be a Navy Seal?
      Yes – if he believes in FATE
      No – if he does not believe in FATE.

      The Calvinistic interpretation of predestination collapses without the automatic presupposition of Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist belief that all things are FATED

      1. br.d writes, “The Calvinistic interpretation of predestination…”

        Calvin used his personal definition of “predestination.” Most people recognize that predestination in the Scriptures is applied differently that predestination by Calvin. Apparently, that cannot be undone.

        At least Calvin defined the predestination of which he wrote – “By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man.” So, when discussing Calvin (or Calvinism) we know the definition that applies.

      2. rhutchin
        Calvin defined the predestination of which he wrote – “By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man.”

        br.d
        Actually it was not Calvin – but Augustine – the Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist Christian who defined predestination that way.
        Calvin in his ardent reverence for all things Augustine simply swallowed that camel.

        Strain at the gnat of Pelagius.
        Swallow the camel of Augustine.

        See: Dr. Keneth Wilson’s The Foundation of Augustinian-Calvinism

        https://soteriology101.com/2019/08/05/did-the-early-church-fathers-teach-calvinism/

      3. rhutchin: Calvin defined the predestination of which he wrote – “By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man.”
        br.d: “Actually it was not Calvin…”

        The quote appears in the Institutes. Ken Wilson did not provide a similar quotation from Augustine. At least not in the cited source.

      4. rhutchin
        The quote appears in the Institutes. Ken Wilson did not provide a similar quotation from Augustine. At least not in the cited source.

        br.d
        Something everyone already knows does not need to be re-stated
        Everyone knows Calvin got his idea of predestination from Augustine’s Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic systematic.

        As B.B. Warfield states it:
        “The system of doctrine taught by Calvin is just the Augustinianism”

        rhutchin – you do need a cup of coffee!

      5. br.d writes, ‘As B.B. Warfield states it: “The system of doctrine taught by Calvin is just the Augustinianism””

        Warfield wrote, “[Calvin’s] expositions of Scripture were accordingly a wholly new phenomenon, and introduced a new exegesis – the modern exegesis. He stands out in the history of biblical study as, what Diestel, for example, proclaims him, “the creator of genuine exegesis.” The authority which his comments immediately acquired was immense – they “opened the Scriptures” as the Scriptures never had been opened before. Richard Hooker – “the judicious Hooker” – remarks that in the controversies of his own time, “the sense of Scripture which Calvin alloweth” was of more weight than if “ten thousand Augustines, Jeromes, Chrysostoms, Cyprians were brought forward.” Nor have they lost their value even to-day. Alone of the commentaries of their age the most scientific of modern expositors still find their profit in consulting them. As Professor A. J. Baumgartner, who has set himself to investigate the quality of Calvin’s Hebrew learning (which he finds quite adequate), puts it, after remarking on Calvin’s “astounding, multiplied, almost superhuman activity” in his work of biblical interpretation: “And – a most remarkable thing – this work has never grown old; these commentaries whose durable merit and high value men of the most diverse tendencies have signalized, – these commentaries remain to us even to-day, an astonishingly rich, almost inexhaustible mine of profound thoughts, of solid and often ingenious interpretation, of wholesome exposition, and at the same time of profound erudition.”

        Then–

        “The system of doctrine taught by Calvin is just the Augustinianism common to the whole body of the Reformers for the Reformation was, as from the spiritual point of view a great revival of religion, so from the theological point of view a great revival of Augustinianism. And this Augustinianism is taught by him not as an independent discovery of his own, but fundamentally as he learned it from Luther, whose fertile conceptions he completely assimilated, and most directly and in much detail from Martin Bucer into whose practical, ethical point of view he perfectly entered. Many of the very forms of statement most characteristic of Calvin – on such topics as Predestination, Faith, the stages of Salvation, the Church, the Sacraments – only reproduce, though of course with that clearness and religious depth peculiar to Calvin, the precise teachings of Bucer, who was above all others, accordingly, Calvin’s master in theology. Of course he does not take these ideas over from Bucer and repeat them by rote. They have become his own and issue afresh from him with a new exactness and delicacy of appreciation, in themselves and in their relations, with a new development of implications, and especially with a new richness of religious content. For the prime characteristic of Calvin as a theologian is precisely the practical interest which governs his entire thought and the religious profundity which suffuses it all. It was not the head but the heart which made him a theologian, and it is not the head but the heart which he primarily addresses in his theology.”

        Both Augustine and Calvin had a keen understanding of the Scriptures, so it is not surprising that Calvin, in reading Augustine, would find a kindred spirit in whom he found confirmation of those things that he was discovering in his study of the Scriptures.

        As Solomon noted centuries earlier, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.” Isaiah, Luke, Paul, Augustine, Calvin – all wrote of the predestination of God.

      6. Yea we know
        Calvin got his Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic ideas from Augustine.
        So what else is new. :-]

      7. br.d writes, “Yea we know Calvin got his Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic ideas from Augustine.”

        Calvin actually got his ideas from his study of the Scriptures, perhaps prompted by Augustine;s writings. Calvin was a Berean (by analogy).

      8. br.d
        Yea we know Calvin got his Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist/Catholic ideas from Augustine.

        rhutchin
        Calvin actually got his ideas from his study of the Scriptures,….etc

        br.d
        No one is fooled by childish claims.
        Everyone knows Calvin swallowed Augustine’s camel without blinking. :-]

    2. Steve Sabin writes, “Let’s take an example of just a single word: “predestines”. A reasonable approach…”

      I agree. However, we both should know that Calvin gave his own definition that is different than that definition derived from the Scriptures. So, when Calvin uses the term, “predestination,” in his Institutes, we know what he is talking about because of his definition.

      Then, “1) Roger cannot even get through the first sentence without his Calvinism tilting the table…”

      I started by saying, “By His sovereign act …” By my definition of sovereign, this incorporates God’s omniscience and omnipotence, etc.” I don’t see a problem. When God created the world, He knew all that was to happen and His act of creating the world then determined all that was to happen. When we say that God predestinated all future events, we know that it was an act of God’s will and that He was not duty bound to create the world.

      Then, “2) Sentence two tosses in a bunch of other words being defined elsewhere like “sovereign” “understanding” and “omnipotence”.”

      Those I defined earlier because context is important. Did you mean to note a problem?

      Then, “So we see that we get not so much the plain meaning of a word in Roger’s definitions, but an entire theology — and one carefully crafted and curated to demand the very thing he is “objectively” asserting: his Calvinism. ”

      OK. But we understand that the term in question, “predestination, ” has an unique definition given by Calvin and is necessary to understanding Calvin’s theology. If you and I are going to discuss Calvinism, we pretty much have to understand and use the terminology Calvin used. Most people seem to understand that Calvin used the term, “predestination,” in a sense that is not strictly derived from the Scriptures. You seem to be saying that Calvin should used a different word to avoid confusion with the Scriptural use of the term. I agree, but here we are.

      Then,”Lesson one: never allow the Calvinist to go unchallenged in his use of words. Agree on a neutral source, not the Calvinist’s source.”

      That’s fine. I am OK with using your source. However, Calvin defined the term as he applies it and we will probably confuse things by rewriting Calvin.

      Then, ‘It raises the question of exactly where the translators are supposed to go when they employ a word if not to a dictionary?”

      First, the translators determine what a writer is saying by using a particular Greek/Hebrew word and then they go to the dictionary to find a word that accurately captures the meaning of the Greek/Hebrew word. However, the word used in the translation may not, by itself, convey the meaning the author intended. We have this with the word, “all.” Here, we have to search the Scriptures to see what is intended and we get the result that “all” can mean “Jew and gentile.”

      Then, “I am not going to bother to critique the other definitions. My purpose has been amply served by allowing Roger to expose his numerous biases for all to see.”

      OK. Let’s see your definitions of those words and see if we can agree on definitions that excludes any biases. That will give us a common foundation from which to proceed.

      1. rhutchin
        However, the word used in the translation may not, by itself, convey the meaning the author intended.

        br.d
        Interpretation
        The meaning Calvinist needs to force upon the text is not in the text.

        rhutchin
        We have this with the word, “all.” Here, we have to search the Scriptures to see what is intended and we get the result that “all” can mean “Jew and gentile.”

        br.d
        Interpretation:
        Here we have to search for any possible verse in scripture we can find – which we can use to force our THEO-Philosophical presupposition onto the text.

      2. Why would we not simply use a dictionary and then allow scripture to speak for itself if the definition based on the biblical context needed to be constrained or narrowed in some fashion?

        By the way, most of the examples below are not from a dictionary. They are merely to show the difference between

        A) a concise and simple definition.
        B) a theological treatise about the application of a word.

        Examples…

        Predestine: to determine in advance
        Foreknow: to know in advance
        Understand:to fully comprehend
        Primary means: direct control via personal action or intervention
        Secondary means: indirect control, via natural laws of physics, etc.
        Sovereignty: supreme power or authority
        Cause: to make happen / occur
        Etc.

  8. JOHN CALVIN THINKING TO HIMSELF:

    I was instructed by scripture – to write letters to my enemies – and then burn them.
    I followed those instructions – and I’ve completed the work of god!

    But now what do I do with the letters?

  9. Again, for those reading here to actually learn about Calvinism and share their stories about finding the off-ramp rather than arguing about it through endless wrangling of words, I want to point out some essential truths to guide you in your journey.

    1) You will NEVER encounter a native Calvinist growing wild through merely reading the Bible. They are ALWAYS grown in a greenhouse by Reformed gardners. Always. Some are grown from the seed stage and raised from “birth”. Others are brought in as different speciies and that trained, like a fine, into the proper configuration. There are no exceptions to this. Nobody comes to the “doctrines of grace” naturally or instinctively. Augustine got it from his ungodly philosophical and religious influences external to Christianity. Calvin bot it from Augustine, whom Calvin references more than 400 times in Institutes. And today’s Calvinists got their gospel not from the Bible but from pagans > Augustine > Calvin.

    2) For all of the bloviating about “sola scriptura” always keep #1 in mind. This is a philosophy of man that is introduced externally and then forced violently upon the scriptures. The Calvinist always finds what he is looking for. This is why he rests so self-assured in his theology. Because He holds the truths of Calvinism to be “self-evident” he forgets they were carefully taught, and never questions them. His toil is that of making scripture conform to his philosophy, not vice-versa.

    3) Calvinists have an insatiable need to control language. Hence, the types of definitions we see offered by Calvinists are always circular in nature, carefully crafted to assume that which they set out to prove. Not surprisingly, they always manage to prove their assumption to their own satisfaction.

    4) Some (not all) Calvinists are frequently accompanied by an enormous amount of spiritual pride. For reasons nobody (including themselves) can ascertain, God chose THEM. Although it isn’t reason to boast, there is that part of their brain that cannot help but take pride in the fact that they were selected. They bristle when someone suggests that God’s choice was arbitrary, and then bristle if you insist that if His choice was not arbitrary it must have been in some fashion meritorious. So no matter what you suggest, you will be wrong. Meanwhile, the Calvinist will harbor immense relief in knowing he is not only ELECT, but is prevented from disqualification and thus can boast vicariously that he is not on the train marked “Lake of Fire” on the placard.

    More to come. But pay special attention to #1 through #3. This is an externally introduced philosophy and system. It does not originate in scripture – it merely seeks cover and refuge in scripture and must do so through violence to the text.

    1. Steve Sabin writes, ‘ I want to point out some essential truths to guide you in your journey.”

      When non-Calvinists rail against Calvinists, we generally see something akin to what Steve wrote. We never see the non-Calvinist arguing that the Calvinists mangled the Scriptures and then explaining the Scripture and how they mangled it. We normally find that the non-Calvinist and Calvinist disagree on technical issues (e.g., the understanding of “all” in 1 Timothy 1) There is generally no disagreement on big issues addressing the attributes of God (His omnipotence) or God’s sovereignty (here the issue is how God exercises sovereignty and the meaning of “God permits”)

      1. rhutchin
        here the issue is how God exercises sovereignty and the meaning of “God permits”)

        br.d
        Steve may not be aware that Calvinists have two different definitions for “permission” language.

        The definition Steve is probably aware of is Non-CAUSAL permission
        This is the standard definition of permission which everyone learns while growing up – and the only definition Non-Calvinists understand – because they don’t equate permit with CAUSE.

        But Calvinism rejects NON-CAUSAL permission as a form of divine permission.
        So Calvinists qualify NON-CAUSAL permission by calling it “MERE” permission

        The easiest way to understand is – whenever a Calvinist uses the term “permit” just replace it with CAUSE.
        What Calvin’s god “Renders-Certain” (i.e. CAUSES) he permits
        What Calvin’s god does not “Render-Certain” (i.e., CAUSE) he does not permit

        Therefore divine “Permission” in Calvinism is CAUSAL

        So “Mere” permission is what the Non-Calvinist understands as permission
        And “mere” permission is rejected by Calvinism as a form of divine permission.

        However – Calvinists quite frequently try to obfuscate Calvin’s god as the AUTHOR OF EVIL
        They will then craft statements designed to APPEAR as “mere” permission.

        This practice is the recognized as a part of Calvinism’s DOUBLE-SPEAK language.

      2. rhutchin: “here the issue is how God exercises sovereignty and the meaning of “God permits”)”
        br.d: “The definition Steve is probably aware of is Non-CAUSAL permission…”

        br.d’s comment a good illustration that the issue is defining .the meaning of “God permits.”

      3. rhutchin
        br.d’s comment a good illustration that the issue is defining .the meaning of “God permits.”

        br.d
        See the rest of br.d’s post on that matter – to get the WHOLE truth.
        Otherwise – one is bound to be mislead by Calvinism’s use of “permission” language.

  10. Sorry about the typo above.

    Should read as follows:

    “Others are brought in as different speciies species and that then trained, like a fine vine, into the proper configuration.”

  11. What Calvinism says: Faith is a work if it originates in man. It must therefore be a gift.
    Scriptural support: none (a tortured and incorrect reading of Eph 2:8; salvation is the gift – not faith)

    What the Bible says: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; ‘THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.’”

    Are all people able to hear? Yes, the natural state is the ability to hear – not deafness. Deafness (judicial hardening) is the result of people refusing to listen first, and then – as punishment by God – being prevented from listening. We see this only towards Israel – not all people, all nations, or all non-Elect.
    Scriptural support: Zech 7:8-14

    Did other people confuse “work” with something that was not actually work? Yes – the Pharisees.
    Scriptural support: Matt 12:9-14, Mk 3:1-6, Lk 6:6-11, Lk 13:10-17, Lk 14:1-6, Jn 5:2-17, Jn 9:14-17

    ————-

    Something to ponder as our Calvinist friends continue insisting with no scriptural support that “faith originating in man is a work”. They are not the first to make this error. The Pharisees did likewise.

    1. Steve Sabin writes, “What Calvinism says: Faith is a work if it originates in man. It must therefore be a gift.
      Scriptural support: none (a tortured and incorrect reading of Eph 2:8; salvation is the gift – not faith)”

      The argument comes from Romans 10, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Before a person hears the gospel, it is impossible for him to have faith and he cannot be saved. After hearing the gospel and receiving faith, the person believes and is saved. Not all people who physically hear the gospel receive faith so spiritual perception is in view with the word, “hear.” If faith has its origin in man and not in the hearing of the gospel, then the exercise of that faith is a work.

      1. rhutchin
        The argument comes from Romans 10

        br.d
        Nah!
        It comes from a Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonist interpretation.

  12. Ever notice how Calvinists protest like a stuck pig when it is suggested that God’s basis for election is arbitrary? “NO!” they stridently assert. “Just because God doesn’t disclose His election criteria as part of His ‘secret counsel’ – that doesn’t mean that it is arbitrary. It only seems arbitrary to us because of our finite understanding.”

    But ponder this: why couldn’t / shouldn’t it be arbitrary? What if God, as part of His good pleasure, decreed there would be only X vacancies for elect people and then cast the proverbial lot of Prov 16:33 as selection criteria (to use one of their favorite sovereignty proof-texts) to fill those X vacancies? What if God generated the most random process imaginable to elect, merely because it pleased Him? The Calvinist’s sword cuts both ways: “who are you, oh man, to question God?” Why does election criteria need to be meaningful or significant in any fashion? Remember, O Calvinist – God is supremely sovereign.

    I suspect they cannot abide such a thought because the secret pride within them wants to believe that although the criteria is not revealed, it must be something in them. It surely couldn’t be random, could it?

    Bottom line: They protest too much on this point with no basis. God is God and can use any election criteria He wants — arbitrary criteria included. They possess no interest in protecting God’s attributes such as love and fairness – only sovereignty – so why should their theology protest in the slightest if God turned out to be, in fact, an arbitrary tyrant?

    Meanwhile, we have no such tempests in teapots because we don’t subscribe to the ridiculous, unbiblical notion of unconditional election.

    1. Steve Sabin writes, “Ever notice how Calvinists protest like a stuck pig when it is suggested that God’s basis for election is arbitrary?”

      Calvinists attribute God’s election to “the counsel of His will.” If there is a reason, it is that noted by Paul, “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,”

      1. This is not a reason for particular election – why one individual is elected and another is not. It tells us nothing about why RH was selected by name from eternity past to be elect and people like Christopher Hitchens and Adolf Hitler were not. The reason you were selected (according to your theology) may well have been completely arbitrary.

        Has it ever occurred to you that the same potter of Romans 9 must be reconciled with the one of Jer 18 to make sense of this passage? How many times have you read the Bible from cover to cover and bothered to make notes of the of the hundreds of times your Calvinist understandings are challenged by scripture itself – starting with Jer 18 and Ez 18?

        I have done that exercise, by the way. My Bible is covered with notes on nearly every page with passages that pose problems for the Calvinist depiction of God.

        While there may be 15-20 Calvinist “proof text” scriptures I have to address/explain such as the one in this article (Jn 6:44), you have thousands that must be explained. Which explains why you focus on the 20 and not the thousands.

        (I spoke with FOH yesterday and we agree that the number is closer to 20 than 50).

  13. There was once a spacious farm enjoyed by many. The neighbor had a dog that carefully watched from a distance, day and night, apparently never sleeping lest the farmer and his guests plant a new shrub – no matter how large or small – without the dog visiting, lifting his leg, and marking the shrub with a terrible scent.

    No shrubs ever died, and the dog actually served to fertilize them in a perverse way. But he was not really welcomed by the farmer or his guests, as his bark was most annoying and his markings most odorous.

    Nevertheless, the farmer might want to consider a fence.

    1. Canine liquid fertilizer – an Interesting product!

      What type of marketing language would be needed to sell it? :-]

  14. CALVINISM IS 90% SEMANTICS

    A primary goal of Hermeneutics is to identify and eliminate presuppositions the mind brings to the text.
    To identify nothing more than what each text explicitly states
    To identify what each text does not state.

    The proof-texter’s goal is exactly the opposite

    This goal is to identify any plausible sign or indicator within any plausible verse – which can be used to affirm a preexisting THEO-Philosophical presupposition.

    The proof-texter’s interest in scripture is to use it for his end goal.

    Catholics use Matthew 16:18 as a proof-text for Apostolic succession
    The Church of Christ uses Acts 2:38 as a proof-text to argue one is not saved without water baptism
    Mormons use 1st Corinthians 15:29 as a proof-text to argue for the baptism of the dead
    Jehovah’s Witnesses use John 1:18 as a proof-text to argue Jesus is a lesser God
    Calvinist’s use Ephesians 1:4 as a proof-text to argue for a Gnostic form of election to salvation – where only select individuals meet divine criteria

    The predominant key to recognizing the co-opting of scripture is to look for the gaming of words.
    Scripture is made up of words.
    So co-opting scripture for one’s own ends is going to require an ongoing dexterity and skill in word games.
    One indicator to look for is the development of phrases which are forever recited like a mantra.
    Often such phrases contain highly refined and often equivocal or strategically ambiguous meanings.
    The same exact model we find in marketing slogans.

    Any cursory review of any dialog with a Calvinist will reveal word games as part and parcel of the Calvinist methodology.

    The preponderance of logical fallacies one learns to recognize within Calvinist arguments – reveals an underlying urgency is to evade logical or ethical consequences – and hide logical contradictions. And the primary tool to accomplish that is the ability to shift the meanings of words.

    Calvinism is 90% SEMANTICS.

    1. br.d writes, “A primary goal of Hermeneutics is to identify and eliminate presuppositions …”

      No. A hermeneutic will identify the presumptions that exist. Presuppositions always exist whether a person realizes it or not.

      1. br.d
        A primary goal of Hermeneutics is to identify and eliminate presuppositions …”

        rhutchjin
        No. A hermeneutic will identify the presumptions that exist.

        br.d
        A Calvinist strategy:
        APPEAR to disagree – while actually agreeing.

        All part of Calvinism’s YEA/NAY language :-]

        rhutchin
        Presuppositions always exist whether a person realizes it or not.

        br.d
        And thus – A primary goal of Hermeneutics is to identify and eliminate presuppositions the mind brings to the text :-]

  15. I doubt there is a more scholarly, complete, or detailed support of John 6:44 than that already given by Brian Wagner here: https://soteriology101.com/2017/08/13/john-644/#comment-14245

    He cites many sources and it is very thorough. I have little more I can add, particularly since the Calvinist wants to insist that all who are “drawn” will automatically “come”. There is certainly nothing in the Greek to demand such a reading. Indeed, if we want to stay with one of the favorite arguments used by Calvinists:

    “The same word translated ‘draw’ in John 6:44 is translated ‘drag’ when referring to Peter dragging the net with 153 fish”

    The sword cuts both ways gentlemen; please consider also this verse:

    Matt 13:47-48 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.”

    So if people are irresistibly drawn by God, as you would have John 6:44, why are there non-elect people (bad fish) in the net? Isn’t this what Jesus is directly comparing the “Kingdom of Heaven” to?

    And this is what I mean when I say that Calvinists will cling to their 20 or so “proof texts” like gold nuggets, and ignore the scriptures on almost every page of the Bible that say otherwise. As will be seen in my Acolyte Dialogues as they unfold, the Calvinist wants to harmonize the entire Word of God (thousands of verses) to about 20 verses – 20 verses that incidentally have perfectly biblical non-Calvinist interpretations and most of which are dealt with already here on SOT101.

    In contrast, the Calvinist must confront hundreds or thousands of scriptures that contradict his “proof texts” – passages like Num 21, Jer 18, Ezk 18, Jn 3:14-16, Col 1:23, and hundreds of others.

    So, the question is quite simple: are you going to subscribe to a theology in which the many (hundreds or thousands) of verses must forcibly serve the erroneous interpretation of a few (perhaps 20), or a theology in which the relatively few verses (perhaps 20) are going to properly align and serve the thousands that explicitly or implicitly convey a very different God and gospel mechanism than that espoused by Calvinists?

    Calvinists spend the majority of their time rallying around the 20, beating all other verses into submission through the most torturous means possible.

    The rest of us prefer to just read our Bible and let it speak for itself, without having the voices of Augustine and Calvin trying to drown out the truth.

  16. rhutchin
    “Apparently, a person that is reborn still needs to be dragged to Christ, since that is what John tells us..”

    A video example of Calvin’s god’s dragging:

    Reborn person: “Enough of this nonsense – I am a god!”

    Calvin’s god after a little well deserved dragging: “Puny god!”

  17. The center of the Calvinist’s galaxy is John 6:44 around which “U” and “I” and “L” revolve. They will endlessly parse the words under their electron microscopes, never turning elsewhere to understand and reconcile what Jesus is saying here.

    Please learn to read the entire Bible, both NT and OT, observe the many, many lessons of God calling, drawing, pleading, persuading, scolding, dishing out consequences, and yes – even changing his mind from calamity when people repent – to see the unchanging character of God that draws all, yet not all come. Read Jer 18 and Ezk 18 instead of just glossing over such passages and acting as though John 6:44 stands alone and is the cornerstone around which the rest of the building must be assembled.

    LEARN and MEDITATE on the truth of this verse: The SUM of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Ps 119:160)

    And, a parting question for our contestants: Hos 11:4 says that God (the Father) is leading [drawing?] wayward Israel “…with “cords of a man, with bonds of love” yet in v5 it says: “…but Assyria—he will be their king because they refused to return to Me.”

    Irresistible grace? Not so much. Unconditional election? Not so much. Selective drawing / leading / salvation? Not so much.

  18. Brian Wagner writes…
    The bigger problem is that you put regeneration “prior to hearing the gospel.” Wow! Paul and Peter both said the new birth happens “through” the gospel. The hearing, understanding, and believing of the gospel must be first. I’m sticking with them.

    Calvinism asks us to believe the following Ordo Salutis (wow, isn’t it cool how Latin denotes such a scholarly tone!)…

    1. Christ dies and provides atonement for the elect (and only the elect). He is not required to do this – it is a gift – lest any man should boast that he did it without Christ.
    2. God regenerates you sovereignly, raising you from the “dead” and allowing you to hear.
    3. You then hear the gospel through ears that are no longer deaf / dead.
    4. You are then given the faith to believe what you have heard.
    5. You then believe the gospel.

    If any of the above steps 2-5 originate in you, it is a “work” and not a gift. It is not enough for #1 to be a gift and steps 2-5 to be pointless and impotent without the gift of #1. All 5 steps must be initiated by God in order for this to be a gift. If I so much as open the wrapping paper, or even have the desire to open the wrapping paper, its ‘gift-ness” is nullified and it becomes meritorious. Never mind that if we were to substitute real gifts, real wrapping paper, real givers, and real recipients and ask 10,000 people whether opening the gift and wanting to open the gift transforms it into something merited rather than gifted that all 10,000 would vote “no”. No, nevermind that. We must turn off both our brains and scripture at this juncture. Because orthodoxy demands it.

    Questions:
    – At what point are you “drawn” in the above process and at what point do you “come”?
    – Wouldn’t it be simpler to dispense with the notion of any type of “will” at all and with it, steps 2-5?
    – At what point are you actually “saved” in this process?

    1. Steve
      (1) At what point are you “drawn” in the above process and at what point do you “come”?
      (2) Wouldn’t it be simpler to dispense with the notion of any type of “will” at all and with it, steps 2-5?
      (3) At what point are you actually “saved” in this process?

      br.d
      I can pretty much anticipate the answers to these.
      For 1 & 3 I would anticipate 10 different answers from 10 different Calvinists
      With each Calvinist presenting his unique answer totally assuming to speak for all Calvinists.

      For 2 – The Calvinist can’t dispense with the notion of “free will” because without it – the HUMAN PUPPET problem can’t be denied.
      Although compatibilist freedom only provides a FACADE of removing the HUMAN PUPPET problem.
      It at least allows the Calvinist to make-believe it does.

    2. Steve Sabin: “Questions:
      – At what point are you “drawn” in the above process and at what point do you “come”?”

      Since God draws through the preaching of (or other means of disseminating) the gospel, God draws only after a person comes under the physical hearing of the gospel. If a person never hears the gospel, God will not draw him to Christ The first step in the process of salvation is for the Holy Spirit to give the person new birth.

      Then, “– Wouldn’t it be simpler to dispense with the notion of any type of “will” at all and with it, steps 2-5?”

      Seems like it. Apparently, God exercised His free will to do it His way.

      Then, “– At what point are you actually “saved” in this process?”

      Per Ephesians 1, “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,…”

      Upon being sealed by the Holy Spirit, a person is “saved.”

      1. rhutchin
        God draws only after a person comes under the physical hearing of the gospel.

        br.d
        You mean Calvin’s god drags the person after he makes them come under some kind of causal power which causes them to hear….etc

        Comes under is interesting language – because it is the language of Necromancy.
        The person comes under the influence of the spirit world.

        rhutchin
        If a person never hears the gospel, God will not draw him to Christ

        br.d
        You mean if Calvin’s god has designed a person a vessel of wrath – for eternal torment in a lake if fire – then he will cause them to never hear – and also he will not drag them to Christ

        So after making them hear he drags them to Christ.

        rhutchin
        Apparently, God exercised His free will to do it His way.

        br.d
        You mean his Libertarian free will – which allows him to do it his way.

        rhutchin
        Upon being sealed by the Holy Spirit, a person is “saved.”

        br.d
        With the caveat – that the Calvinist has no certainty of whether Calvin’s god has given him a gift of FALSE faith and FALSE salvation.

        As John Calvin says:
        -quote
        But the Lord…….. INSTILLS INTO THEIR MIND such A SENSE of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. He only gives them a MANIFESTATION of his present mercy. (Institutes)

  19. Faulty assumptions lead to faulty conclusions.

    My personal story is that one of my two friends approached me not via the “T” of TULIP (like Jordan in The Acolyte Dialogues but rather by an appeal to sovereignty which assumed sovereignty = cosmic micromanager. I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. It is one way to get the “victim” to “U” and then the rest of TULIP is easy. It logically follows from the faulty premise of “U”.

    The other friend approached me in a manner similar to rhuthcin’s reasoning: an appeal to omniscience that went something like this:

    Him: Do you think God knows where you will spend eternity?
    Me: Yes.
    Him: Then what makes you think you are free to change the outcome?

    He conflated foreknowledge with predestination and used it like a trap. If you walk into the trap, then you must accept “U” and the rest of TULIP falls into place as logical consequences.

    I beg anyone to look at the 5 steps I outlined above and explain to me with a minimum of a dozen scriptures why desiring to take off the gift wrapping paper and actually taking off the paper constitutes a “work” and erases its status as a gift. As I said, you could present this analogy to ten thousand people and not a single one would cease to say it was no longer a gift and had become something you worked for and earned. It’s ludicrous. But an erroneous understanding of “T” demands you cannot want the gift nor unwrap it.

    I also beg anyone to show me a clear example of step #1 in the scriptures. And before you scream “Lydia” please read Acts 16:14 and tell me whether she was a worshipper of God before of after she heard Paul speak. Ditto for Cornelius in Acts 10:1 and his behavior before he heard Peter speak.

    1. Steve Sabin writes, “explain to me with a minimum of a dozen scriptures why desiring to take off the gift wrapping paper and actually taking off the paper constitutes a “work” and erases its status as a gift.”

      Romans 10 says, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” and then Ephesians 2, “by grace you have been saved through faith.” Without faith no one opens the gift-wrapping; with faith, all open the gift-wrapping. So, why does one person have faith and another does not? Because God gives faith to one and not the other.

    2. Steve Sabin writes, ‘I also beg anyone to show me a clear example of step #1 in the scriptures.”
      “1. Christ dies and provides atonement for the elect (and only the elect). He is not required to do this – it is a gift – lest any man should boast that he did it without Christ.”

      Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”

      Paul, to the Romans, “[Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification….It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us…I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      Paul, to the Corinthians, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,…”

      Paul, to the Romans, “if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

  20. Our gracious host, Eric Kemp, does a masterful job with Romans 9 in this 2017 post:
    https://beardedseminarian.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/romans-9-a-brief-non-calvinist-reading/

    If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so. I found it very enlightening and it helped connect some dots even more solidly for me.

    1) Notice who Paul is writing the epistle to in Rom 1:5-7 (bold emphasis mine)
    through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Paul is writing to Gentile believers in Rome (“all the Gentiles … among whom you also…”. As we will soon see, they are being (as usual) browbeaten by Jews to become circumcised and to achieve righteousness through the Law. It is crucial to understand this context as the epistle proceeds.

    2) As Eric points out, the Jews were expelled from Rome sometime between 41 AD and 53 AD. Only Gentile believers remained in the city during that time. Then, after the death of Claudius in 53AD, Nero assumed the throne and rescinded the expulsion. As a mix of Jewish believers and unbelievers came back in to Rome, they brought their “usual and customary” objections to the gospel (or “augmentation” of the gospel with the Law) back with them. This is the situation Paul is addressing with Roman believers.

    3) The Jews have a very long and extensive history with Paul, Peter, Stephen, Apollos, and other believers of being the primary impediment to the gospel and of trying to turn believing Gentiles into Law-keeping Jewish proselytes rather than followers of Christ. This is why the Jews are always being provoked to jealously – they see their position eroding. In the book of Acts, there are approximately 20 separate instances of the Jews opposing the gospel because they rejected the message of grace and wanted to perpetuate circumcision and keeping the Law. The imaginary “Mr. Objection” that Paul introduces in Romans 3:5 and then perpetuates through 3:9, 6:1, 6:15, 7:7, 9:14, 9:19, and 11:1 is thus the hardened, self-assured Jew – not a garden-variety unbeliever (Gentile or non-practicing Jew). Mr. Objection is a very specific type of unbeliever: the obstinate Jew who is trusting in the Law and thus causing great harm to the Gentile believers by forcing the Law upon them. Here are the verses in Acts comprising the 20 incidents in which the Jews opposed the gospel because it did not preach circumcision and keeping the Law as the basis of salvation: Acts 4:1-2, 5:17, 6:9-14, 9:1-3, 9:22-30, 11:2, 13:44-51, 14:2, 14:19, 15:1-5, 16:3, 17:5, 17:13, 18:4-6, 18:12-13, 18:28, 19:8-9, 20:3, 21:10 – 26:32, 28:17-28. In contrast, there are only 3 recorded incidents in which the Gentiles opposed the gospel: Acts 12:1-5, 16:19-24, 19:23-41. Two of these (16:19-24 and 19:23-41) are rooted purely in economic concerns (idol worship income being impacted). The other (Acts 12:1-5) is at least 50% rooted in Jewish opposition because Herod’s persecution, when he saw it pleased the Jews, perpetuated it. So we’ll award half as Gentile persecution and half as Jewish-appeasement-based persecution. In other words, 20.5 of the incidents were Jewish and 2.5 were Gentile. Thus, 89% of the recorded incidents in Acts where the gospel was opposed were due to hardened Jewish unbelievers – not Gentiles. Thus, it should not surprise us that Paul anticipates this specific type of opposition for the believers in Rome as Jews flood back into the city and addresses it head-on in Romans.

    4) Mr. Objector can thus be seen as a hardened Jew, protesting that his nation (and thus himself) is “special” and that the old covenant consisting of circumcision and keeping of the Law have not changed. This is a Jew viewing the world entirely through the lens of Num 15:14-16. It is this “objector” that Paul is anticipating and addressing.

    5) For a Calvinist to insist that Mr. Objector suddenly switches identities in Rom 9:19 and shifts from an interest in a chosen (elected) nation to instead an interest in particular individuals is beyond unreasonable.

    6) The Potter Paul refers to in Rom 9:19-24 is referring directly to Jer 18:1-12. Please see my emphasis in bold to remove all doubt about whether the Potter in Jeremiah (and by extension Romans) is dealing with individuals or with nations:
    The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it. So now then, speak to the men [plural] of Judah and against the inhabitants [plural] of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”’ But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

    More later…

    1. “Eric Kemp, does a masterful job with Romans 9 in this 2017 post:”

      Kemp writes on v1-3, “Paul is willing to be damned to hell for the Jews and yet God is not willing for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to be applied to them.” The Calvinist says that Paul’s concern is for the salvation of the Jews. Kemp seems to agree as he says regarding v4-5. “If anyone should be enjoying the fruits the Messiah, it should be the Jews. After all, it came through them. For that reason, and because Paul is one of them, his heart grieves for them.” The fruits of the Messiah is salvation and because they do not appear to have obtained salvation, Paul’s heart grieves for them.

      The, we read on the next verses, “Notice the contrast Paul is making here. The contrast is between who God chooses to give the promise to, not who God chooses to be saved. Not unbeliever and believer. Not elect and reprobate. But how God has always chosen who will carry the promise. What was the promise? Effectual salvation? No, the promise was that through Abraham’s family the entire world would be blessed…”

      So, God chooses the nation of Israel as the vehicle through whom the Messiah with come. What happens? The Messiah actually does come through the nation of Israel. So, what is the problem Paul is addressing? Kemp writes, “Paul is saying is that God has always chosen before they’ve ever done anything good or bad, through whom the Messiah would come.” Then, ‘Instead, we see Paul as referencing the mercy and compassion of having the honor, the blessing, and the glory of the Messiah being brought through your nation.'”

      The underlying question is why anyone would object to that. Why would Paul be upset and willing to spend eternity in hell for his brothers when God has fulfilled His promise to them – The Messiah came out of Israel. Kemp’s analysis is tortured at best and cannot explain Paul’s concerns nor the basis for the objections that Paul addresses.

      The Calvinist rightly understands Paul’s concern when he says, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,” as being a concern for the salvation of his brothers. Even Dr. Flowers got this right.

      What is the basis for the objections? It is when Paul writes, “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.” It is through salvation that one becomes a child of God. That God should choose one to save and one to reject is the basis for the objections.

      1. Calvinist talking-point #1:
        The Calvinist says that Paul’s concern is for the salvation of the Jews.

        br.d
        With the hidden caveat that Calvin’s god infallibly decreed Paul to enunciate a HALF-TRUTH representation of Calvin’s god’s actual (i.e., evil) intentions for Jews – as well as for Gentiles.

        Calvinist talking-point #2:
        That God should choose one to save and one to reject is the basis for the objections.

        br.d
        Only if one forces a presupposition of Augustine’s Stoic/Gnostic/NeoPlatonic/Catholic version of predestination onto the text.

        See: Did the Early Church Fathers Teach Calvinism?
        https://soteriology101.com/2019/08/05/did-the-early-church-fathers-teach-calvinism/

      2. RH writes,
        “The Calvinist rightly understands Paul’s concern when he says, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,” as being a concern for the salvation of his brothers.”

        Aidan,
        I agree. Here is something I have learned recently in coming to this section of Romans: As we come to this unit, Romans 9-11, we find that the great body of the Jewish nation have – rejected the gospel. They are on the outside, and do not experience the fulfillment of these promises that the OT prophets had predicted. That’s the problem Paul has to deal with in these three chapters. And one of the major objections that seems to come up in chapter 9, is that perhaps God had failed to fulfill His promises to the Jews.

        In 9:1-5, Paul expresses his great sorrow for Israel. The reason, v.3, is that Israel is lost! And what a tragedy it is, considering the fact that they had enjoyed such a privileged position vv.4-5. In spite of this, they are lost and find themselves outside the kingdom of God – and that’s the problem – Israel is lost. But what is the explanation? Whose at fault? Is God somehow at fault? Romans 9:6-29, is a vindication of God. God is not to blame! His word has not failed! He has not failed to fulfill His promises, nor is there any injustice or unrighteousness in His dealings with Israel, or with any other nation, in the things He has done in sending out the gospel.

        And so, Romans 9 is basically a vindication of God.

      3. The issue in Romans is not who is saved. It is how one is saved – by the Law and circumcision, or by Christ? And the Objector is the smug Jew coming up with all the “yes, but whaddabout?” retorts. The same one that feels justified in persecuting Christians and trying to stop the gospel because “they’re doing it all wrong.”‘

        Romans 9 is Paul’s response to the smug Objector who protests that Israel is special and meritorious. Paul says, essentially, “God can choose anyone for SERVICE that he wants. It isn’t based on the man who will or runs – but on God.” And then to make his point, Paul shows that God chose Jacob to father the nation of Israel rather than Esau before either was born or had done anything bad or good, and that the older (Esau) would thus be subservient to the younger (Jacob) in terms of which nation had a more noble status and was a “vessel of honor.” Love / hate in this passage is method of comparing the relative preference. It is not a statement of unconditional election to salvation. it is election to service involving the fathering of nations and that becomes very clear when you read the passages Paul quotes from in Gen 25:23 and Mal 1:1-5.

        More later. I am putting an extensive write-up on Romans together. No passage is more misused and misinterpreted by Calvinists than Rom 9. The only passage topping this one in terms of violent distortion by Calvinists is perhaps John 3:16.

        P.S. I am convinced that Peter wrote 2 Pet 3:16 with Romans 9 in mind.

      4. Hey Steve,
        Perhaps it might be better to interact with me privately on this issue, because I don’t want to come across as being in agreement with the Calvinist position on Romans 9. I have no problem with you getting my email address from Brdmod, where we can tease out some of the issues less publicly.

        Regards,
        Aidan

      5. Seeing that you don’t mind, we don’t have to move across, we can continue on here with the flow of thought in this thread. Perhaps I might have a slightly different take on this section that may be helpful.

      6. I’m thinking primarily of other readers. My comments are intended primarily for those who lurk without commenting and are either undecided about Calvinism, are exiting Calvinism and looking for scriptural support, or are Calvinists but not fully aware of its inevitable implications and contradictions. Unfortunately, the hard-core Calvinists will not generally be swayed by what is written here and come to this site with a single objective: to argue tirelessly and proselytize.

        Since comments aren’t searchable on this site, readers wanting to learn about Romans 9 won’t find them under this thread as it will be completely non-intuitive to look under the topic of pastoral care.

      7. Thanks Aidan. These threads often branch off into so many tributaries and rabbit trails that are rich, but in the wrong place. I have been guilty of this many times and I am trying to be more mindful of posting comments where they align better with the subject matter of the parent article. It has resulted in resurrecting comment streams to articles that are sometimes 3 years old (or older).

      8. Steve Sabin writes, “Paul says, essentially, “God can choose anyone for SERVICE that he wants.”

        Why would a Jew get upset over this.The Jews had a system that included priests, Sadducees, and Pharisees – different arears of service. What would the issue be about service that a Jew would see as unfair?

      9. Calvinist question:
        Why would a Jew get upset over this.

        br.d
        N.T. Wright answers

        Paul’s problem with Judaism was not works-righteousness in the sense understood by the Protestant Reformers, but the insistence on a covenant status for Jews and Jews alone.

      10. Question: Why would a Jew get upset over this.The Jews had a system that included priests, Sadducees, and Pharisees – different arears of service. What would the issue be about service that a Jew would see as unfair?

        Answer: Read your Bible. The answer consists of one word; jealousy. See Acts 5:17, 13:44-45, 17:5, and Heb 11:11. Kemp is right again. The Jews feel slighted because his superior and exclusive position has been done away with and the playing field has been leveled (Heb 10). He feels slighted because his position of moral and spiritual authority has been decimated and he can no longer parade about as a smug, holier-than-thou, I’m-chosen-and-you-are-not. He is jealous for precisely the same reason people get jealous today in the workplace, relationships, church, etc. Namely, when they see their power, entitlement, exclusivity, or preferential treatment being changed and removed, they fight back and try to reserve it. Read the 20 instances in Acts where the Jews oppose the gospel. It isn’t about blasphemy. It is about jealousy. See Acts 4:1-2, 5:17, 6:9-14, 9:1-3, 9:22-30, 11:2, 13:44-51, 14:2, 14:19, 15:1-5, 16:3, 17:5, 17:13, 18:4-6, 18:12-13, 18:28, 19:8-9, 20:3, 21:10 – 26:32, 28:17-28.

      11. Steve Sabin writes, “The answer consists of one word; jealousy. See Acts 5:17, 13:44-45, 17:5, and Heb 11:11”

        So, that jealousy started when the apostles were speaking only to the Jews. Certainly, when Paul was preaching to the gentiles, the Jews got jealous but where does jealousy enter when only Jews are involved. In Romans 9, Paul is dealing only with the Jews and saying that some of the Jews were children of promise and some were not. Are you saying that those Jews who perceived that they were not children of Promise were jealous of those who were children of promise – and that the issue was over “service.”? Again, why would they get upset at that since they were accustomed to distinctions in service – some were priests, some Sadducees, some Pharisees, some were not. Why be jealous just if Paul were making a distinction among the Jews on the basis of service?

      12. Hutch, because now Gentiles were being given the honor of that service, specifically being made sons of God and all the priviledges that came with it: communion with Him, His gracious promises on their behalf, doing acts in His name, preaching His Messiah.

        Honestly, this is really basic church history stuff

      13. Eric writes, “because now Gentiles were being given the honor of that service,”

        That did not happen immediately. It was not until the dispersion that Jews went out telling the gentiles about Christ. The Jewish leaders objected to the apostles preaching that Christ was the Messiah. They killed Jesus because He made himself equal to God, and now, the apostles were preaching that the ma who claimed to be God was actually the Messiah they were anticipating.. I don’t see that as jealousy. Later on, when Paul was going to the gentiles, we see the Jews reacting – but here the problem was that Paul did not require the gentile believers to observe the Jewish laws. The Jews were law keepers even if only on their terms.

      14. Calvinist question:: “Why would a Jew get upset over this.”
        br.d: “N.T. Wright answers
        “Paul’s problem with Judaism was not works-righteousness in the sense understood by the Protestant Reformers, but the insistence on a covenant status for Jews and Jews alone.”

        In Romans 9, Calvinists clearly emphasize the problem with the Jews insistence on a covenant status for Jews and Jews alone. That is why Calvinists give emphasis to Paul’s statement, “That is, those [Jews] who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but [those Jews who are] the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” Here, Paul is saying that God’s covenant was not with the Jewish nation as a whole but with the children of promise within the Jewish nation. Then Paul, says that it is God who chose those who would be children of promise. It is this that gives rise to the objections.

      15. Calvinist
        -quote
        In Romans 9, Calvinists clearly emphasize….etc

        br.d
        N.T. Wright
        -quote
        Romans 9 has become the Calvinist’s happy hunting ground for theories on predestination. :-]

      16. The Jews were not objecting to roles of service within their own ranks. They were objecting to the unwashed masses (Gentiles) now being treated as equals. The pride still lingers today – sadly even among some Messianic Jews.

        Also, while “priest” was a service role reserved only for certain families, “Pharisee” and “Sadducee” were not roles of service. They were sects (Acts 5:17, 26:5) and more akin to political divisions around theological lines where Sadducees denied angels and spirits and resurrection while Pharisees did not. See Acts 23:8. The Pharisees were more of an “anybody can be one by going to school” while the Sadducees were smaller in number and more of the ruling class in the temple. Pharisees tended to control the local synagogues.

        “Lawyers” and “scribes” were service roles also, and not as restrictive as priestly roles.

      17. Steve Sabin writes, “The Jews were not objecting to roles of service within their own ranks. They were objecting to the unwashed masses (Gentiles) now being treated as equals. ”

        If that is the case, then Acts 5:17 does not apply.

        In Acts 13, we read says, “Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.: the issue here is salvation (everlasting life) and not service.

        In Acts 17, we read, “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” The issue for the Jews here is the claim that Jesus was the Messiah. Paul reasoned with the Jews in their synagogue. This had nothing to do with the gentiles.

        So, what was your purpose in citing these Scriptures when they have noting to do with the gentiles. I could not figure out ow you saw these Scriptures supporting your point. I did not bother going through your other citations, but I suspect they don’t all support your position either.

      18. The jealousy in Acts 5:17 was because their exalted position among other Jews was being threatened. The apostles were doing signs and wonders (see verses 12-16) and the people held them in high esteem (v 13). I never said this was strictly about the gentiles. I said it was jealousy because their positions were being threatened. This was happening at all levels – both within the Jewish population and later the Gentile population where synagogues were located and churches were being established.

        In other words, Jews were becoming jealous both within their own ranks were they sought to be “somebodies” and with the Gentiles where they wanted to be the “haves” and the Gentiles the “have nots”.

        Acts 5:17 deals with jealousy that they were no longer the exalted ones within the ranks of the Jews, and it underscores that the leaders of the Jews held so much power that the people were afraid of them. See 5:13.

        Acts 13:44-46 clearly deals with jealousy regarding Gentile access…
        The next Sabbath nearly the whole city [Pisidion Antioch] assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.

        Ditto for Acts 17:1-5…
        Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women. But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people.

      19. Steve Sabin writes, “In other words, Jews were becoming jealous both within their own ranks were they sought to be “somebodies” and with the Gentiles where they wanted to be the “haves” and the Gentiles the “have nots”. ”

        You should have said this the first time around. So, how do you tease this out of Romans 9, when Paul says, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,…” Does Paul desire to be accursed over petty jealousies??

      20. You may have to wait for an answer until much later in the Acolyte Dialogues. It will be dealt with at some length as the story unfolds.

        In the meantime…

        Paul is severely distressed that he sees his countrymen rejecting the Gospel – his distress is over their unsaved condition, not over their jealousy. Because he has no guarantee that anyone will accept the freely offered gift of salvation, he wishes that he could give himself in their place. This is not rocket science. It actually tells us something about the love of the God. He that knew no sin became sin for us. Paul knows it isn’t possible to trade places because they must exercise their own wills – not anyone else’s (including God’s). But he says it to show the depth of his love. Amazing that Paul would express a love greater than (Calvinism’s) God.

        If you had children of your own, you would understand. But sources tell me you consider children “a nuisance.” As such, you have a severely limited conception of a father’s love. You would likely feel much different if you only had a single child (a son) such as I do and understood how great a love it would be for me to sacrifice my son instead of myself. I would far rather go to the cross myself than to send my son there. See Rom 8:32.

      21. In Romans 11, Paul does try to use the salvation of the Gentiles to provoke to jealousy his own countrymen, and thereby save some.

        “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.”

        It seems even jealousy can be used in a good way.

      22. Good observation, Aidan. Isn’t it interesting that we we don’t see Paul exhibiting anything consistent with Calvinism.

        “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.”.

        Save some of them? By any means? Provoke to jealousy? Why in the world is any of this required if “hearing” the gospel is all that is required and God sovereignly does the rest? Imparts faith, regenerates, etc.

      23. Steve writes,
        “Save some of them? By any means? Provoke to jealousy? Why in the world is any of this required if “hearing” the gospel is all that is required and God sovereignly does the rest? Imparts faith, regenerates, etc.”

        Aidan,
        Maybe Paul didn’t get the memo that year? Or, maybe he’s trying to FOOL some of the Jews into thinking they could be saved? He’s speaking to these rookie Gentiles now, maybe he had to say this because, “they can’t handle the truth”? Maybe – I don’t think I’d make a very good Calvinist.

        “Save some of them?” Notice that Paul didn’t expect to save “all” Israel. This might be helpful in understanding vv 25-27.

      24. Aidan writes, “Paul does try to use the salvation of the Gentiles to provoke to jealousy his own countrymen, and thereby save some.”

        Reinforcing the conclusion that 9-11 is dealing with the salvation of the Jews.

      25. RH writes,
        “Reinforcing the conclusion that 9-11 is dealing with the salvation of the Jews.”

        Aidan,
        Or, would it be more correct to say that 9-11 deals with the primary issue of the – lostness of the Jews? Would you agree? Certainly this section of scripture is a vindication of God, and puts the blame and responsibility squarely where it belongs – on the Jews. Paul had no shortage of issues to deal with here.

      26. Aidan writes, “Or, would it be more correct to say that 9-11 deals with the primary issue of the – lostness of the Jews? Would you agree?”

        Yep. Paul does explain why Jews were lost when by all accounts, they should have been saved. Just shows what Adam’s sin hath wrought.

      27. RH, writes
        “Yep. Paul does explain why Jews were lost when by all accounts, they should have been saved. Just shows what Adam’s sin hath wrought.”

        Aidan,
        And yet, the O.T. prophets had predicted that the great body of the Jewish nation would be lost.

        Romans 9:27,
        “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;”

      28. Classic Calvinist DOUBLE-SPEAK
        -quote
        Paul does explain why Jews were lost when by all accounts, they should have been saved

        br.d
        The DOUBLE-SPEAK:
        In Calvinism should have been saved is exclusively and solely determined by Calvin’s god – and no one else.
        And also known exclusively within the SECRET counsel of Calvin’s god
        And the SECRET counsel of Calvin’s god is not for any man to say.
        Especially when Calvin’s god specifically designs the vast majority of the human race for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for his good pleasure.

        Too bad Paul wasn’t a Calvinist – or he would have known that! :-]

      29. Hutch, “Kemp’s analysis is tortured at best and cannot explain Paul’s concerns nor the basis for the objections that Paul addresses.”

        Paul changes subjects in v. 6 from addressing why he is sad to whether or not God’s word has failed. He’s saying “I’m sad they don’t believe even though everything has been given to them, but just because they don’t believe does not mean God’s word has failed” and then goes on to say why and never says anything close to “God’s word hasn’t failed because God promises to save certain individuals and condemn others”. Instead, Paul says “God’s word hasn’t failed because He fulfilled His promise to them and now chooses to change the people group through which His promise to the world will be made.” Your system renders you unable to see which choice of God Paul is talking about. Following Paul’s flow of thought renders the Reformed reading of this passage utterly untenable.

        “The underlying question is why anyone would object to that. Why would Paul be upset and willing to spend eternity in hell for his brothers when God has fulfilled His promise to them – The Messiah came out of Israel.”

        You misunderstand because you presume everything is about individual salvation all the time. You are unable to follow Paul’s flow of thought because your system a priori disqualifies his meaning.

      30. Agreed. If this is about unconditional, particular, election to salvation, why can’t Paul just come out and say it? Why does everything he quote have to be about nations (the potter of Jer 18 raising up and casting down nations, Malachi 1 prophecy to the nation of Israel against the nation of Edom, Gen 25:23 prophecy to Rebekah concerning which nation will serve the other).

        And only a Calvinist would assume that the only reason Paul could possibly make the statement he made was because he somehow knew the entire nation of Israel was non-elect and the futility of giving his life for them was rooted solely in their non-elect status. Surely it couldn’t be because one sinner cannot give atonement for another. And Surely it cannot be because they are afforded the same opportunity for salvation as any other person and their hardening was the “wages” of repeated self-hardening.

        When you are a (Calvinist) hammer, the entire world is a(n unconditionally elected) nail.

      31. Steve Sabin writes, ” If this is about unconditional, particular, election to salvation, why can’t Paul just come out and say it?”

        Paul does when he writes, “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.” and then Paul explains what he means by promise, writing, “For this is the word of promise:” from v9-13. Here, Paul says, “(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),” Thus, Jacob was a child of promise (therefore, loved) while Esau was not a child of promise (therefore hated). The children of promise are those chosen by God. Within Paul’s explanation of the children of promise, there is no reference to nations, only to individuals. This can be seem in the context – “Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac” and it Jacob and Esau of whom one was chosen by God to be a child of promise and the other not.

        Then, ‘only a Calvinist would assume that the only reason Paul could possibly make the statement he made was because he somehow knew the entire nation of Israel was non-elect and the futility of giving his life for them was rooted solely in their non-elect status.”

        Let’s read Paul’s explanation – “they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” The promises were to Abraham and his seed, and Paul identifies the seed as the children of promise.

      32. Steve is correct – the only way the Calvinist gets “unconditional” out of all of that is first embrace an extra-biblical belief system – and then go data mining within scripture – looking for verses that can be construed to affirm it.

        That is why the Calvinist paradigm – with its library of private terms – represents a minority view.

      33. Eric Kemp writes, “He’s saying “I’m sad they don’t believe even though everything has been given to them, but just because they don’t believe does not mean God’s word has failed”’

        To say that Paul was “sad” is an understatement. Paul says, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren…” So, you should phrase it, “He’s saying “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren.because they don’t believe even though everything has been given to them, but just because they don’t believe does not mean God’s word has failed”’ Paul’s concern is for the salvation of the Jews.

        Then, ‘Instead, Paul says “God’s word hasn’t failed because He fulfilled His promise to them and now chooses to change the people group through which His promise to the world will be made.””

        Paul actually explains, “[his Jewish brethren] are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham;…That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” The subject is still Paul’s concern for the salvation of his brethren. It is the children of promise who are the true Israel of God. Paul then explains what the “promise” was in v9-13.

        The objection raised in v14 is, “That’s not fair!” or more strongly, “God is not being righteous.” What’s unfair – that God fulfills His promise is certain of the Jews and not others. Just as God chose Isaac over Ishmael, and Jacob over Esau, so God chooses one Jew and not another. Paul began talking about his concern for the salvation of the Jews and there is no reason to think he has changed the subject..

        That Paul has not changed the subject is evident in Chap 10, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”

  21. From today’s reading (Calvinist mental insertions / annotations in bold)…

    Heb 11:4-12 … 39

    By divinely implanted faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through divinely implanted faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By divinely implanted faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without divinely implanted faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By divinely implanted faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By divinely implanted faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By divinely implanted faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By divinely implanted faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.

    … (with similar insertions /annotations …

    And all these, having gained approval through their divinely implanted faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

    I, for one, am so grateful that the saints of old gained approval by doing merely what they had been unalterably decreed to do. It gives so much rich meaning to the passages and clearly conveys God’s intentIons and dealings with man.

    1. Be sure not to overlook the word “rewarder” in the passage from Hebrews, either. It has particularly rich meaning when individuals are carrying out unalterable decrees from which they cannot deviate and when they seek God because He has unalterably decreed that they do so.

      1. From today’s reading…

        Heb 11:39
        And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

        Their faith? I thought it was supernaturally imparted by God lest they boast and knock Him off the throne.

        I keep looking diligently for that passage showing faith is a gift – lest any man should boast.

        Still not finding it.

      2. I think the accusation of boasting is nothing more than a dishonest straw-man.
        It is dishonest – because it is bearing false witness against one’s neighbor.
        I have never met a sincere Christian who didn’t revel in the fact that all good things – including a beating heart, and breathing lungs aren’t a gift from a loving Father.

        The boasting accusation is simply a ploy to manipulate sincere (yet gullible) believers.

        But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

      3. Steve Sabin writes, “Their faith? I thought it was supernaturally imparted by God lest they boast and knock Him off the throne.”

        Yes. God gives a person faith and it is his faith. No problem with Calvinists on that.

      4. Chapters and verses supporting this, please. We’ve been waiting a long time for that shoe to drop, and still nothing.

        Faith to believe for salvation is not a gift in the sense you want it to be: supernaturally, particularly imparted to the ELECT and withheld from the non-Elect.

        Faith is a normal, God-given capability resident in every person. This is what the Bible teaches and you have been spectacularly unable to prove otherwise despite five years of trying on this site.

      5. Steve Sabin writes, ‘Faith is a normal, God-given capability resident in every person. This is what the Bible teaches and you have been spectacularly unable to prove otherwise despite five years of trying on this site.”

        If there is a “faith” that is “a normal, God-given capability resident in every person,” then what good is it. Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me…” Given that faith is the means God uses to save people, whatever inherent faith you want to ascribe to people seems to be worthless. Hebrews tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So, where does such faith come from? Jesus also said, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” If everyone who has heard and learned from God comes to Christ, then whatever one learns from God must result in faith somewhere along the line. Given God’s perfect teaching record, something He does must be unique in the formation of faith that saves.

        Hebrews 12 tells us that Jesus is the “the author and finisher of our faith.”.James 2 asks, “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” Peter writes, “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” Jude writes, ” I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “brethren, pray for us…that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.”

        That faith of which you speak seems worthless, That faith identified with salvation has God’s fingerprints all over it.

      6. Calvinist argument:
        If there is a “faith” that is “a normal, God-given capability resident in every person,” then what good is it. Jesus said, ““No one can come to Me…” Given that faith is the means God uses to save people, whatever inherent faith you want to ascribe to people seems to be worthless

        br.d
        Here we have the FALLACY of shifting the burden of proof.

        You have a presupposition that humans are not born with NORMAL capacity to believe.

        One single verse which EXPLICITLY states that man is not born with a NORMAL capacity to believe is all that is required.
        Obviously trying to derive it from John 6:44 goes beyond what it states – into the land of speculation.

      7. Classic Calvinist retort:
        -quote
        That faith of which you speak seems worthless, That faith identified with salvation has God’s fingerprints all over it.

        br.d
        Of course – it would seem worthless to a Gnostic
        He has been taught that faith is only for a select and special few – who meet the divine criteria for election.

        The funny part
        With statistical probability as a guide – he has more than likely been deceived by Calvin’s god – who has given him a gift of FALSE faith.
        He’ll go through his whole life having thousands of FALSE perceptions – of his life and eternal destiny.

      8. Designed into the NORMAL cerebral cortex.
        The human capacity of abstract cognition, which includes the ability to believe – both truths and falsehoods

        For a laugh:
        Calvin tells us – the Totally Depraved Calvinist – is given a very special gift of FALSE faith.

        -quote
        But the Lord…….. INSTILL INTO THEIR MINDS such A SENSE of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. (Institutes)

        Going through one’s whole life – with thousands of FALSE PERCEPTIONS of one’s self and one’s eternal destiny.

        Where can we sign up for that! 😉

    2. Steve Sabin writes, “I, for one, am so grateful that the saints of old gained approval by doing merely what they had been unalterably decreed to do.”

      Where could faith come from if not from God?
      Did not God know before He created the world those to whom He would give faith and didn’t He decree that outcome by creating the world?
      Could any other outcome override God’s omniscience?

      1. Steve Sabin writes, “I, for one, am so grateful that the saints of old gained approval by doing merely what they had been unalterably decreed to do.”

        Calvinist ignores the logic of the statement because its not refutable – and deflects to:
        -quote
        Where could faith come from if not from God?

        br.d
        Thus it follows in Calvinism – where does evil come from if not from Calvin’s god

        Calvinist fallacy of false dichotomy:
        -quote
        Did not God know before He created the world those to whom He would give faith

        br.d
        Yes – he gave every NORMAL human being the ability to believe in both truths and falsehoods

        Calvinist obfuscation statement:
        -quote
        and didn’t He decree that outcome by creating the world?

        br.d
        Here the Calvinist obfuscates the fact that Calvin’s god specifically designs the vast majority of his creatures for eternal torment in a lake of fire – fore his good pleasure. Doesn’t take a genius to know what that outcome will be. :-]

        Calvinist fallacy of false dichotomy:
        -quote
        Could any other outcome override God’s omniscience?

        br.d
        Here the fallacy lies in thinking that divine omniscience can only be achieved by Universal Divine Causal Determinism.
        Outside of Calvinism divine omniscience is not limited to that.

  22. 15 Guidelines for Proper Calvinist Biblical Interpretation

    I wish these were written entirely tongue-in-cheek, but they are not. Only in a few instances are they augmented sarcastically. They are essentially distilled from observing the Calvinists that comment here, who undoubtedly acquired those skills through careful mentoring by still others.

    1. Begin with appeals to sovereignty and omniscience, carefully and meticulously defined according to Calvinist presuppositions. It is vital to obtain agreement on these definitions, allowing you to use words like “we” later on – signifying mutual agreement and inescapable conclusions that will derive from these definitions.

    2. Careful adherence to #1 will allow the appropriate definition of meticulous, molecular-level, “whatsoever comes to pass” determinism to be established. This is likewise crucial. Mere allowance or permission is strictly excluded under the “doctrines of grace” but you are free to ignore such requirements if it will allow softer language to be used until such time as the special classes can be taught for the willing participant that wants full-strength coffee. This coffee has been know to kill subjects that are not suitably prepared, just as a marathon requires extensive preparation and training to avoid cardiac arrest or other medical incident.

    3. Remember always that TULIP has been established as unassailable doctrine, distilled into five petals, tested, and refined over the last 450 years. It is not necessary to revisit any of the petals because they have been established irrefutably. Any passage that appears to contradict the “doctrines of grace” only appears to be contradictory. Taken in its proper context, it will always be perfectly consistent with the “doctrines of grace.”

    4. Acts is a descriptive book – not prescriptive. Deflect most anything offered from Acts as merely describing what occurred – not prescribing future practices. However, Peter’s sermons are perfectly fine as examples of what all salvation messages must consist of: wrath and coming judgement.

    5. All epistles were written to believers. Therefore, the ultimate antecedent (to the church at ___________________, to the saints at ____________________, to the believers at ___________________) should be universally applied whenever the words “we” or “us” are encountered. This will allow concepts like “love” “mercy” “faith” and the like discussed in said epistles to be restricted to believers. The reader may also, at his option (and this is strongly encouraged) substitute “the Elect” anytime “we” “us” “saints” “believers” and similar terms are encountered. This will allow an additional set of inferences to be forced on the text that might not be otherwise available. However, when any admonitions regarding apostacy or falling away are encountered – or which appear to contradict any of the “doctrines of grace” – you are free to immediately pivot and appeal that the audience is no longer strictly “the Elect” but is not rather the hearers of the epistle, which reflects a mix of elect and non-elect. Such statements could not have been directed to the elect for obvious reasons. Thus, rest assured that the epistles were directed to the elect until such time as this becomes inconvenient or illogical. The audience can then seamlessly switch to a mix of elect and non-elect, with the understanding that it is targeting the non-elect.

    6. Words like “whosoever” “all” “any” “world” “the whole world” and the like must be properly exegeted to explain that they mean “only the elect”. Refer to the “L” in TULIP for emotional support as required. This is extremely important lest the novice become trapped or confused. It also allows the difficulties inherent in the gospels to be circumvented with relative ease.

    7. Parables are not intended to teach doctrine. They are neither literal nor can the secondary and tertiary implications be used to establish meaning, application, and truth. However, when it is convenient and in the occasional instance that a parable aligns nicely with TULIP it may be employed extensively and with all of its nuances and implications – such as the parable of the lost sheep.

    8. Because love in the New Testament is mostly spoken of in the epistles as being among the brethren, it is entirely proper and scholarly to restrict this love to only the Elect.

    9. Remain in the immediate context of the verse for understanding until such time as it does not say what you need it to say. At that time, you are free to appeal elsewhere, even if the epistle you are referring to had not yet been written and available to enlighten the first century reader.

    10. Spend as much time in the New Testament as possible. The parallels and symbolism in the Old Testament are inexact and should be treated primarily like parables (see #7).

    11. Whenever broader appeals to the love of God for all men are made by the non-Calvinist, demonstrate that this conflicts with sovereignty and emphasize the importance of sovereignty as carefully laid out in #1. Emphasize that God’s declarations of love are not universal and are mostly directed to Israel in the Old Testament and the Elect in the New Testament. Occasional contradictions can be explained through appeals to Ecclesiastes, sunshine, rain, eating, drinking, merriment, and the satisfaction of a good day’s work. In short, the pleasures of life extended to all people.

    12. Emphasize the ways in which a highly restrictive sense of “free will” is compatible with Calvinism and determinism; de-emphasize (or do not mention at all) the ways in which it is incompatible. Emphasize the Calvinist reading of Romans 9. De-emphasize passages such as Jer 18 and Ezk 18. The New Testament is the reliable and preferred method of discovering Old Testament meanings.

    13. As a prerequisite for given a fully transparent and comprehensive answer, along with all of its implications, the person asking must formulate the question perfectly. Do not volunteer anything other than what is asked. Do not tell outright lies but cleverly conceal the answers in ways that will be readily apparent code to fellow Calvinists – but unobservable to outsiders. For example, if asked whether any one can be saved, respond with “all who believe in Christ are saved.” For bonus points, cite one or more of the Five Solas. The word “grace” should be employed frequently, as it has special meaning for the Calvinist allowing the uninitiated to sense nothing unusual in the response while providing a virtual “wink and nod” to fellow Calvinists.

    14. Diminish the ways in which Jesus Christ exemplified the heart of God the Father for all men. Instead, remind yourself frequently that God loves the Elect differently and thus Christ is primarily showing the Father’s love for the Elect.

    15. First Corinthians 13 was written to the church at Corinth. The love described therein can be properly thought of as the love God has for the Elect. Because we do not know who is Elect and who is Non-Elect, it is appropriate that we show this love to everyone – primarily for the benefit of the Elect who is not yet saved. God, however, is not held to the same standard because He is “sovereign” and omniscient in the carefully described manner outlined in #1 above.

    1. To further clarify #15, God’s omniscience allows Him to know who the Non-Elect are. Unlike us, He can safely treat them with a different, more contemptuous love – approaching barely concealed hate or even outright hate. To love them in the same way as the Elect would be wasteful and serve no purpose – they’re bound for the Lake of Fire anyway. The same principle is employed with grace and faith, and is thus entirely consistent with how God may apply His love. If we were omniscient, 1 Cor 13 could come right out and plainly say “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love for the Elect

      However, for the reasons noted above, only God can demonstrate different kinds of love for people. We must behave “as if”* all are Elect in our demonstrations of love.

      * This, incidentally, will not be the only time that “as if” behavior will be required. See also “raising of children” at any Calvinist website and frequent admonitions to “raise them as if they are Elect” along with frequent encouragement that the children of the Elect are often themselves Elect – because Election is not meritorious or outcomes based on anything we can do (like raise children in the fear of the Lord) but the Elect have special favor as people of covenant and God frequently clusters them in families for reasons we can observe but not understand.

  23. Romans 9-11: And Israel’s lostness:
    In the first five chapters of Romans Paul firmly establishes the doctrine of justification by faith. Then, in chapter 6 he begins to deal with a serious question raised against this doctrine, namely – does grace encourage sin – which is thoroughly dealt with by Paul. But then in chapters 9-11, he deals with the issue where the great body of the Jewish nation have rejected the gospel, and are on the outside, lost. They are on the outside, and do not experience the fulfillment of the promises that the O.T prophets had predicted. Again, Paul deals with the issues! Here is a list of some of the verses that bring out the fact of Israel’s lostness in these chapters:

    Romans 9:2-3, Sets the tone, as it were.
    “I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,”

    Romans 9:6, Had God’s word failed? Was that the problem?
    “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;”

    Romans 9:27; The O.T. prophets had predicted that only a remnant would be saved. “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;”

    Romans 9:32,33, Paul shows where Israel stumbled.
    “They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written,
    “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE,
    AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

    Romans 10:1; Paul’s heart’s desire was to see Israel saved:
    “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”

    Romans 10:3, But Israel was its own worst enemy:
    “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”

    Romans 10:21, This verse says it all:
    “But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

    Romans 11:5; “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The great body of the Jewish nation was lost – only a “remnant” had responded to the gospel.

    Romans 11:20; “Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off..”

    Again and again in this section, Paul shows that his kinsmen according to the flesh were lost: Justification was by faith – the problem was Jewish obstinacy and unbelief! As a Jew, Paul was heart broken over this, (9:3; 10:1) as you might expect, yet, whatever you might think their motives were – it seems reasonable to think that some among his ‘Hebrew Christian brothers’ may have been heart broken too? After all, it was no small thing that in spite of their many privileges, the great body of the Jewish people were outside the kingdom of God.

  24. First time poster here,

    I really enjoyed reading this article and have been blessed by SOT101. After going through a number of hardships this year, I turned to the old google search to help build some theology around my suffering and seek to understand more of who God is for me in the midst of suffering. No surprises here, my search was returned with primarily Calvinistic resources. I read through a few articles, and instead of walking away feeling refreshed and comforted by their pastoral advice…I was left asking more questions and feeling quite depressed/confused. Praise God He met me where I was at in spite of their viewpoints/theology.

    I’d still like to pursue this area more. Are there any good resources/books/articles from SOT101’s perspective that deals with pain & suffering? In terms of Calvinism itself, should I steer away from their resources/preachers or chew the meat and spit the bones?

    1. Hello MStephens and welcome.
      From my perspective – one should not engage with Calvinism unless one is prepared to be lured into the spider’s web – which is designed to keep you there.

      Calvinism actually has two levels.
      There is the surface level – which Calvinists present to people with the hopes of drawing them into the system.
      And then there is the underlying level – which Calvinists intuitively seek to evade.

      You see – Calvinism is actually an evolution of Augustine’s doctrines.
      And Augustine’s doctrines evolved with a process which scholars call “Syncretism”

      For one thing – the doctrine holds that Good and Evil are “Co-Equal”, “Co-Complimentary”, and “Co-Necessary”.

      Augustine stated it this way:

      -quote
      “And because this orderly arrangement maintains the harmony of the universe by this very contrast, it comes about that evil things must need be. In thi