Is John 6 a “Gotcha!” Verse?

by Brian Wagner, PhD

Reasons from Context and Grammar that John 6:44 Does not Mean Irresistible Grace to An Eternally Elect Few

John 6:44 ουδεις δυναται ελθειν προς με εαν μη ο πατηρ ο πεμψας με ελκυση αυτον και εγω αναστησω αυτον τη εσχατη ημερα

John 6:44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me should draw him; and I, I will raise him up [in] the last day.

John 6:44 is not a gotcha verse if one recognizes that the one drawn is not logically guaranteed in that grammatical construction to either come or to be raised up just because he is drawn. Only the one drawn and who comes is promised to be raised up. Even if “drag” is used here or in John 12:32… the meaning is only to drag to a location… There is no change made in the person just by being drawn. Once they are brought to the location or before the person, like Christ… they have to make a decision what to do next and how to respond to the options they have in that location or before that person! 

The same Greek word for “drawn” is used in the LXX in Neh 9:30… and that group of Israelites, though drawn by God to the opportunity to obey Him, did not do it. The Hebrew word for “drawn” used in Neh 9:30 is also used in Hos 11:4-5, which again is showing that Israel was “drawn” by God with love to Himself, but they refused Him. Paul recalls this kind of drawing with love, using the words of Isaiah where God said – “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people” Rom 10:21. Does God only play act His love already knowing it will only be rejected? Not my God.

Paul and Silas were “drawn” before the rulers of Philippi and then thrown into prison (Acts 16:19)… there they were free to either groan and complain or pray and sing! We know what they freely chose to do!  I actually prefer the idea of “drag”. God graciously “drags” us to a place of decision. We cannot escape that “grace”, and we are responsible for how we freely respond to it… making us clearly without excuse at the final judgment of God!

Reasons from Logic

If you are somewhat familiar with logic… the phrase, “no one can come” is distributed. But the phrases, “unless the father draws him” and “I will raise him up the last day” are not distributed.

There might be other prerequisites to coming not mentioned in this verse… so drawing is not said to be the only one… just a necessary one. And there may be others raised up who have not been drawn or who haven’t come… like infants who die before their conscience matures, for example.

That’s why you cannot make a verse say more than it says. It does not say all who are drawn come, or all who are drawn will be raised up. That might be true… but the verse doesn’t say it. And other verses like Neh 9:30 clearly show that being drawn does not always result in coming.

Drawing is necessary to be “able” to come. But the “him” that is raised up is not logically connected to just being drawn or just to being “able” to come, but to the one who actually comes. 

There is an assumption being made by both sides who argue this verse. One side thinks drawing must result in coming and the other side thinks drawing only enables coming but that there are also other conditions that must be met before his coming and being raised up. The context reveals those other conditions. 

John 6:40, 44, 54 NKJV – “I will raise him up at the last day”

40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” … 

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

54 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

So according to context, what are some of the prerequisites for being raised up at the last day? Seeing the Son, Believing in Him, Having everlasting life, Being drawn by the Father, Being able to come to Christ, [Coming to Christ], Eating Christ’s flesh, Drinking His blood, Having everlasting life… right?

The brackets around Coming to Christ as an assumption. Was that appropriate and assumed in Jesus’ words? Isn’t it false to assume just being drawn by the Father guarantees being raised up, and just being able to come to Christ guarantees being raised up? Isn’t Jesus saying those drawn who do come are the ones that will be raised up? Or is He really saying that all who are drawn and made able to come must irresistibly end up coming. Is that a grammatical choice open to question in Jesus’ words?

I believe the listeners would have never thought – “Oh Jesus just promised that all who are drawn will have to come and then will be raised up”.  They would have thought, I believe,  “Jesus just said the Father must draw if we are going to be able to come… and if we come (responding to and not resisting that drawing), we will be raised up.”

Antecedent Pronouns

The “him” of “draw him” is a personal pronoun that makes one have to ask what is its antecedent that this “him” is relating to. The antecedent would be an understood “him” of the one who actually comes. And the “him” who will be raised up must therefore be tied back to the understood “him” who actually comes also.

The interpretation is just plain wrong that breaks this connection between each “him” with the understood “him” who actually comes, and then makes the false assumption that the “him” who is raised up relates only to the “him” that is drawn. It is also a false assumption that the “him” who is drawn doesn’t have an antecedent.

And you cannot grammatically divorce the “him” in the last clause phrase from the “him” in the second clause, and you cannot grammatically divorce the “him” in the second clause from the “no-one can come” in the first clause. Ask any grammarian at your church!

Listening Without Calvinist Headphones

The real issue is not trying to make the passage say more than it does. But Calvinists do just that, trampling all over the rules of logic.  To get exactly what they want from this verse in a very clear way, Jesus would have had to say it this way.  “Only those the Father draws are able to and will eventually come to me, and the one He draws I will raise up in the last day.” 

I know the Calvinist thinks he hears Jesus saying those very words, because he has his special Calvinist headphones on that distort what’s being said to make it fit his deterministic theology.  But Jesus is speaking to a crowd of unbelievers, telling them how important it is to see Him as not just someone to give them food that perishes, but that He is giving His flesh for “the life of the world”.  He is telling them how important it is to come to Him and believe in Him, and that the Father is personally involved in making that possible.  The context is wooing an unregenerate crowd, not teaching a bunch of reformed theologians!

The Calvinist indeed has trouble fitting his fantasy regeneration into John 6:44. If drawing is after this fantasy irresistible change of will, why does the Father need to still “drag” the person. If the drawing is before this fantasy irresistible change of the will, wouldn’t that be a waste of time dragging someone supposedly dead and with total inability? Why drag them and with what does God supposedly drag someone before regeneration?

True Love Relationship

The Calvinist wants his “regeneration” to be like a drug given to a woman who consistently refused the proposal of a man, even hated him… but when the drug is given, she immediately and irresistibly accepts his next proposal. That doesn’t sound like how a true love relationship is formed to me.

Even if everyone is born with a disposition to eventually hate God, if God does not ever intervene, that does not mean God is so impotent that He is unable or unwilling to make Himself sufficiently desirable to each person at some time in their lives, giving them a free-choice whether to pursue a relationship with Him or not. That He does make Himself sufficiently desirable to each person at some time in their lives, giving them a free-choice whether to pursue a relationship with Him or not, is exactly how a true love relationship is formed. And that is consistent with what Scripture teaches about what God does in pursuing such love. Praise His Name that God does reach out sufficiently like that in love, to each person a few times in their lives, and willing to be rejected (Job 33:14-30, John 1:9, Acts 17:26-27, Rom 1, 2, 10:18, 11:32, Heb 3:7-8, 2Pet 3:9).

The Calvinist just cannot believe God would be able to suffer any kind of relational loss or rejection like that. The Calvinist wants to believe that if God wanted the love of His creatures, He would sovereignly make it certain to happen before even creating the will of the creature. The Calvinist has a hard time believing God can even experience grief, which is related to loss. But the Scripture clearly teaches God can suffer grief and loss and has suffered grief and loss (Gen 6:6) to make such a free-will love relationship possible! And He does grieve when He is rejected! Praise His Name!

233 thoughts on “Is John 6 a “Gotcha!” Verse?

  1. Brian writes “John 6:44 is not a gotcha verse if one recognizes that the one drawn is not logically guaranteed in that grammatical construction to either come or to be raised up just because he is drawn.”

    The Calvinist understands 6:44 in the context of 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” Here, “gives” precedes “will come” with “will come” being the effectual. result. That God “gives” ensures the end result “will come.” Christ drives the point home by adding, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

    6:44 has , “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;..” Here, God’s “drawing” precedes the person coming. Both God’s “giving” and God’s “drawing” precede the person “coming.”

    So, we have ” All that the Father gives Me, God will draw to me, and the person given and drawn will come to Me,…”

    Brian would have us read 6:44 as, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and [if he comes] I will raise him up at the last day.” This reading is disallowed because we know from 6:37 that those God gives to Christ will definitely come to Him. We would not understand 6:37 to say, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who [decides to] come to Me I will by no means cast out.”

    Combined with 6:37, the one drawn is logically guaranteed to both come and be raised up because he is a gift and God’s drawing provides the means God uses to convey His gift to Christ.

    1. You’re getting closer, Roger. The Father “draws” does precede coming and is necessary to it. And the Father “gives” is a present tense activity in Jesus day that also precedes coming is necessary and sufficient to it. The context illuminates other necessary activities that Jesus explained to the crowd, like looking to the Son, believing in Him, learning from the Father. It is easy to see that the giving of the Father must include all those necessary prerequisites happening first or being a part of the sufficient cause of giving individuals to the Son and their coming to Him.

      But a precreation “giving” is excluded by the Present Indicative form of the verb “gives” in vs 37. It can’t be eisegeted into that verse. You are also eisegeting the idea of drawing as irresistible, which I dealt with thoroughly in the post.

      1. Hey Brian, I like your love – relationship analogy. This really is the difference between being “compelled” or being “drawn” to someone through love. I was recently watching bits and pieces of the Vampire Diaries (I know, it’s amazing what you’ll watch when there’s nothing else to watch) – But the Vampire sometimes looks into a person’s eyes in order to “compel” them to do whatever they want. That could be to love them, or just serve them, or even to die for them. And the person really seems to love them, and really wants to serve and die for them – even though everybody knows that this love is not real. They only love them because they have been compelled from the beginning to want them.

        On the other hand, there is one Vampire who is good and refuses to do this. He prefers to “draw” people to himself in real friendship and love, through genuine kindness, respect, and love. And even in the show, everybody recognizes that this kind of friendship and love is far superior, because it’s true in every respect.

        It’s amazing what you’ll find even on a silly Vampire show.😎 Okay, I’ll stop watching it now.🧐

      2. Aidan writes, “This really is the difference between being “compelled” or being “drawn” to someone through love.”

        I believe this was in response to Brian’s statement, “The Calvinist wants his “regeneration” to be like a drug given to a woman who consistently refused the proposal of a man, even hated him… but when the drug is given, she immediately and irresistibly accepts his next proposal. That doesn’t sound like how a true love relationship is formed to me.”

        Brian’s characterization of the Calvinist concept of regeneration to a drug is fairly accurate. That is discussion about the Calvinist use of a dead human body as an analogy for the person who is spiritually dead. Let’s grant that it is a poor analogy as the non-Calvinists claim and use the drug analogy.

        So, let’s just accept what John 3 tells us. Jesus said that a person could neither see the kingdom of heaven nor enter the kingdom of heaven except by first being born again. Jesus also said, ““Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. 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.” By this, Jesus tells us that the work of the Holy Spirit is done without the knowledge of the person. All the person acted upon by the Holy Spirit knows is that things are different and he doesn’t know why until he reads John 3. The work of the Holy Spirit is an act of love and it is forced on the person without asking permission.

        The work of the Holy Spirit to give a person a new birth could be likened to giving a person a drug. In both cases, the person is changed and the change is irresistibly wrought on the person. The person has no idea what happened – all he knows is that one minute he hates God and the next minute he doesn’t.

      3. I see the work of the Spirit different to you. In reference to the new birth, I see the Holy Spirit ultimately working through the instrumentality of the Word. A person may either hear the word preached, or read it for himself – but the Spirit works through the word. You can’t visibly see the Spirit, but you see the effects in the conviction and conversion of a person. There are two passages of scripture which are parallel passages, which show us that when we fill ourselves with the word, we fill ourselves with the Spirit. In fact these passages instruct us to do so.

        Colossians 3:16 NASB
        “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

        Ephesians 5:18-20
        “.. but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”

      4. Aidan writes, “In reference to the new birth, I see the Holy Spirit ultimately working through the instrumentality of the Word. A person may either hear the word preached, or read it for himself – but the Spirit works through the word. You can’t visibly see the Spirit, but you see the effects in the conviction and conversion of a person.”

        I agree. Especially, “you see the effects [of the Spirit] in the conviction and conversion of a person.” That explains why some people hear the gospel and receive faith and some do not.

      5. rhutchin
        you see the effects [of the Spirit] in the conviction and conversion of a person….etc

        br.d
        Actually the word “conversion” is out of place in the Calvinist context – because it infers a degree of neurological autonomy which does not exist in Calvinism.

        The word “diversion” or perhaps “re-programmed” are more fitting terms in the context of an external mind – who controls every neurological impulse that will ever appear withing a person’s brain. Every impulse – from cradle to grave – is predestined.

        There is no functional autonomy of any kind in Calvinism.

      6. br.d writes, ‘Actually the word “conversion” is out of place in the Calvinist context – because it infers a degree of neurological autonomy which does not exist in Calvinism.”

        Actually, neurological independence.

        Then, “There is no functional autonomy of any kind in Calvinism.”

        Only one person can be autonomous at the same time. Under Calvinism, God is autonomous, so man cannot be autonomous at the same time.

      7. br.d
        Actually the word “conversion” is out of place in the Calvinist context – because it infers a degree of neurological autonomy which does not exist in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, neurological independence.

        br.d
        Calvinists do love thier DOUBLE-SPEAK!
        **AS-IF** a neurological impulse can be “independent” of the decree which CAUSES it!

        There is no functional autonomy of any kind in Calvinism.

        rhuchin
        Only one person can be autonomous at the same time.

        br.d
        A wonderful example of a Calvinists attempt at rational thinking! :-]

        rhutchin
        Under Calvinism, God is autonomous, so man cannot be autonomous at the same time.

        br.d
        And under Calvinism – man’s functionality are TOTALLY dependent up on a supernatural decree.
        Therefore creaturely functional “independence” is a Calvinist’s ILLUSION following John Calvin’s instructions
        -quote
        “go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        Its called DOUBLE-THINK! 😉

      8. Yep! Some people when they hear the truth are “cut to the heart ” and ask “what shall I do?” (Acts 2:37). While others, although “cut to the heart,” unfortunately ‘gnash their teeth and stop their ears’ (cf. Acts 7:54,57). That certainly shows that, when convicted by the truth, some choose to hear and believe, while some do not.

      9. Aidan writes, “That certainly shows that, when convicted by the truth, some choose to hear and believe, while some do not.”

        Those who do not would seem to have been less convicted than the others. Could we not attribute that result to the Holy Spirit who convicts in the first place?

      10. Hey Roger, while we are all born like butter, over time we tend to change. Some people remain more like butter, while others become more like wet clay.The Sun comes up and melts some, but hardens the others. If there are different levels between the butter and the clay the Sun will find it out. I guess it is only when the Sun comes up we truly find out what we are. Either way, I think Jesus’ analogy is better in the parable of the soils.

      11. Very nice Aidan!
        I like the sun analogy!

        Very much like the scriptures reference to the furnace of affliction, and things tried by fire.

        And Calvinism manifests what it is made of (DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS) under the scrutiny – of the light! :-]

        Those who have hold of TRUTH – will not seek to hide what they have hold of, from the scrutiny of the light.
        Because under the light, it can be clearly seen that it is of God.

        And those who seek to hide what they have hold of – from the scrutiny of the light – do so because under the light, it can be seen to be not of God.

        That principle taught by Jesus – serves us wonderfully – enabling us to understand something is wrong with Calvinism.

        Because we can clearly witness how Calvinist are heavily reliant upon SEMANTIC word games and SEMANTIC tricks.
        All designed to hide certain aspects of Calvinism from the scrutiny of the light

        SEMANTIC word tricks – designed to masquerade its “Evil” parts behind some kind of mask.

        And this is no wonder – for we know the god of darkness also presents as an “angel of light”.

        Thank the Lord for SOT101!! :-]

      12. Aidan writes, “while we are all born like butter, over time we tend to change. Some people remain more like butter, while others become more like wet clay.T”

        The Calvinist would say that all people are born like clay – without faith and totally depraved..

        Then, “The Sun comes up and melts some, but hardens the others….I guess it is only when the Sun comes up we truly find out what we are.”

        I like that. The sun (or the Son) shines on all (as Brian says) and some melt like butter while others harden into stone. This is what Paul said, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 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,even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” and “God says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy….Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.” It is God who gives faith to one (softening him like butter) but not to another (hardening him like stone). A good analogy.

      13. rhutchin
        The Calvinist would say………

        br.d
        Here is wisdom

        An over-arching characteristic of Calvinism is its peculiar form of SEMANTICS

        Statements are very carefully crafted – to obscure the specter – of concepts deemed distasteful to the Calvinist mind.
        Concepts which are inherent within the doctrine.
        Which must be carefully hidden behind a mask of euphemistic terms and phrases.

        As you learn how to de-code Calvinist statements – you start to understand – those concepts the Calvinist finds distasteful about his doctrine. And why he cannot allow himself to divulge them.

      14. rhutchin
        Brian’s characterization of the Calvinist concept of regeneration to a drug is fairly accurate…..that is a discussion about the Calvinist use of a dead human…..etc

        br.d
        How consistently the Calvinist forgets that EVERYTHING in Calvinism is RENDERED-CERTAIN by a supernatural decree.

        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) the state of nature – at any instance in time – is CAUSED by a supernatural decree.

        Now everyone knows that drugs CAUSE people to behave in certain ways – and that is what makes the drug analogous.

        But persons in this case are BORN WITH A HATE DRUG.
        And at some point Calvin’s god SWITCHES THE DRUG to one which CAUSES the person to experience what is perceived as love.

        So to make the analogy more TRUTH-TELLING – we recognized two drugs are involved.

      15. br,d writes, “How consistently the Calvinist forgets that EVERYTHING in Calvinism is RENDERED-CERTAIN by a supernatural decree.”

        Molinism helps to illustrate this. The world that God chooses to create under Molinism is by “supernatural decree” and everything is thereby rendered certain. The world that is created by God under Molinism is the world described by Calvinism.

        Then, ‘But persons in this case are BORN WITH A HATE DRUG.”

        Or the sin nature devoid of righteousness as a consequence of Adam’s sin.

        Then, “And at some point Calvin’s god SWITCHES THE DRUG to one which CAUSES the person to experience what is perceived as love.”

        This through the new birth by the Holy Spirit.

      16. br,d
        How consistently the Calvinist forgets that EVERYTHING in Calvinism is RENDERED-CERTAIN by a supernatural decree.”

        rhutchin
        Molinism helps to illustrate this. …..

        br.d
        Now Molinism helps so illustrate how consistently Calvinists forget the primary core of their own doctrine???
        Too funny!! :-]

        rhutchin
        The world that God chooses to create under Molinism is by “supernatural decree” and everything is thereby rendered certain.

        br.d
        Here it is – yet again – a Calvinist trying to make something (in this case Molinism) in his own image!!!

        You won’t find one authoritative quote from Molina or any expert on Molina – to the effect that it affirms Universal Divine Causal Determinism. To the contrary Molina affirms Libertarian Freedom.

        So much for the rhutchin making Molinism in his own image :-]

        rhutchin
        The world that is created by God under Molinism is the world described by Calvinism.

        br.d
        Calvinist lesson #65
        When all else fails – make up stuff!! :-]

        So the analogy here of the DRUG being CAUSAL – on that analogy the person would be BORN WITH A HATE DRUG.”

        rhutchin
        Or the sin nature devoid of righteousness as a consequence of Adam’s sin.

        br.d
        How consistently the Calvinist forgets that EVERYTHING in Calvinism is RENDERED-CERTAIN by a supernatural decree.

        So back to the DRUG analogy:
        At some point Calvin’s god SWITCHES THE HATE DRUG to a DRUG which CAUSES the person to experience what is perceived as love.”

        rhutchin
        This through the new birth by the Holy Spirit.

        br.d
        And John Calvin states – Calvin’s god
        -quote
        INSTILLS INTO THEIR MINDS a sense such as can be felt WITHOUT the spirit of adoption.

        And John Calvin teaches – the population of Calvinists with this FALSE PERCEPTION of love – is a -quote HUGE MIXTURE

        Perhaps that explains why Calvinists are constantly forgetting the core proposition of their own doctrine. 😛

      17. Great analogy Aidan! And it is true that there is a common sense, intuitive understanding of what a covenant love between two people is like.

      18. Nope, Aidan, we can still freely suppress some truths even after regeneration. 😉

      19. Brian: “Nope, Aidan, we can still freely suppress some truths even after regeneration.”

        Definitely, Brian, I thunk we call it ‘lying to yerself’ 😏😮

    2. rhutchin
      The Calvinist understands 6:44 in the context of ……etc

      br.d
      Actually the Theological Determinist (aka Calvinist) understands EVERY verse in accordance to Calvinism’s most sacred and canon proposition……through the filter of Theological Determinism.

      Where a THEOS – at the foundation of the world – before creatures are created – **Universally** Causally Determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass.

      So – since the Calvinist mind processes EVERY verse through that one doctrinal filter – it really is superfluous to say verse-1 is understood through verse-2, is understood through verse-3….etc since the whole process incorporates reading EVERY verse through Calvin’s sacred doctrine.

      Additionally we can observe, the Calvinist mind has been conditioned to ALTER the words of many verses – automatically while reading those verses.

      This becomes manifest – when Calvinists quote verses.
      They may (without thinking) recite the ALTERED version – exactly the way the mind has been conditioned to ALTER the words of the text while reading it.

      The SOT101 reader can observe that here – while reading Calvinist posts.

  2. Hi Dr Wagner, ( I don’t know how to start a new line so I’m hooking on to this one.). I just listened to your and Dr. Flowers discussion from 3/29 on Ephesians 1. Thank you it was a great blessing. I believe in eternal security but there are a couple of verses that I have trouble with, Col 1:23 and Hebrews 3:14. Can you explain these two verses relative to eternal security?

    1. Hi Larry – Here are some initial thoughts – Col 1, 23 And please call me Brian! 😉

      εἴγε ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει τεθεμελιωμένοι – Literally: “if indeed you are remaining with faith having been grounded”

      This is a great example of a first class conditional protasis – where the truth is being assumed by the speaker, which in this case is – “you are indeed remaining with faith”. But Paul is also adding a reason for his assumption of this truth, or at least another assumption he believes is also true and is related to this present action of remaining with faith. Paul believes that these are people who have “been grounded” in, and are not being moved from, the “hope of the gospel”.

      The conditions that describe the reality of the salvation, is what Paul is talking about. He is not suggesting that future salvation is conditioned by those conditions. 😉 He would have used a third class conditional sentence if that were the case.

      This is not a warning passage. We don’t get saved by faith nor do we stay saved by faith. We get saved by God through faith and by that salvation He has changed us, grounded us, so that we continue to believe. It is an unconditional promise as seen in this next verse.

      1 Corinthians 1:8-9 NKJV — [Jesus] 👉will also confirm you to the end,👈 that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Hebrews 3:12-14

      How can one of the “brethren” (3:12-14) be called “brethren” and have “an evil heart of unbelief” at the same time? The term “brethren” must therefore include those not saved (Jewish brethren or professing brethren)… and in this context they have not yet entered into the rest of salvation. The verb – “made partakers” (perfect tense) in verse 14 – which means it was a finished event in the past and continues into the present. That finished event is linked to another finished event in the past that happened before it – that is to “hold fast… [their] confidence until the end”.

      The change to becoming a partaker of Christ was made and continues, “if” the other change was made and was a true one. The Aorist subjunctive of “hold fast” points to a completed action as a fulfilled condition to create the completed action of being a partaker of Christ. I see the meaning of – ἐάνπερ τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς ὑποστάσεως μέχρι τέλους βεβαίαν κατάσχωμεν – as “if indeed the beginning of the (this) substance (this established relationship with Christ) until an (the) end, we should have secured (already).” The beginning of this “substance”, our relationship with Christ, becoming a partaker of Him, was the new birth. If we secured that beginning of that relationship through faith, which is a relationship with the end already in view in it, then we have truly become partakers of Christ.

      The passage is not about how to get saved, or how to stay saved, but how to recognize if we have truly gotten saved.

    2. Hi Larry – Here’s an alternative view!

      The mass of English translations overwhelmingly make this salvation in Col. 1:23 – conditional. Here’s just a sample of a few:

      ASV: “if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel..”

      AMPC: [And this He will do] provided that you continue to stay with and in the faith [in Christ], well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope [which rests on and is inspired by] the glad tidings (the Gospel),

      CSB: if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.

      ESV: if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard,

      ISV: However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard,

      NASB: if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard,

      NABRE: provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard,

      NKJV: if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

      RSV: provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

      Which throws light on passages like 1 Cor. 1:8-9, which speaks about God being faithful. Of course we know that God will always be faithful, but will we? The preservation of God until the end is not unconditional; perseverance in the faith is necessary for our salvation(Col. 1:22-23). God will be faithful, but we must persevere and continue in the faith, without being moved away from the hope of the gospel.

      Hebrews 3:14

      Who is the writer speaking to? He is speaking to Christians!

      Hebrews 3:1
      Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;

      Notice: They are: 1) “holy brethren” 2) “partakers of a heavenly calling” 3) Jesus is, the Apostle and High Priest of OUR confession.Therefore the term brethren refers to Christians throughout this whole passage.

      Hebrews 1:6
      but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, IF we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. The “we” in this verse is still the same “we” in the introduction in verse 1.

      Hebrews 1:7
      Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

      “Today if you hear His voice,

      Note the word “Therefore” immediately in verse 7, after verse 6. In other words, his instruction here is still to the Christians of verses 1-6.

      Hebrews 1:12-14
      12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

      They are the same Christian “brethren” of the context of the chapter. Notice how v.14 is very similar to v.6! The warning here is to remain faithful until the end.

  3. What if the sculpture is referring to the APOSTLES. Would that not throw a wrench in to CALVINIISM

    John 6:65-70
    And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father
    As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

    “”could it be his disciples withdrew because they were not chosen as APOSTLES “”

    So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

    JOHN 6: 70….. Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

    1. Patrick: ?John 6:65-70
      And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father
      As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

      “”could it be his disciples withdrew because they were not chosen as APOSTLES “”

      We have{
      60 has, “many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”…
      64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
      65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
      66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

      Jesus said, “there are some of you who do not believe.” Later, we see that “many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” So the “many” in v65 who went back were comprised of the “some” in v64. They would have left because they did not believe; it would have nothing to do with being chosen as apostles. The issue, then is whether the “some” of whom Jesus spoke were the same as the “many” who left. I don’t see anything that tells us but I take them to be the same group of people. Given that Jesus said “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father” I think those who left had not been granted the ability to come (believe in Jesus) so that those who left did not believe and that is why they left.

      1. rhutchin
        I think those who left had not been granted the ability to come (believe in Jesus) so that those who left did not believe and that is why they left.

        br.d
        Well – since in Calvinism – no neurological impulse can come to pass within the human brain – unless Calvin’s god decrees that neurological impulse – the notion of “granting ability” would be FALSE because “ability” is predicated on a degree of human AUTONOMY which does not exist in Calvinism.

        More accurate to say – Calvin’s god decrees every neurological impulse – and by that mechanism MAKES humans do what he wants them to do.

      2. br.d writes, “the notion of “granting ability” would be FALSE because “ability” is predicated on a degree of human AUTONOMY which does not exist in Calvinism.”

        John 6:65 reads, “And Jesus said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

        As it is God who grants a person the ability to come to Jesus, and the person is not able to obtain this ability absent God’s granting of it, it is the notion of human autonomy that is falsified by this verse.

      3. br.d
        the notion of “granting ability” would be FALSE because “ability” is predicated on a degree of human AUTONOMY which does not exist in Calvinism.”

        rhutchin
        John 6:65 reads, “And Jesus said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

        br.d
        Thank you for making my point!
        Another example of how Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) just doesn’t line up with the narrative of scripture.

        One can say (in loose terminology) that when they are turned on their computer – they granted it some ability.
        But the truth is – that computer is simply doing what it was DETERMINED to do.

        There is no such thing as AUTONOMOUS ability in the DETERMINISTIC world of a computer
        And no such thing as AUTONOMOUS ability in the DETERMINISTIC world of Calvinism.

  4. Brian,

    Thanks for taking the time to put this into a nutshell. Obviously it could be a longer paper!.

    Paul regularly talks this way about himself. He “pursuades, convinces, reasons with.” I will take one of your paragraphs and put in bracket these other words that would fit. They also show the error of Calvinism.

    “If drawing [reasoning with, convincing, persuading] is after this fantasy irresistible change of will, why does the Father [Paul] need to still “drag” [reasoning with, convincing, persuading] the person [and why does Paul claim credit for pursuading them?].

    If the drawing [reasoning with, convincing, persuading] is before this fantasy irresistible change of the will, wouldn’t that be a waste of time dragging [trying to convince or reason with] someone supposedly dead and with total inability? Why drag [reason with] them and with what does God [Paul] supposedly drag [convince] someone before regeneration?”

    1. FOH writes, “Paul regularly talks this way about himself. He “pursuades, convinces, reasons with.” I will take one of your paragraphs and put in bracket these other words that would fit. They also show the error of Calvinism.”

      Everyone but FOH seems to recognize that Paul also said, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” Paul does not claim credit for the effectiveness of his persuasive efforts.

      Then, “If the drawing [reasoning with, convincing, persuading] is before this fantasy irresistible change of the will, wouldn’t that be a waste of time dragging [trying to convince or reason with] someone supposedly dead and with total inability?

      Of course it would be a waste of time prior to regeneration. That is why regeneration is the first act in dragging. As Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      Then, “Why drag [reason with] them and with what does God [Paul] supposedly drag [convince] someone before regeneration?”

      Nothing – it is a wasted effort.

      As Peter explained, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”

      It is after regeneration that God (working through Paul, Peter, Apollos) drags the person to Christ through the gospel as Paul wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing [unregenerate], but to us who are being saved [regenerate] it is the power of God.

      1. Well – of course – none of that is lost on FOH

        He’s just learned how to see through Calvinism’s world of DOUBLE-SPEAK! :-]

  5. Thank you for all your work and research. I have a simple understanding of what I think Jesus meant: we simply read the next verse and Jesus explains how this drawing occurs. Jesus says in verse 45:” …. everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”

    What Jesus is saying is that God’s word originates with God the Father and it is by hearing and believing what God the Father says that we will come to Jesus and be saved. (See 5:24) (every word that Jesus spoke was from the Father).(John 12:48-50).

    So in simple terms what Jesus is saying in John 6:44 and 45 is simply that if we listen to the Words of God the Father and learn from him, we will be drawn to Jesus and not Buddha or Alah or some other god or some false philosophy.

    Additional support for this reading is found in John 6:65 (the Father has to enable us to come to Jesus by creating the Word and giving it to us to take in.) The words Jesus spoke (given him by the Father) are the words of eternal life. John 6:68. In the John 12 passage Jesus explains why he only spoke the words the Father gave him. He says :

    “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know his command leads to eternal life.”

    The reason the command to speak only the words of the Father leads to eternal life, is that it is by listening to and learning from the Father that we come to Jesus, according to John 6:45. All John 6:44 is saying is that there is no other way to come to Jesus but by the words of the Father that draw us to Jesus.

    Thank you for this wonderful ministry
    Galen Watje

    1. Galen writes, ‘So in simple terms what Jesus is saying in John 6:44 and 45 is simply that if we listen to the Words of God the Father and learn from him, we will be drawn to Jesus…”

      So, now you need to explain why some people hear and learn from the Father and some do not when both groups hear the same gospel. Could the explanation be 6:37 – Those that the Father gives to Jesus are those that He draws to Jesus and the ones drawn by God are the ones who hear and learn from the Father resulting in their coming to Jesus?

      1. The natural verse one must appeal to is John 12:32:

        “and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

        Surely one must either assert Universalism or else acknowledge that, although all men will be drawn to Jesus – per his own words – not all will believe and be saved. One cannot simply insert one’s own preferences as to what terms mean or imply. I have yet to hear a reasonable Calvinist explanation as to why this verse does not inform their assumptions on who is drawn and what such drawing means. What it means may be arguable; who is drawn, cannot. Or is this where the Calvinist play his ‘all sorts of men’ card, which in this case is unlikely, as there is no suggestion in this passage of Jesus discussing Jews vs. Gentiles; rather, he is pointing to the need for faith rather than being under the Law.

      2. TS00 writes, “Or is this where the Calvinist play his ‘all sorts of men’ card, which in this case is unlikely, as there is no suggestion in this passage of Jesus discussing Jews vs. Gentiles; rather, he is pointing to the need for faith rather than being under the Law.”

        John 12:
        20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.
        21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
        22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
        23 But Jesus answered them, saying,…

        So, we have Jesus speaking after being told that some Greeks wanted to see Him. So, there is a basis for the Calvinist to say that Jesus had both Jews and Greeks (gentiles) in mind when He began to speak.

        We also know that it is Jesus who draws people to Himself by His death in John 12 while it is God who draws people to Jesus in John 6. We also know that “all,” meaning each and every person, are not drawn to Jesus because there are many, even billions today, who never hear the gospel and have no idea who Jesus is or what He did. Given that and the context where the Greeks seeking to talk to Jesus prompt Jesus to speak, it seems more likely that Jesus meant that He would draw both Jews and gentiles to Him by His death – something we know to be a true statement.

        That is why the NET Bible translates the verse, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”” with the explanatory note, “Grk “all.” The word “people” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for stylistic reasons and for clarity (cf. KJV “all men”).”

      3. ruthchin
        So, now you need to explain why some people hear and learn from the Father and some do not when both groups hear the same gospel

        br.d
        For the Calvinist – this is explained as: The Holy Spirit is not smart enough to know the difference between the word “ALL” and the word “SOME”!

        But John Calvin had a magic-decoder-ring, which allows him to know -which verses in the Bible – the word “ALL” really means “SOME” 😉

      4. Hey BrD… A note on John 12:32 – …πάντας ἑλκύσω… literally “all [men] I will draw”

        Thayers: STRONGS NT 3956: πᾶς – II. without a substantive;
        1. masculine and feminine every one, any one: in the singular, without any addition…. Plural, πάντες, without any addition, all men….

        Sounds like no one is left out from being drawn to me. But being drawn does not prove that one must get saved once they are confronted by Jesus! Neh 9:30 uses in the LXX the same word for “draw” used here in John 12:32, and 6:44. And much of Israel, though they were all drawn, did not come.

      5. Excellent point Brian!
        But somehow behind all of the insistence otherwise – I don’t think the Calvinist cares what the text really says.
        He only cares about making the text appear to communicate – what he needs it to communicate.

        As it has been well noted – the Calvinist quite often takes the text beyond what it actually says.
        I think Calvinists simply use the language of scripture the same “sophist” way they use all language.

        Making a god in one’s own image – is part of the spiritual inheritance – John Calvin bequeaths to his children.
        So making the scripture say what they want it to say – or mean what they want it to mean – is just part of their skill-set. :-]

      6. It’s amazing BrD how even in the face of grammatical/lexical evidence to the contrary there is a denial of what is actually written. When the word “all” does not have a definite article, like – “the all” – and when it does not have a noun that it modifies (for there is no word “people” in this text), Thayers clearly says that “all” then means a totality – everyone, without any addition, is what is in view. There is no such thing as “all kinds of Jews and Gentiles” in this construction, but only every Jew and Gentile, every male and female, every young and old – all!

      7. I totally agree Brian!
        But they can’t allow the text to say what it actually says – when that doesn’t give them what they want.

        We can discern when people are wrapping themselves in the U.S. flag, or the U.S. constitution, while hiding their true agenda.

        We can discern when people are wrapping themselves in female reproductive rights, while hiding their true agenda.

        We can discern how it is the case that as people deploy such tactics – they really don’t care about the thing they are wrapping themselves in. They are just using it as a strategy to deploy – because it works to get them what they want.

        Calvinism’s strong suit – and its power – throughout its evolution and its history – has been its “sophist” expertise in language.

        IMHO – to assume they would not use that expertise in their handling of the language of scripture is simply irrational thinking.

        BTW: Thank you very much – and the Lord bless you for your contribution!!!

      8. brianwagner writes, ” When the word “all” does not have a definite article, like – “the all” – and when it does not have a noun that it modifies (for there is no word “people” in this text), Thayers clearly says that “all” then means a totality – everyone, without any addition, is what is in view.”

        The issue then becomes, How do you define “all” as a “totality.” You could define it as the totality of individuals in the world. You could also define it as Jews and gentiles as the world is comprised of Jews and gentiles in totality. There is also Revelation 5. “For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,…” Here, the totality of all can be defined as every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

        So, Jesus could have meant that He would draw each and every individual to Him, or that He would draw both Jews and gentiles to Him or that He would draw people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

        However, we seem to agree that Jesus draws people to Himself through the proclamation of the gospel and experience tells us that the gospel has never been preached to all individuals in the world, at least not in the past and certainly not in today’s world. That would seem to negate defining “all” as all individuals.

      9. What about those who supposedly “never heard”?

        The premise or question – “What about those who have never heard” is a non-question (except for infants who die before their conscience is mature enough). Paul says clearly all have heard – Rom 10:18 NKJV – But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”

        Since God makes plain “in” a person that He exists (Rom 1:19) and brings conviction of sin by the work of the law written in their heart (Rom 2:15), and also that the true Light gives such light to each person (John 1:9), wouldn’t a person be able to call out to God at some point in humility – “God be merciful to me a sinner”? Jesus said that the man who did just that went home justified (Luke 18:13-14). Elihu also told Job the same thing, that God gives His righteousness to the one who prays in repentance (Job 33:26-27).

        It appears this has always been the minimalist way made by God to approach Him for salvation… expressing simple trust in His mercy. We know perhaps more facts about how that mercy was provided in Christ… but childlike trust is not so much the knowledge of facts but dependence only on the God who can meet the need of forgiveness.

        Ps 19:4 was the verse that Paul was quoting in Rom 10:18, and it was not from his day, but from 1000 years earlier. It is so sad when people don’t see how gracious God has been and continues to be to everyone fearfully and wonderfully made in His image since the dawn of creation. He makes every person with a plan to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, but not an irresistible plan.

        Here are some other verses that show God has always had all the world in view. And we might be surprised how much saving truth about Him was spread by traveling merchants and soldiers throughout the world, throughout the centuries.

        “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.'” – Rom 9:17 NKJV

        “And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” – 1Ki 4:34 NKJV

        “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” – Jhn 17:23 NKJV

        *******
        Romans 1:19 NKJV — because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

        Job 33:29-30 NKJV — “Behold, God works all these things (vs 14-28), Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

        John 1:9 NKJV — That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

        Romans 2:4 NKJV — Or do you [O man] despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

        Everyone hears sufficiently, I believe, and are then able to call out – “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

        Luke 18:13-14 NKJV — “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

      10. brianwagner asks, “Since God makes plain “in” a person that He exists (Rom 1:19) and brings conviction of sin by the work of the law written in their heart (Rom 2:15), and also that the true Light gives such light to each person (John 1:9), wouldn’t a person be able to call out to God at some point in humility – “God be merciful to me a sinner”?”

        Only where the person has received faith. Faith comes by hearing, so a person must hear the gospel to receive faith. Yet, not all people who hear the gospel receive faith.

        Then, ‘Here are some other verses that show God has always had all the world in view. ”

        Yes, but not all have faith. For example, “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.” Then, “it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy….Therefore God has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

        Then, “Everyone hears sufficiently, I believe, and are then able to call out – “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

        If it is true that everyone hears sufficiently and necessarily receives faith, how is it that some who have the assurance and conviction called faith and are then able to call out in faith then refuse to call out – “God be merciful to me a sinner”?

      11. I guess some believe that deaf people cannot have faith! 🙄 But with necessary light “heard” by all, God’s gift of free will enables each to choose or refuse to call out to Him based on what they heard. He doesn’t make them call or refuse to call, nor did He predestine their choice. He delegated that sovereign decision to them. Praise His Name!

        That is true love from God and true accountability in man.

      12. Brian
        He delegated that sovereign decision to them. Praise His Name!
        That is true love from and true accountability in man.

        br.d
        Amen!
        Even fallible man can create robot/puppets.
        Calvin creating a god after his own image – doesn’t leave Calvinists with much to brag about! :-]

      13. brianwagner writes, “I guess some believe that deaf people cannot have faith! �� ”

        But we know that the deaf can still read (presumably). Still, it is the hearing of the gospel that is necessary to salvation as the hearing of the gospel is the means God has instituted to convey faith to the lost.

        Then, “But with necessary light “heard” by all, …”

        Physically heard by all maybe, but not spiritually heard by all, as all who hear the gospel do not receive faith, but only those to whom God had chosen to give faith.

        Then, “…God’s gift of free will enables each to choose or refuse to call out to Him based on what they heard. He doesn’t make them call or refuse to call, not did He predestine their choice.”

        Not just free will but also faith. Free will without faith just gives a person freedom to sin all over again as he always did before. Of course the spirit of a man freed from slavery to sin and then taught by God so that he receives the assurance and conviction that we call faith will naturally cry out to God for salvation. So, God chose before the foundation of the world and implements through believers in the course of time the calling of those He had chosen to teach.

      14. Very sad that the evidence in Scripture of faith in the Word before regeneration, as in the parable of the Sower, is ignored by those loyal to the false doctrine of determinism that makes God look partial and unmerciful to many. Very sad, indeed!

      15. brianwagner writes, ‘…the evidence in Scripture of faith in the Word before regeneration, as in the parable of the Sower, is ignored…”

        Of course, the word is the only source of faith, so faith cannot exist in the absence of the word. The hearing of the word precedes, and enables, a person having faith.

        In the parable of the sower, the presence of “good” ground to receive the word and thereby generate faith would seem to be an example of regeneration to prepare a person’s heart to receive the word and thereby faith.

        Then, “makes God look partial and unmerciful to many.”

        If God does not save all people, many would say that He is partial and unmerciful. They use that reasoning to justify their atheism.

      16. Still amazed how the evidence of God’s Word is denied.

        Luke 8:12-14 NKJV — “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”

      17. rhutchin
        The issue then becomes, How do you define “all”

        br.d
        Here is wisdom
        One of Calvinism’s primary powers is word manipulation.

        The Calvinist has to RE-DEFINE words within scripture
        Because he can’t get away with PHYSICALLY ALTERING the text.

      18. br.d
        The Calvinist has to RE-DEFINE words within scripture.’

        rhutchin
        Or the Calvinist defines words by Scripture.

        br.d
        All too revealing!
        Since words in the Greek language already have well established definitions.
        And when the established definition doesn’t work – we Calvinists know how to create our own ad-hoc definitions :-]

        For example:
        The word “permission” is re-defined as “mere-permission”
        And the word “ALL” does not mean ALL.

      19. briawagner writes, ‘A note on John 12:32 – …πάντας ἑλκύσω… literally “all [men] I will draw”
        Thayers: STRONGS NT 3956: πᾶς – II. without a substantive;
        1. masculine and feminine every one, any one: in the singular, without any addition…. Plural, πάντες, without any addition, all men….
        Sounds like no one is left out from being drawn to me.”

        So, we have two ways to understand John 12:32 – “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself.”

        1. Jesus will draw all people, each and every individual, to himself when He is crucified.
        2. Jesus will draw all, both Jews and gentiles, to himself when He is crucified.

        Of course, we see here one of Brian’s rules of Scriptural translation – Anytime we have πάντας ἑλκύσω in the Scriptures, it sounds, to Brian,l like no individual is left out from being drawn to Christ.

      20. rhutchin
        Of course, we see here one of Brian’s rules of Scriptural translation…….

        br.d
        Right! there are standard rules within Greek Grammar

        And as we can see by the example provided – the Calvinist process is to take any other possible verse they can find within scripture – which serves the purpose of affirming the sacred doctrine – and forcing every other verse to conform.

        That’s just one strategy among many – the Calvinist uses to take verses beyond what they actually say.

      21. br.d writes, “Right! there are standard rules within Greek Grammar.”

        I guess only Brian would see the humor in my statement.

      22. RH: “So, now you need to explain why some people hear and learn from the Father and some do not when both groups hear the same gospel. ”

        No RH, we don’t need to explain that any more than you could explain why you would be chosen to be believer and others would not. Some questions will not be answered and don’t need to be. If we understand the “law of faith” properly then boasting is excluded. If we are proud of our faith – we have the wrong kind. Rom 3

        Galen, you make a great point. Don’t be moved off of it! If the drawing Jesus is talking about is an irresistible, instantaneous, and miraculous regeneration (or an irresistible calling) then He used some odd terms to describe it.

        Teaching and learning take some time and co-operation so we see an element of actual human volition wrapped up in the drawing.

        As Brian suggested, a faith that is irresistibly wrought cannot be a faith that works by love. Gal 5:6. It is a pathetic view of the gospel to assume that God must make people born again, who vociferously don’t want to be born again, in order to get them to love Him.

        Thanks Brian, I really appreciate it when we examine the texts themselves.

        Chosenornot.com

      23. Doug Sayers writes, ‘we don’t need to explain that any more than you could explain why you would be chosen to be believer and others would not.”

        I do not know why God choose to save me, but I do know that God is the reason I am saved. God took some action toward me that he did not take toward the other person and the way God treated me explains why I am saved and the other is not.

        You, and Galen, while you acknowledge that God had a part in your salvation, also claim that God treats you and an unsaved person equally. However, you could not be saved without some positive response on your part that God requires you to take. Thus, the reason you are saved and another is not when you both heard the same gospel is not because of something God did for you and not the other person – God treats both of you equally – but because of some difference between you and the other person that resulted in you responding positively to the gospel and the other person responding negatively to the gospel. While you may not be able to identify the difference between you and the unsaved person, you know that it is some difference between the two of you that cannot be attributable to the way God treated you and not the unsaved person.

        The reason you refuse to explain this situation is precisely because it does give you room to boast regardless your appeal to a “law of faith.”

        Then, ‘ If the drawing Jesus is talking about is an irresistible, instantaneous, and miraculous regeneration (or an irresistible calling) then He used some odd terms to describe it. ”

        As Paul writes, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

        There is an irresistible attraction of the gospel to some and not others. Even the assurance and conviction we associate with faith is irresistible, is it not?

      24. rhutchin
        I do not know why God choose to save me….etc

        br.d
        Actually – as a Calvinist – (assuming we are speaking the WHOLE TRUTH) – you do not know what Calvin’s god “chose” for your eternal destiny.

        Because the WHOLE TRUTH in Calvinism – is that Calvin’s god DECEIVES a large percentage of the Calvinist population – with a FALSE perception of salvation.

        As John Calvin states it:
        -quote
        He INSTILLS INTO THEIR MINDS such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.(Institutes pg 342)

        He does this in order to maximize your eternal torment in the lake of fire.

        -quote
        He….FORSAKES them……..and STRIKES them with even greater blindness (Institutes vol 2)

        And the quantity of the Calvinist population – which Calvin’s god thus DECEIVES with FALSE salvation – is such that John Calvin declares
        -quote:
        In this Church there is a VERY LARGE MIXTURE of hypocrites, who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance.

        Sorry rhutchin
        Once again – failing Calvinism 101 :-]

      25. rhutchin
        There is an irresistible attraction of the gospel to some and not others. Even the assurance and conviction we associate with faith is irresistible, is it not?

        br.d
        The influence of Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism on early Christianity – circa Augustine:
        -quote
        Early Gnostic teachers such as Valentinus saw their beliefs as aligned with Christianity. In the Gnostic Christian tradition.
        Scholars have acknowledged the influence of sources such as Hellenistic Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Platonism.

        Certain central tenets of Neoplatonism served as a philosophical interim for the Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo on his journey from dualistic Manichaeism to Christianity.

        Dr. Kenneth Wilson – The Gnostic influences on Augustine’s doctrine:
        The Gnostics were determinists who believed that everything that comes to pass has already been fixed. The Gnostics divided humanity up into the “elect” and the “non-elect”. People are predetermined to either heaven or hell. Now the Manichean’s have been known as the pinnacle of Gnosticism. The Gnostic Manichean god infuses faith into the person. And that is how they are made to believe.

  6. RH, a few brief responses:

    “I do not know why God choose to save me,..”

    [yes you do. You embraced the Truth by faith. He kept His universal promise to whoever believes ]

    “..but I do know that God is the reason I am saved.”

    [Amen, not unique to Calvinism. We love Him because He first loved us.]

    “God took some action toward me that he did not take toward the other person and the way God treated me explains why I am saved and the other is not.”

    [Again, as stated, this is not unique to Calvinism. God permanently and sovereignly imputes Christ’s atonement and His righteousness to the account of believers, not unbelievers. We call it justification by faith; a doctrine that the Reformed view actually renders moot, as an irresistible by-product of unconditional election]

    “You, and Galen, while you acknowledge that God had a part in your salvation, also claim that God treats you and an unsaved person equally.”

    [An obvious straw man. I never said anything about grace being equal in everyone. I would maintain that God’s grace is *sufficient* for everyone – to enjoy justification by faith. Ex: you and I did not receive the same measure of grace/revelation that was given to Peter, Paul, and Mary; but we have received sufficient grace to trust God’s mercy in Christ. ]

    “…your appeal to a “law of faith.””

    [My appeal is to Paul’s use of the phrase in Rom 3, not one of human origin. I have yet to meet a Calvinist who seems to understand Paul’s contrasting the law of faith with the law of works. I’d be interested to see how you understand Rom 3: 26-27. (A Calvinist is someone who thinks you can boast of genuine contrition and godly sorrow)]

    Lastly, and to be honest RH / Roger, your attempt to obscure the clear contradiction between the “teaching”and “learning” of J 6:45 and the Calvinstic insistence that the drawing is some kind of irresistible regeneration / calling, by appealing to the text about the cross being foolishness to unbelievers, was lame. Really lame. What stops any cultist from using that text to defend their bizarre views of Christology or soteriology?

    The drawing is not said to be irresistible. It is not said to be regeneration. You have to read that into the text. You have to substitute words that fit your system.

    DS
    http://www.chosenornot.com
    (Sorry, the website field would not accept the web address)

    1. rhutchin: ““You, and Galen, while you acknowledge that God had a part in your salvation, also claim that God treats you and an unsaved person equally.”
      Doug Sayers: “[An obvious straw man. I never said anything about grace being equal in everyone. I would maintain that God’s grace is *sufficient* for everyone – to enjoy justification by faith. ]”

      LOL!!! First, you say, “I never said anything about grace being equal in everyone.” Then you say, ” I would maintain that God’s grace is *sufficient* for everyone – to enjoy justification by faith.”

      If God’s grace is “sufficient” for everyone to be saved but not equal, then that inequality explains why one is saved and another is not. I don’t think that is your (or Galen’s) true position. I think your position is that God’s grace is both equal and sufficient for salvation for everyone. (To deviate from this is to embrace Calvinism.) The reason why one person is saved and one is not saved in your system can be traced to a difference between the two people – not to God’s differential treatment of the people..

      Ten, “Ex: you and I did not receive the same measure of grace/revelation that was given to Peter, Paul, and Mary; but we have received sufficient grace to trust God’s mercy in Christ. ”

      God extended the same amount of grace to us as He did to Peter, etc. and that explains why any and all are saved. It is regarding those whom God has saved that He then gives additional grace to accomplish different works as Paul explained, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

      Then, “your attempt to obscure the clear contradiction between the “teaching”and “learning” of J 6:45 and the Calvinstic insistence that the drawing is some kind of irresistible regeneration / calling, by appealing to the text about the cross being foolishness to unbelievers, was lame.”

      The Calvinist does not assert an irresistible regeneration in God’s drawing on the basis of v44. The Calvinist asserts that the one drawn by God to Christ is the one Christ raises on the last day. Of course, God’s drawing involves being taught by God and that which God teaches will prove irresistible. However, v44 does not go into that detail. It simply says, “the one God draws is the one Christ raises.” That is the way Calvinists take it. As Brian notes, God’s drawing involves God in the intimate details of a person’s salvation and God’s involvement is precipitated by His drawing.

  7. RH, I’m glad you don’t / no longer make the mistake of assuming this drawing is an irresistible regeneration. (It sure looked like you thought it was based on your reference of John 3 in your 8:47am comment to Aiden, today.)

    But asserting: ” Of course, God’s drawing involves being taught by God and that which God teaches will prove irresistible” would be pretty hard to prove. Requires more reading *into* the text – that which is not there. Searching Scripture for *irresistible* in the context of repentance and saving faith is an exercise in futility. The word and concept are nowhere to be found.

    Lastly, give the distinction between equal and sufficient grace / revelation a little more thought, and it won’t seem so hilarious. Again, God is just to hold us accountable for faith in Christ, even though we did not see and hear Jesus, in person, as did Peter, Paul, and Mary. They got more grace in terms of evidence/reason to trust the LORD, but His grace is still sufficient for us to trust Him.

    1. Doug Sayers writes, “RH, I’m glad you don’t / no longer make the mistake of assuming this drawing is an irresistible regeneration.”

      The drawing includes regeneration as it is between Total Depravity (No one can come to me) and perseverance/preservation of the saints (I will raise them up). Drawing involves regeneration (irresistible or not) but it covers everything that happens between the T and the P. The drawing includes the work of the Holy Spirit to grant the new birth and the ability to see the kingdom of heaven – I would place the ability to see the kingdom of heaven up front. he new birth is accomplished by the Holy Spirit without the knowledge of the person, so it is irresistible.

      Then, “But asserting: ” Of course, God’s drawing involves being taught by God and that which God teaches will prove irresistible” would be pretty hard to prove. ”

      John 6:45 says, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” “everyone…comes” sounds pretty definite to me, thus irresistible. I don’t see room for anyone to opt out.

      Then, “God is just to hold us accountable for faith in Christ, even though we did not see and hear Jesus, in person,”

      God holds people accountable for their sin – grace and faith are necessary if a person is to escape the consequences of their sin. Faith is conveyed to a person through the gospel and the gospel is not necessarily heard by each and every person. Brian cited many verses that tell us the gospel is preached to the world or the ends of the earth and this does not mean it is preached to each and every person.

      1. rhutchin
        God holds people accountable for their sin

        br.d
        TRUE
        Calvin’s god holds people responsible for events he himself brings into existence.
        Determines every impulse – not permitting them to be/do otherwise.

        As John Calvin states it:
        -quote
        Men may not even agitate anything in their deliberations but what he INSPIRES (A Defense of the secret providence of god – PDF version pg 190)

        -quote
        Men can deliberately do nothing unless he INSPIRE it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

  8. Rhutchin says above: [The reason you refuse to explain this situation is precisely because it does give you room to boast regardless your appeal to a “law of faith.”]

    Brother Rhutchin, this is a common charge by Calvinists. However, when Scripture is examined regarding the relationship between faith and boasting, the charge is clearly seen to be extra-biblical and without weight. In other words, for the individual who simply wants to take what Scripture says regarding this matter as the Word of God, this charge is dealt with very clearly and the force of your charge occupies an area superfluous to the Biblical answer; therefore it has no teeth. Consider the following:

    Ro 3:27
    Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

    So, when non-calvinists refer to the “law of faith” and that being the reason why people cannot boast, we are simply citing exactly what Scripture says. Notice that Paul DOES NOT say that we can’t boast because this faith results irresistibly from unconditional election or from irresistible regeneration coupled with a purchase of faith on our behalf… No, Paul’s answer is very straightforward – we can’t boast for the simple reason that we are justified by faith.

    Ro 11:19-20
    Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.

    Again, gentiles who have been grafted in are instructed they cannot be proud… and why? Because they stand by faith. Therefore, boasting is incompatible with the exercise of faith. Again, notice the complete lack of the ideas of irresistible grace and unconditional election in Paul’s answer.

    Ro 4:4-8
    Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
    “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
    blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

    Notice above the contrasts that Paul makes between faith and works… he says faith is not working and that if one worked then it (justification) would be his due; but since faith is not works what we receive through it (justification, righteousness) is then considered a gift. This puts to rest any notion that when people exercise faith that they have earned something or contributed and that God ‘owes’ them salvation (I will say more on that later.) Again, notice that unconditional election/irresistible grace is absent from Paul’s thought.

    Ro 4:16
    That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

    If you examine this you can see what Paul is actually saying is that the reason we know it (Salvation, Righteousness, etc.) is by grace is because it depends on faith. In other words, that faith is the means through which we receive it IS IN FACT A DEMONSTRATION that the ground of our salvation is wholly the grace of God. Once again, no mention of irresistible grace/unconditional election in Paul’s answer.

    Rhutchin, I encourage you to read the latter half of Ro 3 all the way through the end of Ro 4 and you will see that Paul does not mention the phrases (nor the concepts) of ‘unconditional election/irresistible grace’ even one time. In other words, such a thought is completely irrelevant to Paul’s answer. And yet, in this passage Paul is establishing that even Abraham had nothing to boast about before God… and, Paul’s simple answer is because Abraham believed in the promise of God. Throughout this section of Scripture Paul is contrasting and comparing the ideas of faith, merit, due, boasting, works, grace, etc. to show that EVEN Abraham was not justified by works and has no reason to boast (a thought Paul began in Ro 3:27). Then, Paul compares ALL OF US to Abraham and says he is the father of us all… in what way? By faith – again, notice that unconditional election/irresistible grace has no place in Paul’s argument.

    Someone could conceivably attempt an argument that Abraham was unconditionally elect by God unto the purpose for which God called him. But, even if this is the correct understanding, is that why God considered him righteous? Not according to what Ro 3-4 teaches! Rather, God declares him righteous because he believed God’s ‘promise’ as the passage makes abundantly clear; and we are all like Abraham, again, crystal clear. And, even if Abraham being unconditionally elect unto God’s purpose is the correct understanding, there is NO COMPARISON made by Paul regarding that fact when he considers us <- The ONLY way Paul says we are like Abraham is through the comparison of faith. A final parting thought related to this is that the idea of ‘promise’ (which Paul mentions several times here and connects it inseparably to people believing… i.e. faith) comes up again in the first few verses of Ro 9. And, there Paul makes a distinction between ethnic Israel and true Israel and he uses the phrase ‘promise’ again to make that distinction. For an individual to suggest Paul means something different there than what he has clearly established here is incumbent on that individual to show that Paul has now shifted his argument away from the connection between faith and promise to some other grounds of God’s grace.

    Rhutchin, you are still always free to make the “you non-calvinists have a reason to boast in your faith” accusation. No one will deny you that right. But, when you do so, you are making an argument superfluous to what Scripture actually teaches and demonstrating that you do not fully grasp the essential characteristic of faith. Namely, that it is meritless and adds nothing to its object (i.e. God and His promise). Scripture says that the man or woman who believes in Christ has no reason to boast <- I am unaware of any other Scriptural qualifier that is ever presented in regard to that fact, so, if you can find one, please present it to us. The person so believing contributes nothing meritorious to their Salvation. God is still fully free to save or not to save (this fact is worthy of deep reflection, imo) – in other words, our faith does not obligate God to save us ON ITS OWN grounds (I think this is where people trip up in their understanding). The ground/reason of Salvation is God, His promise, and His Power – there is no other ground nor reason in Salvation. If God is obligated, it is ONLY to the greatness, truthfulness, and majesty of His character and the redounding of His Name and NOT because faith in itself is in any way meritorious or obligatory upon God. But, the incredible and amazing truth about our awesome God (that Scripture repeatedly testifies to) is that He is true to His word (that He saves all who call upon Him) and He does so to magnify the astounding nature of His grace and to demonstrate that He is a promise keeping God, fully and completely worthy of our trust, with Power to save all who turn to Him!!! It is an Amazing Grace!!! God Be Praised!!! That He does so conditionally on faith rather than unconditionally is where people get tripped up… conditionality (i.e. faith) does not imply merit and Scripture repeatedly testifies to this fact.

    I apologize if this post is a bit lengthy… but, I believe this charge of "faith giving a reason to boast" is worthy of being Biblically rebutted.

    1. Rhutchin says above: [The reason you refuse to explain this situation is precisely because it does give you room to boast regardless your appeal to a “law of faith.”]

      br.d
      Here we have what is called REVERSE ATTRIBUTION
      Sometimes called “Projection”.

      The Calvinists are actually the ones doing the boasting.

      Boasting in their IMAGINED supernatural knowledge of secret things.
      Like their IMAGINED supernatural knowledge of the intents of the heart within other people.

      The good news is:
      Whenever a Calvinist points one of his little fingers – the Lord always makes sure he has four fingers pointing right back at himself!

      Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not actually have. :-]

    2. rhutchin: The reason you [Doug Sayers] refuse to explain this situation is precisely because it does give you room to boast regardless your appeal to a “law of faith.”
      Jacewhite: “Brother Rhutchin, this is a common charge by Calvinists. However, when Scripture is examined regarding the relationship between faith and boasting, …”

      I agree with everything you wrote about faith. So, that is not the issue.

      Calvinists say that faith is given by God to one person and not to another so that faith explains why one seeks salvation and another does not.. God, as the source of faith, determines who is saved by His choice of those to whom He gives faith..

      Non-Calvinists, like you, say that God gives faith to every person and then it is up to each person to freely choose whether to exercise that faith unto salvation. As all people have both free will and faith, neither of those factors can explain why one person exercises faith unto salvation and another does not. We must look for another reason to explain why one exercises faith unto salvation and another does not. Whatever that reason is, it cannot be attributed to God as that would be Calvinism.

      Here. we find the basis for boasting. The reason why two people, both with free will and faith, make different decisions regarding salvation can only be explained by a difference between them and not to the way God treats them. That difference is the basis for one to boast in his salvation – he had the wherewithal (an inherent ability) to choose salvation while another did not.

      1. rhutchin
        Calvinists say that faith is given by God to one person and not to another

        br.d

        Dr. Kenneth Wilson – Gnosticism within Augustine’s doctrines:
        -quote
        Like the Manichees, a radical total incapacity demanded radical grace to resurrect the dead will, in order for the individual to accept what would have to be a special supernatural gift [i.e. faith].

        Dr. Arthur Versluis – What Is a Gnostic?
        -quote
        The Catholic authors [e.g. Augustine] were gnostic.
        The Neoplatonists also were gnostic.
        And the Reformation was gnostic.

      2. br.d: “Dr. Kenneth Wilson – Gnosticism within Augustine’s doctrines:-quote- Like the Manichees, a radical total incapacity…”

        If even the Manichees understood the importance of faith to the Christian religion, anyone else should be able to see it also.

      3. rhutchin
        If even the Manichees understood the importance of faith to the Christian religion, anyone else should be able to see it also.

        br.d
        A wonderful example of Calvinist DOUBLE-THINK!

        *AS-IF* a Gnostic/Manichee/Calvinist can “see” something without an external mind (i.e. Calvin’s god) determining what they will “see”.

        Calvinists do love living in their 100% DOUBLE-THINK world! :-]

  9. Brother Rhutchin,

    Thanks for your response… I will endeavor to interact with it and get something back to you later today.

    1. It is naturally human to automatically assume when in dialog with another – that one is in dialog with an open mind.

      However, – if you keep your eyes open – for a mind locked within a closed system of logic.
      You’ll save yourself the time and frustration – of having to discover it the hard way.

      A mind locked within a closed system of logic does not think in rational patterns.
      It thinks in whatever way works (at the given moment) to affirm what it has been conditioned to affirm.

      Blessings!

  10. Brother Rhutchin,

    Thanks again for your response and your patience in me getting back to you. You say a couple things which I want to cite below:

    Rhutchin – “Calvinists say that faith is given by God to one person and not to another so that faith explains why one seeks salvation and another does not.. God, as the source of faith, determines who is saved by His choice of those to whom He gives faith.”

    And, then:

    Rhutchin – “Here we find the basis for boasting. The reason why two people, both with free will and faith, make different decisions regarding salvation can only be explained by a difference between them and not to the way God treats them. That difference is the basis for one to boast in his salvation – he had the wherewithal (an inherent ability) to choose salvation while another did not.”

    So as I read your comments I comprehend you to say that Calvinists believe the following: that the TRUE reason why we cannot boast, and that we do not work nor contribute to Salvation, and the true reason why our action does not obligate God, and why we know Salvation is by grace is because the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us. Well, put simply, this does not match the Biblical answer that Paul so clearly gives. Look again at the passages I cited to you: Ro 3:27, Heb 11:19-20, Ro 4:4-8, Ro 4:16 (and, for some robust context on these topics, the latter half of Ro 3 through 4). Notice that Paul says at least the following things:

    1) No one can boast because the “law of faith” prohibits it
    2) Believing Gentiles cannot boast in their faith over unbelieving Jews
    3) Faith is not works
    4) Faith does not merit anything before God
    5) Faith does not obligate God to give a reward
    6) Because we receive Salvation through faith we KNOW Salvation is wholly by God’s Grace

    Notice in all of the above answers that Paul’s presentation is straightforward and simple; namely, faith is the reason for all of the above; not faith “plus” something, just faith. Paul does not qualify his answer with any of the additional items that Calvinist’s believe. Calvinists, to their credit, want the Glory and unmerited grace of God to be heralded. But, the Calvinist mistakenly believes that the unmerited grace of God and Sovereign demonstration of His love and power can only be manifest if God unconditionally chooses some and passes over others… if God made His Salvific grace available such that people were genuinely capable of receiving or rejecting it then somehow people would then be able to boast if they receive Christ versus the one who does not; or so the Calvinist thinks. So, the Calvinist answer to the boasting question, or the works question, etc. is complex. But, the Biblical answer is simple… faith alone is a sufficient answer to demonstrate these things – full stop! End of Argument! No other qualifiers needed. Your answer is “faith + ”. But the Scriptural answer of “faith” coheres with the essential character of faith <- namely that it is an act by people which is completely without merit, adds nothing to its object, and puts the person who exercises it wholly and completely at the mercy of the One in whom that faith is placed. If the object of a person’s faith (Christ Jesus) does NOT act on behalf of the one exercising faith then such a person is powerless to affect any result – faith is impotent apart from God showing up and doing something <- hence why faith is the perfect means through which people can genuinely and conditionally act, but yet God still gets ALL THE GLORY! If a person believes he merits nothing and gains no glory; the glory is God’s alone and through it He demonstrates the majesty of His matchless character and saves all who call upon Him. So, the Biblical answer of faith (rather than “faith +”) ALSO PRESERVES the Sovereign Power, love, and unmerited Grace of God towards people in Salvation and yet genuinely presents the gift of Salvation to people in a way where His Salvific Grace towards them comes through the conditional response of faith – a conditional response completely without merit. Your answer thinks these inherent aspects of faith are not enough to make it non-meritorious when people exercise it (thus demonstrating that you still are not grasping the simplicity of the Biblical answer) and so you add the other calvinist qualifiers.

    Because your “charge” of boasting towards non-calvinists is only possible because of the additional items you add to the simple and Biblical “faith” answer, it therefore lies outside the scope of how Scripture answers this. And, because it is outside the scope of Biblical thinking, the non-calvinist doesn’t need to answer it; rather the non-calvinist simply needs to point out your misunderstanding of faith. Faith is non-meritorious; therefore the one exercising it has NOTHING to boast in. Scripture gives no other qualifiers to this answer.

    Blessings in Christ.

    1. Jacewhite writes, “…I comprehend you to say that Calvinists believe …Salvation is by grace is because the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us.”

      Yes, by means of the word. This is why two people, both sinners and both with fee will, can hear the gospel preached and one receives faith while the other does not.

      Then, ‘Look again at the passages I cited to you: Ro 3:27, Heb 11:19-20, Ro 4:4-8, Ro 4:16 (and, for some robust context on these topics, the latter half of Ro 3 through 4). Notice that Paul says at least the following things:
      1) No one can boast because the “law of faith” prohibits it
      2) Believing Gentiles cannot boast in their faith over unbelieving Jews
      3) Faith is not works
      4) Faith does not merit anything before God
      5) Faith does not obligate God to give a reward
      6) Because we receive Salvation through faith we KNOW Salvation is wholly by God’s Grace”

      I have no problem with any of this. I agree when you say, “faith is the reason for all of the above; not faith “plus” something, just faith.” down to the end where you say, “Faith is non-meritorious; therefore the one exercising it has NOTHING to boast in.”

      Everything you wrote deals with the exercise of faith, or as you say, “[faith] is an act by people which is completely without merit,”

      The question I raised – that has to do with boasting – is not what a person does once he has faith but how he gets faith in the first place. As you correctly note above, Calvinists believe, “Salvation is by grace is because the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us.” Your position is that God gives faith to everyone who hears the gospel and because everyone has free will, one person acts on that faith and accepts salvation while another rejects that faith and rejects salvation.

      My question to you is, “What explains why two people. who both have free will and who both hear the gospel and receive faith. react in completely opposite ways to that faith – one accepting salvation and the other rejecting salvation?” My claim is that the reason for those different outcomes can be traced to one person being different than the other person and the difference between them provides a reason to boast (unless, of course, that difference results from the way God made them)..

      1. rhutchin
        Calvinists believe, “Salvation is….irresistible…..etc

        br.d
        TRUE
        In Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) EVERYTHING which comes to pass – is irresistible.
        That is the nature of Universal Divine Causal Determinism

        Simply put – natural creatures do not have the power to resist anything CAUSED by supernatural decree.

        And that is why we say – Calvin’s god makes ALL SIN AN EVIL IRRESISTIBLE to the creature

      2. As John Calvin states it:
        -quote
        Since god’s will is…….the CAUSE of all things…….all human plans and works……to display its FORCE (Institutes)

      3. br.d writes, “As John Calvin states it:-quote
        Since god’s will is…….the CAUSE of all things…….all human plans and works……to display its FORCE (Institutes)”

        How about a specific citation (Book, chapter, Section, para). I did a search on the copy I have but it seems to be a different translation of the Institutes than that you quote.

        The closest I found was this, “The sum of the whole is this, since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service.” (Book 1, Chapter 18, Section 3, end)

      4. rhutchin
        How about a specific citation (Book, chapter, Section, para). I did a search on the copy I have but it seems to be a different translation of the Institutes than that you quote.

        br.d
        I suspect its Calvin’s unflinching use of the term “FORCE” that you find problematic.

        Since the “No Force” argument is a classic argument for all Natural as (well as Theological) Determinists.

        However Calvin himself wasn’t up to snuff on the “No Force” argument – because it evolved much later in the time-line of philosophical arguments used by determinsts

        So he had no problem seeing the supernatural decree as a “FORCE” which makes people be/do what he wills them to be/do.

        Just like Calvinist Robert R. McLaughlin was unaware he should avoid using the term “Program” in his statement”
        -quote
        God merely PROGRAMMED into the divine decrees all our thoughts, motives, decisions and actions”

        A modern day Calvinist would avoid using that terminology
        There was no “robot” stigma in Robert McLaughlin’s day – so he had had no problem envisioning people being “programmed” by Calvin’s god – to be/do everything they be/do.

        We can find Calvin’s institutes of Gnostic/NeoPlatonism – in a few different forms.
        But the quote comes from Book 1.18.2

        You can’t miss the terms “exerts” and “forces” in the statement. :-]

      5. rhutchin: :The closest I found was this, “The sum of the whole is this, since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service.” (Book 1, Chapter 18, Section 3, end):”
        br.d: “the quote comes from Book 1.18.2”

        Well. I was close. My mistake. That is what I quoted. I meant 1.18.2.

        Here is that Section – apparently, there are different translations of the Institutes accounting for different wordng of the text,

        “With regard to secret movements, what Solomon says of the heart of a king, that it is turned hither and thither, as God sees meet, certainly applies to the whole human race, and has the same force as if he had said, that whatever we conceive in our minds is directed to its end by the secret inspiration of God. And certainly, did he not work internally in the minds of men, it could not have been properly said, that he removes speech from the truthful, and prudence from the aged – takes away the heart from the princes of the earth, that they wander through devious paths. To the same effect, we often read that men are intimidated when He fills their hearts with terror. Thus David left the camp of Saul while none knew of it because a sleep from God had fallen upon all. But nothing can be clearer than the many passages which declare, that he blinds the minds of men, and smites them with giddiness, intoxicates them with a spirit of stupor, renders them infatuated, and hardens their hearts. Even these expressions many would confine to permissions as if, by deserting the reprobate, he allowed them to be blinded by Satan. But since the Holy Spirit distinctly says, that the blindness and infatuation are inflicted by the just judgement of God, the solution is altogether inadmissible. He is said to have hardened the heart of Pharaoh, to have hardened it yet more, and confirmed it. Some evade these forms of expression by a silly cavil, because Pharaoh is elsewhere said to have hardened his own heart, thus making his will the cause of hardening it; as if the two things did not perfectly agree with each other, though in different senses viz., that man, though acted upon by God, at the same time also acts. But I retort the objection on those who make it. If to harden means only bare permission, the contumacy will not properly belong to Pharaoh. Now, could any thing be more feeble and insipid than to interpret as if Pharaoh had only allowed himself to be hardened? We may add, that Scripture cuts off all handle for such cavils: “I,” saith the Lord, “will harden his heart,” (Exo 4: 21) So also, Moses says of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, that they went forth to battle because the Lord had hardened their hearts, (Jos 11: 20) The same thing is repeated by another prophet, “He turned their hearts to hate his people,” (Psa 105: 25) In like manner, in Isaiah, he says of the Assyrian, “I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey,” (Isa 10: 6) not that he intends to teach wicked and obstinate man to obey spontaneously, but because he bends them to execute his judgements, just as if they carried their orders engraven on their minds. And hence it appears that they are impelled by the sure appointment of God.

        I admit, indeed, that God often acts in the reprobate by interposing the agency of Satan; but in such a manner, that Satan himself performs his part, just as he is impelled, and succeeds only in so far as he is permitted. The evil spirit that troubled Saul is said to be from the Lord, (1Sa 16: 14) to intimate that Saul’s madness was a just punishment from God. Satan is also said to blind the minds of those who believe not, (2Co 4: 4) But how so, unless that a spirit of error is sent from God himself, making those who refuse to obey the truth to believe a lie? According to the former view, it is said, “If the prophet be deceived when he has spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet,” (Eze 14: 9) According to the latter view, he is said to have given men over to a reprobate mind, (Rom 1: 28) because he is the special author of his own just vengeance; whereas Satan is only his minister, (see Calv. in Psa 141: 4) But as in the Second Book, (2.4.3, 4) in discussing the question of man’s freedom, this subject will again be considered, the little that has now been said seems to be all that the occasion requires. The sum of the whole is this, – since the will of God is said to be the cause of all things, all the counsels and actions of men must be held to be governed by his providence; so that he not only exerts his power in the elect, who are guided by the Holy Spirit, but also forces the reprobate to do him service.”

        Calvin makes a reasonable argument in my opinion.

      6. rhutchin
        Calvin makes a reasonable argument in my opinion.

        br.d
        Two facts concerning your so-called “opinion” on this matter.

        1) Calvin doesn’t have any problems using the word “FORCE” or “CAUSE” to describe Calvin’s god’s decree.

        Which means Calvin’s god must have decreed Calvin’s predisposition in that matter – just as he decreed your every predisposition.

        2) On Theological Determinism – if it comes to pass – that you have a perception – of something being “reasonable” – then it LOGICALLY follows – the reason that perception came to pass within your brain – is because an external mind determined that to be your perception.

        And since Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass within your brain
        That leaves ZERO% for you to determine
        In other words you have no say in the matter of whatsoever comes to pass – whether in your brain – or out of it.

        Welcome to Hotel Calvi-fornia
        You can have whatsoever perception you like come to pass
        But you can never determine whatsoever perception comes to pass. :-]

  11. Brother Rhutchin,

    Again, thanks for your response… picking up on some of your more recent statements:

    Rhutchin (quoting me) Jacewhite writes, “…I comprehend you to say that Calvinists believe …Salvation is by grace is because the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us.”

    Rhutchin – “Yes, by means of the word. This is why two people, both sinners and both with fee will, can hear the gospel preached and one receives faith while the other does not.”

    So, Calvinists believe that Salvation is by grace BECAUSE the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us. Notice the ‘because’ which you state in your answer. The problem Rhutchin is that what Calvinists are saying here is NOT what Paul actually says about this… again, look at what Ro 4:16 says:

    Ro 4:16 – “That is why it depends on faith in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”

    Your answer that we know Salvation is by grace BECAUSE that very faith is given by the irresistible grace of God is NOT what Paul says – he CLEARLY does NOT SAY that, do you see that Paul does not say that? That is a problem, because you are answering the question differently than Scripture. Paul says we know it is grace BECAUSE it comes through faith. -> end of answer by Paul!

    If I look back further, here are some prior statements by you:

    Rhutchin – “We must look for another reason to explain why one exercises faith unto salvation and another does not. Whatever that reason is, it cannot be attributed to God as that would be Calvinism.”

    Rhutchin – “Here we find the basis for boasting. The reason why two people, both with free will and faith, make different decisions regarding salvation can only be explained by a difference between them and not to the way God treats them. That difference is the basis for one to boast in his salvation – he had the wherewithal (an inherent ability) to choose salvation while another did not.”

    Again, the problem is that your answer is different than Scripture… look again at Ro 11:19-20 which says:

    Ro 11:19-20 – Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.

    Here Paul says that faith alone is sufficient to ground non-boasting – we cannot boast BECAUSE of faith (believing). You, on the other hand, ground non-boasting in the irresistible grace of God giving faith to one versus not giving it to another BECAUSE you say if they could exercise faith somehow apart from this irresistible giving then they WOULD be able to boast. Do, you see, once again that Paul does NOT SAY that we stand fast through [faith that was irresistibly given by God]? So, once again, your answer does not match the answer of Scripture.

    Brother Rhutchin, I couple times you have said you agree that faith is non-meritorious. Yet, when Scripture presents this fact to us and shows us that people coming to Christ through the simplicity of faith alone provides BOTH THE REASON we cannot boast and the REASON we know Salvation is wholly by grace you still seem to not accept that simple answer. The reason it is correct for me to say that you do not accept this answer is that you persist in attempting to ground both of those facts (non-boasting, and salvation by grace) some other way than the simple answer which Scripture gives. It is here that I believe you are going astray. When you attempt to ground these things some other way it is like you are saying “No Paul, there must be more than that, because if people could REALLY believe in Christ without that faith being irresistibly given to them by God then they WOULD have a reason to boast or that Salvation would NOT be by grace”. So, when you persist in this, you demonstrate that you do NOT actually agree with the simplicity of the Biblical answer despite your repeated “agree” statements. And, when you persist in this attempt you are searching for an answer (beneath/outside of) the Biblical answer. Any answers you provide there are extra-biblical, and any charges you make towards non-calvinists from within this extra-biblical realm are illegitimate BECAUSE they are launched at non-calvinists from within your extra-biblical grounding of both “non-boasting” and “salvation by grace”. This is why non-calvinists don’t answer you (at least me) because there is no rationale answer to an illegitimate charge other than to show you its illegitimacy – which is what I have been laboring to do with you. You repeatedly show that you don’t actually accept the simplicity of the Biblical answer, i.e. faith.

    Blessings in Christ

    1. JaceWhite
      This is why non-calvinists don’t answer you (at least me) because there is no rationale answer to an illegitimate charge other than to show you its illegitimacy.

      br.d
      TRUE

      The Calvinist assertion of others “boasting” – is really nothing more than REVERSE ATTRIBUTION
      Otherwise known as “Projection”.

      The Calvinist is simply “Projecting” one of his own attributes (in this case boasting) onto others.

    2. JaxeWhite writes, ‘So, Calvinists believe that Salvation is by grace BECAUSE the very faith we exercise is given via the irresistible grace of God to us. Notice the ‘because’ which you state in your answer.”

      Let.s correct this to use Paul’s language in Ephesians 2, “…Salvation is by grace through faith…” God saves His elect by giving them faith so that, “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…” As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” The gospel is preached (planted and watered) whereupon God gives the increase by conveying faith through that preaching to His elect.

      Romans 4:16 agrees with this. Salvation is through faith not only for the Jew (those who are of the law – the children of promise identified in Romans 9) but to the gentile (the one who shares the faith of Abraham). Romans 4 does not tell us how one person has faith and another does not – we can know from 1 Corinthians that certain people will be given faith as God gives the increase.. I agree with you where you say, “Paul says we know it is grace BECAUSE it comes through faith.” Elsewhere, Paul says that faith is from God (Ephesians, 1 Corinthians) so obviously, we know from the presence of faith that salvation is by grace. At this point, we know the importance of faith to salvation – but that does not tell us why one person has faith and another does not in your system (since God gives faith to one and not another under Calvinism).

      Yjen, “the problem is that your answer is different than Scripture…”

      Yes, that is because I was explaining what I understood your system to say.

      Then, “[In Romans 11:19-20] Paul says that faith alone is sufficient to ground non-boasting – we cannot boast BECAUSE of faith (believing).

      Right. Again, this not tell us where faith comes from – only its effect. Gentiles stand by faith. If, as I say, this faith was given to the gentile by God, then there is no boasting. The issue is to identify how you claim a person receives faith and whether that manner of receiving faith affords room for boat=sting. So, can you explain how two people both sinners with free will can hear the gospel and one has faith and the other does not?

      Then, ‘couple times you have said you agree that faith is non-meritorious. Yet, when Scripture presents this fact to us and shows us that people coming to Christ through the simplicity of faith alone provides BOTH THE REASON we cannot boast and the REASON we know Salvation is wholly by grace you still seem to not accept that simple answer.”

      I don’t understand the argument you present in this paragraph. You refer to “the simplicity of the Biblical answer” (i.e., faith) and claim that I don’t accept this answer. I do accept that simple answer. All I do is explain where faith comes from. So far you have avoided explaining how you think one person has faith and another does not.

      We see, to agree on all the benefits of faith but disagree on how people come to have faith. Perhaps, you could spend some time explaining how you think some people come to have faith and some do not.

      1. rhutchin
        Perhaps, you could spend some time explaining how you think some people come to have faith and some do not.

        Do we see how RH went into a full circle dance – in order to come right back to the same place where he started from.

        It gets worse quickly when we see how DOUBLE-MINDED Calvinists are.

        On Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism) what people “think” (in Calvinist vernacular “whatsoever comes to pass” within a person’s brain) is totally determined at the foundation of the world *FOR* each person (by Calvin’s god).

        Every thought is fixed in the past and comes to pass infallibly.
        And there is no possible way nature can resist an infallible decree
        So every thought is infallibly decreed – to appear in each person’s brain – irresistibly.

        And yet Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* their doctrine is FALSE.
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god did not determine their thoughts!

        DOUBLE-MINDED is – as DOUBLE-MINDED does.

        What a hoot!! :-]

      2. br.d writes, “Do we see how RH went into a full circle dance – in order to come right back to the same place where he started from.”

        Of course. I have asked the same question of JaceWhiye in every comment and he has been unable to answer it. You don’t seem to be any help to JaceWhite to answer the question.

        Then, “Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* their doctrine is FALSE.”

        Actually, it is that doctrine that gives Calvinisnst comfort that He is not only in control of all events but that He is working all events for their good and to His glory. Only a non-Calvinist, who does not understand Calvinism. would identify this as “AS-IF” thinking.

        Then, “Every thought is fixed in the past and comes to pass infallibly.”

        Yep. That’s omniscience. Even Dr, Flowers concedes that point.

      3. rhutchin
        Of course. I have asked the same question of JaceWhiye in every comment and he has been unable to answer it. You don’t seem to be any help to JaceWhite to answer the question.

        br.d
        In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird! :-]

        Also:
        Calvinists go about their office *AS-IF* their doctrine is FALSE.”

        rhutchin
        Actually, it is that doctrine that gives Calvinisnst comfort that He is not only in control of all events but that He is working all events for their good and to His glory. Only a non-Calvinist, who does not understand Calvinism. would identify this as “AS-IF” thinking.

        br.d
        Nice try – but no cigar!
        What we have here is called a “red-hearing”.

        1) When John Calvin’s most sacred proposition – is that Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass.
        And

        2) when John Calvin instructs his disciples to
        -quote
        “Go about your office *AS-IF* nothing is determined in any part”

        And
        3) When Calvinists (that’s you) consistently manifest doing so.

        Then what we have is clearly *AS-IF* thinking.

        The fact that the Calvinist conscience is seared – such that he cannot discern his own DOUBLE-THINK – is another matter. :-]

        For the Calvinist Every thought is fixed in the past and comes to pass infallibly.

        rhutchin
        Yep. That’s omniscience…..etc

        br.d
        How entertaining it is – for you to both deny and affirm my points.

        Calvin’s god must have a lot of fun making DOUBLE-THINK – as what comes to pass – within Calvinist brains 😀

      4. rhutchin
        Actually, it is that doctrine that gives Calvinisnst comfort…..

        br.d
        Oh – that is way too funny!

        Calvinists treat the doctrine *AS-IF* it is FALSE – because the doctrine is “comforting” .

        The most comforting things about Calvinist doctrine:

        – Comforting to know every infallibly decreed sin is irresistible.

        – Comforting to know Calvin’s god
        -quote
        INSTILLS WITHIN THEIR MINDS such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. (Institutes pg 342)

        – Comforting to know Calvin’s god
        -quote:
        ILLUMINES THEM ONLY FOR A TIME to partake of it…then….forsakes them…….and strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes vol 2)

        – Comforting to know the “MANY” of their population are DESIGNED for eternal torment in the lake of fire.

        – Comforting to know that with Calvin’s god
        -quote:
        “men can deliberately do nothing unless he INSPIRE it. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 171–172)

        – Comforting to know Calvin’s god determines 100% of every FALSE perception that will come to pass within their brains
        It LOGICALLY following – he does NOT PERMIT them to determine TRUE from FALSE on any matter.

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

  12. Brother Rhutchin,

    Again, thanks for your response. Work and life is keeping me tied up right now but when I have some time I will endeavor to interact with your comments and respond.

    Blessings in Christ

  13. CALVINISM – A LANGUAGE OF EQUIVOCATION
    HOW TO DISCERN WHEN EQUIVOCATION IS AN ACT OF STRATEGIC DECEPTION

    Equivocation is a compound word, derived from two root terms: “Equi” and “Vocation”.

    Equi meaning “Equal”. And Vocation meaning “To give voice to something”.

    We all should understand the term “Masquerade”, or “Disguise”. Paul speaks of a “roaring lion” who deceives people by masquerading himself as an “angel of light”. He tempts people to sin, by presenting that sin *AS-IF* it were not a sin. He masquerades evil, making it appear good.

    Equivocation functions this way when a term is presented within a statement, masquerading a meaning it does not in fact have. In some cases, the true meaning is strategically obscured or hidden, and only under scrutiny do we discover the deception. Only under logical scrutiny do we recognize the statement as fallacious. A falsehood presented as truth.

    WHEN EQUIVOCATION IS BENIGN:
    Comedians frequently use “play on words.” But in order for the joke to be funny, the audience must easily recognize the play on words. So, with this form of equivocation, there is obviously no intent to deceive.

    Softer words may also be used to describe something that is distressing in order to minimize emotional hardship on others. But again, these softer words are understood. So, here again there is no intent to deceive.

    But when we discover terms within statements are carefully selected to masquerade a commonly understood meaning, when in fact an ad-hoc or obscured meaning, (i.e., “INSIDER” meaning) is subtly at play, then we clearly have deceptive language.

    Professional criminals and politicians use this form of communication consistently, and consequently become very adept at it. They justify its use, and thereby convince themselves they are not being deceptive. But we should also be able to recognize that process as a form of self-deception.

    Sometimes equivocation can occur out of ignorance. But when we have a speaker who should know better, then we have reason to suspect that speaker is communicating deceptively, and perhaps unable to discern doing so as wrong.

    When we have a speaker who recites the same carefully crafted statements over and over, we can assume this person knows better, and like the professional criminal or politician, is using equivocal language strategically. He also justifies its use, and is thereby unable to discern doing so as wrong. A person’s conscience can become compromises, such that he cannot discern his communication style as a form of sin.

    CONCLUSION:
    In order to discern when a Calvinist is communicating in a deceptive/misleading manner, we need to have a refined understanding of equivocal language, and how it works. We need to understand why Calvinists use equivocal language and why they justify its use.

    Calvinism, since its inception, has been a doctrine fraught with controversy. And Calvinists quite naturally use equivocal language, in order to reduce the specter of various controversies inherent within the doctrine they have embraced. And this explains why the use of deceptive/misleading language is not classified as sin within the Calvinist social structure. As a matter of fact, the use of misleading language is actually a part of the maturation process for every serious Calvinist.

    But having Christ-like compassion on a person who falls into various sins, should not make us vulnerable to those sins. And we should not justify the use of deceptive/misleading language just because Calvinism does.

    Therefore, be sober, be vigilant – because an adversary roams about as a roaring lion, enticing people. And you do not want to be deceived (i.e. devoured) by strategically misleading language.

    FINALLY:
    Observe for yourself. Scrutinize every word a Calvinist uses in his statements, and I am persuaded, you will eventually discover these things for yourself.

    1. br.d writes, “Paul speaks of a “roaring lion” who deceives people by masquerading himself as an “angel of light”.”

      Actually, Peter wrote, “your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” and Paul wrote, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

      Then, “We need to understand why Calvinists use equivocal language and why they justify its use. ”

      Unfortunately, br.d is not able to provide examples to illustrate his point, leaving the reader perplexed as to what he might mean. Perhaps, br.d is just as confused about what Calvinists say as he is about what Paul said.

      1. rhutchin
        Actually, Peter wrote, “your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” and Paul wrote, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

        br.d
        No problem – since they both refer to the same thing.

        rhutchin
        Unfortunately, br.d is not able to provide examples to illustrate his point, leaving the reader perplexed ….

        br.d
        Well – on Theological Determinism – when it comes to pass – that the Calvinist brain is “perplexed”
        Then it LOGICALLY follows – Calvin’s god infallibly decreed the Calvinist brain to be “perplexed”

        And since on Theological Determinism it also LOGICALLY follows – all FALSE perceptions which come to pass within the Calvinist brain are infallibly decreed.

        And thus the Calvinist is NOT PERMITTED to discern a TRUE perception from a FALSE perception.

        And since discernment is reliant up on perception – it LOGICALLY follows – the Calvinist is unable to discern TRUE from FALSE on any matter.

        Since that is the case – the fact that the Calvinist brain is infallibly decreed to be “perplexed” fits the model perfectly!.

        And on not providing any examples – wisdom tells us – its better to teach a person how to fish – than to catch one or two fish for him.
        The SOT101 reader is savvy enough to understand.

      2. br.d writes, “No problem – since they both refer to the same thing.”

        LOL.

        Then, rhutchin: “Unfortunately, br.d is not able to provide examples to illustrate his point, leaving the reader perplexed “….
        br.d: “And on not providing any examples – wisdom tells us – its better to teach a person how to fish – than to catch one or two fish for him.”

        In other words, br.d does not have examples and is pleading with readers to find some.

      3. rhutchin
        In other words, br.d does not have examples and is pleading with readers to find some.

        br.d
        Well – here we have one more FALSE perception
        Which Calvin’s god – according to the doctrine – must have decreed infallibly come to pass within your mind.

        Mr. Spock – who keeps track of such things – will add this one to your current count.

        However, at some point – one would have to conclude – with the growing number of infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions Calvin’s god has made come to pass within your brain so far – he surely must get a kick out of toying with the Calvinist mind.

        Which reminds me – how I’ve often said – Calvinists must have been created for entertainment!

        Perhaps experiencing a mind full of infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions – is one of the things Calvinists find comforting! 😀

      4. The good new is – divine providence will ensure Calvinists who post here – will continue to provide all sorts of *REAL* examples.

        For there is nothing hidden that will not eventually be revealed.
        And things men try to conceal will eventually be brought out into the open.

        Calvinist can’t help themselves!! :-]

      5. br.d
        Well – here we have one more FALSE perception”

        rhutchin
        Still, no examples. Somebody, help the boy!!!

        br.d
        With the sheer number of infallibly decreed FALSE perceptions exhibited so far
        Perceiving me as the one who needs help – would have to constitute yet another one!

        And the count continues :-]

  14. New SOT101 Video – by Dr. Flowers

    Dr. Flowers utilizes a recorded conversation between a high Calvinist and a Moderate Calvinist – who disagree on the subject of free will – to exemplify the SELF REFUTING nature of Theological Determinism (aka Calvinism).

  15. Thank you brother Rhutchin for your comments and I apologize for taking so long to respond … so capturing a bit of what you said I’m happy to turn to these passages… you say:

    Rhutchin – ‘Lets correct this to use Paul’s language in Ephesians 2, “…Salvation is by grace through faith…” God saves His elect by giving them faith so that, “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…” As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” The gospel is preached (planted and watered) whereupon God gives the increase by conveying faith through that preaching to His elect.’

    Ephesians 2:8-9 actually says is:
    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

    And then you seem to be taking Eph 2:8 and using it in Ephesians 1:13 which says:
    “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,”

    So, a couple comments… first, nowhere does Ephesians 1:13 say that God irresistibly gives faith to the elect, you are inserting that thought into Scripture – Paul simply says that “you also” believed, the ‘you’ most likely referring to the Gentile Ephesians. So, I surmise that you must be attempting to use Eph 2:8 to make this assertion. Well, I do not claim to be a Greek scholar but in my study on this verse I have found that there are exegetical difficulties in claiming that “it is the gift of God” in Eph 2:8 is referring to “faith”. More likely it refers to “Salvation” or the clause “by grace you have been saved through faith”. So it is Salvation which is the gift or that Salvation is given by God’s grace through faith as opposed to works. To Paul, a zealous Pharisee prior to his conversion (see Phil 3:4+) this is incredibly great news. But, this does not imply that faith should be ‘carved out’ as if it is the gift Paul is referring to here… that seems to be a misread of Paul. Furthermore, your rendering would have this “gift” of faith be a prior gift (and, to the elect alone) which then must be exercised by the recipient in order to receive the subsequent gift of salvation (eternal life, righteousness, justification, etc) as there are a number of salvation benefits that come through faith. So, in your rendering you would have the gift of faith being followed by the gift of Salvation what a person does in that act is receive the gift of salvation (receiving is an intrinsically non-boast worthy activity). But, you seem to keep coming back to this notion that the REAL reason we can’t boast is because such faith comes about irresistibly, else we COULD boast… yet, the Scriptures you cite do not say this and your strongest assertion above (i.e. “God saves His elect by giving them faith so that”) is an insertion INTO scripture rather than what it actually says. Scriptures are clear that exercising faith is the reason people can’t boast (and not that such faith must be irresistibly given)… Cooperating with the grace of God is not a boast worthy action… how could it be? It’s His grace (even the conviction of the Holy Spirit; again, to the world), so receiving it is not boast worthy, but rejecting it definitely culpable. But, seriously Rhutchin, why else would you keep pressing on this source of where faith comes from in order to remove the basis of boasting unless you believed THAT is the REAL REASON for its non-boast worthiness?? Scripture is clearer than that, Rhutchin… Faith is the simple reason.

    1. JaceWhite writes, ‘seriously Rhutchin, why else would you keep pressing on this source of where faith comes from in order to remove the basis of boasting unless you believed THAT is the REAL REASON for its non-boast worthiness??”

      I understand your analysis even if I disagree with it. Still, you and I disagree on the manner in which people end up with faith. I say that God gives faith to one person and not to another. You claim that the reason one person has faith and another does not has nothing to do with God and everything to do with something within the person who receives faith that is missing in the person who does not.

      We both know the source of faith – per Romans 10, it is the word (or the gospel). That is not the real issue.

      You still have not explained how you think one person hears the gospel and ends up with faith while another person hears the gospel and does not receive faith. I have asked you for an explanation several times and you do not provide that explanation. I don’t think you have an explanation (at least, I have not run across such an explanation anywhere else). If you did, I think that explanation would depend on a difference between the two people and that difference would be the basis for the person with faith to boast.

      People object to the idea that God gives faith to one and not to another but no one has yet provided an alternation explanation to explain why one has faith and another does not. I think your basic explanation, by default, has to be: “It’s a mystery.”

  16. It looks as if some of what I was typing in my response got cut out (user error on my part, I guess)… the large paragraph above was actually 2 paragraphs with some text in there about how I came to believe in Christ (to answer your question you repeatedly ask me)… so, I will try to recreate that portion and post later… sorry about that.

  17. So,
    Trying to fix my botching of that last big paragraph above… if you move to the following text in that paragraph near the middle:

    “So, in your rendering you would have the gift of faith being followed by the gift of Salvation”

    Then there is a that I botched and is missing from my response… so, all of that would proceed that next phrase in that paragraph:

    “what a person does in that act is receive the gift of salvation (receiving is an intrinsically non-boast worthy activity). But, you seem to keep coming back to this notion that the REAL reason we can’t boast is because such faith comes about irresistibly, else we COULD boast…”

    So, now filling in the

    Rhutchin, your rendering has faith being a gift which is exercised by the recipient to receive the gift of salvation… I just think this misreads Paul. Salvation IS the gift to Paul and it is established as a gift because it comes by grace through faith as opposed to works.

    Your references to Corinthians do clearly establish that the increase comes from God… However, I fail to see why you think that establishes that the saving faith they exercised when they heard the Gospel was irresistibly given to them -> for 1 Cor 15:1 says “which you received” and NOT “which God irresistibly gave you the ability to receive”.

    Rhutchin – Romans 4:16 agrees with this…. ….Romans 4 does not tell us how one person has faith and another does not

    What Ro 4:16 agrees with is the fact that faith establishes for us that Salvation is by the grace of God, NOT that faith is the irresistible gift. You are absolutely correct that Romans 4 doesn’t tell us how one person does and another does not <- it appears such a thought is not even relevant to Paul's point at all… it seems to be relevant to YOUR point, just not to Paul’s… so, when you can show how Scripture itself makes this relevant to the discussion I will happily interact with your comments on it.

    Rhutchin – “So, can you explain how two people both sinners with free will can hear the gospel and one has faith and the other does not?”

    One person trusts and another does not… God is seeking people, and He seeks us relationally (its not a transaction), people come to Christ as children. You seem to want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to this question as if the circumstances or underlying factors are the same in each case. But, Jesus did not interact with people like that… take for example His interaction with Lazarus, or the woman at the well, or the rich young ruler… each interaction by Christ uniquely connects with that individual. For me personally, I heard a sermon when I was much younger about the dangers of Hell, the Holy Spirit brought conviction upon my heart (which he says He does for the world and NOT JUST for the elect Jn 16:8), and I turned to Christ in faith to be saved from that Hellish eternity. In believing in Christ I am simply receiving the gift of Salvation which is presented to me by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. His work ABSOLUTELY precedes my response (which I am sure you agree with) but even non calvinists believe God is seeking by His grace through Scripture and the Work of the Spirit. But, scripture is also clear that some people resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51) and ALSO CLEAR that exercising faith is non meritorious (a fact you seem to agree with). The act of believing is intrinsically non boast-worthy Rhutchin. But you seem to keep wanting to dig inside of the person as to where there such faith comes from AS IF to establish the TRUE ground of non boasting. But,

    I hope that is not too confusing… I can slim it down and repost just the distilled points if it is…

    Blessings in Christ,

    1. Hi Jace,
      I have a suspicion that a few long-term and experienced SOT101 readers are watching your current dialog with RH – with the anticipation that you are eventually going to come to the same conclusion they came to. :-]

      1. br.d writes, “I have a suspicion… that you are eventually going to come to the same conclusion they came to.”

        So, why doesn’t br.d help JaceWhite and develop an explanation to explain one one person hears the gospel and receives faith while another person hears the gospel and does not receive faith. Perhaps, you will be honest and tell JaceWhite that even you have nothing to offer to explain his quandry as happens in other discussions.

      2. rhutchin
        So, why doesn’t br.d help JaceWhite and develop an explanation to explain……

        br.d
        Because br.d is not about to be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles.
        JaceWhite will eventually get the picture.
        Everyone else here already has :-].

      3. rhutchin: “So, why doesn’t br.d help JaceWhite and develop an explanation to explain……”
        br.d: “Because br.d is not about to be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles.”

        LOL!!! In other words, br.d is as clueless as JaceWhite seems to be. Thus, no help.

      4. br.d
        Because br.d is not about to be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles. :-]

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! In other words, br.d is as clueless as JaceWhite seems to be. Thus, no help.

        br.d
        Too funny!
        The one who won’t be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles is called clueless

        Once again – with the REVERSE ATTRIBUTION! :-]

      5. rhutchin: “LOL!!! In other words, br.d is as clueless as JaceWhite seems to be. Thus, no help.”
        br.d: “The one who won’t be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles is called clueless.”

        As br.d demonstrates, one who won’t be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles can still be clueless. If br.d were not clueless, he would help JaceWhite. It is obvious that br.d has nothing productive to offer on this issue.

      6. rhutchin
        As br.d demonstrates, one who won’t be led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles can still be clueless.

        br.d
        So that explains the condition of the one who DOES go around in endless IRRATIONAL circles! :-]

        rhutchin
        If br.d were not clueless he would help JaceWhite.

        br.d
        Nah!
        br.d is to RATIONAL for that trick!
        He’s also familiar with how much Calvinist’s rely on deceptive word games. :-]
        JaceWhite will get the picture – in his own time.

    2. JaceWhite writes, “I fail to see why you think that establishes that the saving faith they exercised when they heard the Gospel was irresistibly given to them -> for 1 Cor 15:1 says “which you received” and NOT “which God irresistibly gave you the ability to receive”.”

      I think we agree that a person “receives” faith consequent ot hearing the gospel. By, “receive,” is meant that faith comes through an outside source not within the person. I say that the outside source from which a person “receives” faith is God. You say that the outside source is….What?

      Then, “But you seem to keep wanting to dig inside of the person as to where there such faith comes from AS IF to establish the TRUE ground of non boasting. ”

      Well, I was. However, we seem to have progressed to the point where we agree that a person “receives” faith, thus, from an outside source. Now, we both know that the vehicle for a person to “receive” faith is the word (or the gospel). Now we have the situation where two people hear the gospel and one receives faith and one does not. How do you explain the different outcomes? Obviously, I say that God uses the gospel to give faith to one and then God ignores the other who does not receive faith.

  18. Maybe… but, I do believe he is a brother in Christ… and I will labor to treat him with the dignity that any of us would want as image bearers of the living God. I think I bungled my last post as well… cause I included greater than and less than signs (which were interpreted as special characters)… But, the bottom line for me is that Scripture clearly says that faith is the reason we cant boast and the reason we know Salvation is by grace. It seems Rhutchin says he believes that, but he still seems to look for the REAL reason someplace else (namely in the irresistible giving of such faith to some set individuals)… so, his underlying reason is different, or so it appears to me from how he writes…

    but, anyway, thanks BR.D,

    Blessings in Christ

    1. JaceWhite writes, “the bottom line for me is that Scripture clearly says that faith is the reason we cant boast and the reason we know Salvation is by grace. It seems Rhutchin says he believes that, but he still seems to look for the REAL reason someplace else (namely in the irresistible giving of such faith to some set individuals)…”

      You obviously know the issue. Why does one person hear the gospel and receive faith while another person hears the gospel and does not receive faith? If you could answer that, question we will have resolved this discussion.

    2. Yes – understood.
      Everyone starts out with that same assumption.

      And thanks for the blessings!
      Blessings to you also

  19. I gave you my answer… did you read it? The person trusts… thats it… that is the act of believing, of exercising faith. A person is presented with the truth claims of Christ and genuinely responds to it or rejects it. What more are you looking for here, because that is as deep as Scripture goes when establishing the grounds for non-boasting. I fail to see why you want me to answer this more deeply than Scripture does. You seem to want something like a determining cause, is THAT what you are looking for?… i.e. a determining cause?

    1. JaceWhite writes, “A person is presented with the truth claims of Christ and genuinely responds to it or rejects it. What more are you looking for here, b…”

      I want to know why one person receives faith and respond in faith to accept the gospel while another person does not receive faith and thereby rejects the claims of the gospel.

      Then, “…because that is as deep as Scripture goes when establishing the grounds for non-boasting.”

      OK. That means that your answer is, “Its a mystery.” That’s a valid answer – We just don’t know. However, if the explanation is a mystery, then the resolution to the mystery can be the Calvinist explanation, so appeal to mystery as an explanation does not allow you to discredit the Calvinist explanation. You should allow that the Calvinist explanation can be a valid resolution to the mystery even if you don’t like that explanation.

      1. rhutchin
        I want to know why one person receives faith and respond in faith to accept the gospel while another person does not receive faith and thereby rejects the claims of the gospel.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:

        I want to know why it is – that just because Calvin’s god infallibly decrees 100% of whatsoever of the impulses and perceptions that come to pass within my brain – I as a Calvinist feel the need to deploy sophist DOUBLE-SPEAK – in the attempt to hide that aspect of Calvin’s doctrine.

      2. rhutchin: “I want to know why one person receives faith and respond in faith to accept the gospel while another person does not receive faith and thereby rejects the claims of the gospel.”
        br.d: “INTERPRETATION: I want to know why it is – that just because Calvin’s god infallibly decrees 100% …”

        LOL!!! br.d is no help to JaceWhite on this issue.

      3. rhutchin
        LOL!!! br.d is no help to JaceWhite on this issue.

        br.d
        JaceWhite – will soon get the picture for himself
        He has no interest in being led around in endless IRRATIONAL circles – any more than br.d does. :-]

    2. JaceWhite
      You seem to want something like a determining cause, is THAT what you are looking for?… i.e. a determining cause?

      br.d
      Yes JaceWhite that is exactly it!
      Because the underlying foundational cornerstone of Calvinism is Universal Divine Casual Determinism.

      Dr. William Lane Craig explains:
      -quote
      “The Calvinist consistently falls short of enunciating the RADICAL distinctions of his belief system. What truly distinguishes Calvinism is Universal Divine Causal Determinism. For the Calvinist God CAUSALLY DETERMINES absolutely everything that happens.”

      Unfortunately Calvinists are not honest and up front concerning the core of their doctrine.
      They use cloaked language – trying to see if they can lead unsuspecting people into their system without telling them up front.
      Because they know otherwise – Christians will generally reject it out of hand.

      That is why Dr. Craig states
      “The Calvinist consistently fails to enunciate the RADICAL distinctions of his belief system”

      And Dr. Jerry Walls states:
      -quote
      “If Calvinists didn’t resort to misleading rhetoric (i.e., cloaked language) they would lose all credibility within two years”

      Norman Geisler in his book Chosen but Free writes:
      -quote
      “Some Calvinists use smoke-and-mirror tactics to avoid the harsh implications of their view” (pg 104)
      “This is done by redefining terms and Theological Doublespeak” (pg 261)

      Laurence M. Vance in The Other Side of Calvinism writes:
      -quote
      “The confusing labyrinth of Calvinist terminology” (pg 556)

      Micah Coate in his book The Cultish side of Calvinism writes:
      -quote
      “Calvinists arguments are buried in theological and grammatical doublespeak.”

      Authors David L. Allen, Eric Hankins, and Adam Harwood in their book Anyone Can Be Saved: A Defense of “Traditional” Southern Baptist Soteriology write:
      -quote
      “This is a clear example of what I call Calvinism’s double-talk. By double-talk, I specifically and only mean thinking….speaking in such a way that obscures the disquieting realities of Calvinism. If a person accepts these realities, then he can be a knowledgeable and consistent Calvinist. But if one is unwilling to face them and accept them, he cannot be a consistent Calvinist. Additionally, I am not calling anyone a double-talker nor is my use of this term intended in any sense to be a pejorative.”

      Gilbert VanOrder Jr in his book Calvinism’s Conflicts: An Examination of the Problems in Reformed Theology writes:
      -quote
      “Calvinists then have to resort to double-talk in order to explain how human responsibility is still involved even though it isn’t. If a man can do nothing to change his condition, then he cannot be held responsible for changing his condition”.

      Ex-Calvinist Daniel Gracely in his book Calvinism a closer look writes:
      -quote
      “Calvinist and Non-Calvinist do not share the same meaning of words….. Remember, Calvinism is merely the invoking of associative meaning, not real meaning. By ‘not real’ I mean that the meaning is destroyed in the overall thought of the clause or sentence. For, of course, at one level the Calvinist understands the general meaning of words. But when he strings them together in such a way that it forms an idea that is false…

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

      Francis Hodgson in his book The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted, 1855 writes:
      -quote
      “The apology for this gross misapplication of language…..is found in their distressing emergency.
      In no other way can they, with any plausibility, meet their opponents.”

  20. Brother Rutchin,

    Citing from you 2 posts back:

    Rhutchin (quoting me) – ‘It seems Rhutchin says he believes that, but he still seems to look for the REAL reason someplace else (namely in the irresistible giving of such faith to some set individuals)…”’

    Rhutchin – You obviously know the issue.

    So, clearly you agree that you are looking for the grounding of non-boasting outside of the biblical answer… the biblical answer is “faith”. We have clearly established this, you have stated you agree with it, and yet you keep looking for another answer to ground non-boasting… why so, Rhutchin? Why is the Biblical answer not good enough for you?

    Then, from your last post:

    Rhutchin – I want to know why one person receives faith and respond in faith to accept the gospel while another person does not receive faith and thereby rejects the claims of the gospel.

    Well, 1st of all you talk about “receving faith” above as if that is some commodity people get from God… Therein may be some of your confusion because, more biblically, it should be they exercise faith, i.e. they believe

    Rhutchin – Then, “…because that is as deep as Scripture goes when establishing the grounds for non-boasting.”
    Rhutchin – “OK. That means that your answer is, “Its a mystery.” That’s a valid answer – We just don’t know.”

    No, you are not correct in your conclusion above, I did not say it was a mystery. I said that Scripture does not go any deeper than “faith” when it establishes the grounds for non-boasting. You do agree with that, correct? Yet, it seems to be YOU who is simply unable to accept this simple Biblical answer for why we cannot boast before God. I gave you in my answer how I came to Christ. Why that is not a good enough answer to show you why I came to Christ is a bit perplexing.

    Are you looking for a deterministic answer to this question? Are you wanting to understand what determines one person to believe versus another who does not? And then, place locus of non-boasting (or boasting) there? It seems so to me.

    1. JaceWhite writes, “Well, 1st of all you talk about “receving faith” above as if that is some commodity people get from God… Therein may be some of your confusion because, more biblically, it should be they exercise faith, i.e. they believe.”

      From Hebrews, we see that faith is assurance and conviction. From Romans, we see that this assurance and conviction (faith) comes to a person when they hear the word (gospel). Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally and only can get through hearing the gospel. We both seem to agree that faith is “received” from a source outside the person. So, two people hear the gospel (the word) and one has faith and one does not. Calvinists say that God uses the gospel to convey faith to one person but does ot do the same for the other. God is the outside cause for a person receiving faith when that person hears the gospel. You disagree with this position. So, what outside source do you see accounting for one person receiving faith when another does not?

      Rhutchin – “OK. That means that your answer is, “Its a mystery.” That’s a valid answer – We just don’t know.”
      JaceWhite: “No, you are not correct in your conclusion above, I did not say it was a mystery. I said that Scripture does not go any deeper than “faith” when it establishes the grounds for non-boasting. You do agree with that, correct? ”

      The Scriptures tell us more than you seem willing to accept. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, ” I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” The Baptist said in John 3, ““A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” Jesus said in John 6, ““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me,…” In that context, Paul wrote in Ephesians, “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast.” From this, Calvinists conclude that God gives faith to one but not to another. You seem to claim that there is another source outside the person that uses the gospel to convey faith to a person. You seem unable to identify this source, but claim its identity is not a mystery. If it is not a mystery, as you state, why can’t you identify that source.

      Then, “Yet, it seems to be YOU who is simply unable to accept this simple Biblical answer for why we cannot boast before God. I gave you in my answer how I came to Christ. Why that is not a good enough answer to show you why I came to Christ is a bit perplexing.”

      I think your testimony is an example of God’s work in your life – something you now seem to want to deny. Do you agree that it was God’s working in your life that explains your coming to Christ? If not, what else explains your coming to Christ?

      Then, “Are you looking for a deterministic answer to this question? Are you wanting to understand what determines one person to believe versus another who does not?”

      I just want your answer to this question?

      1. rhutchin
        Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:
        I’m not prepared to be honest enough affirm or deny – I’m treating it as a commodity (i.e., concrete object).

        THE WORKBOOK OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK
        -quote

        Many ABSTRACT nouns in Greek are feminine. Among such nouns in the New Testament we find:
        ἡ πίστις, faith
        ἡ ἀγάπη, love
        ἡ δικαιοσύνη, justice
        ἡ εἰρήνη, peace

        Some people feel the need to treat the NT term FAITH as a CONCRETE Noun
        In order to treat is as-if it were a physical object .
        As if it is an object – given from one person to another.

        But this represents a forced misuse of the term.
        Indicating a need to BEND the text – in order to make it conform to one’s theology.

      2. rhutchin: “Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally”
        br.d: “INTERPRETATION: I’m not prepared to be honest enough affirm or deny – I’m treating it as a commodity (i.e., concrete object).”

        No. Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally Regardless whether “faith” is seen as concrete or abstract, my point is that faith is something people are not born with – people do not have faith originally – but can only receive faith through hearing the gospel.

        Hebrews defines faith for us – faith is assurance and conviction and as Paul wrote, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Then John, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” By “you may believe,” John is speaking of faith – the gospel was written to give people faith.

      3. rhutchin
        Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally”

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:
        I’m not prepared to be honest enough to affirm or deny – I’m treating it as a commodity (i.e., concrete object). – but I’ll just continue to ignore that and I hope I can trick you into following me around in endless IRRATIONAL circles. :-]

        rhutchin
        No. Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise), it is something that people do not have originally

        br.d
        I can make a similar statement:
        Whatever Intellectual honesty is (commodity or otherwise), it is something Calvinists do not appear to ever have. :-]

        rhutchin
        Regardless whether “faith” is seen as concrete or abstract, my point is that faith is something people are not born with

        br.d
        So now we get the picture – its just a matter of how you want something to be seen

        All you had to do is confess – you were not born with NORMAL human capacities
        You don’t have to attribute your personal ABNORMALCIES onto every else :-]

        rhutchin
        Hebrews defines faith for us – faith is assurance and conviction……ect

        br.d
        So you were not born with the NORMAL human capacity for assurance and conviction.
        Just because that is the case with yourself – you don’t have to superimpose that ABNORMALCY onto every else

        And treating an Noun – written specifically as an Abstract Noun by an author – in a way that is against what that author intended – is an abuse of the text.

      4. rhutchin: “Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally”
        br.d: “INTERPRETATION: I’m not prepared to be honest enough to affirm or deny – I’m treating it as a commodity (i.e., concrete object). – but I’ll just continue to ignore that and I hope I can trick you into following me around in endless IRRATIONAL circles.”

        No, I treat “faith” as a noun, without further specification. The key point is that faith is something that people do not have originally. If there is an irrational circle in there, maybe you can point it out.

        rhutchin: “No. Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise), it is something that people do not have originally”
        br.d: “I can make a similar statement:-Whatever Intellectual honesty is (commodity or otherwise), it is something Calvinists do not appear to ever have. ”

        My statement is drawn from Romans 10, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That faith comes by hearing the word means that it was absent prior to hearing the word. Your statement about Calvinists is just a lie that you made up.

        Then, “So you were not born with the NORMAL human capacity for assurance and conviction. Just because that is the case with yourself – you don’t have to superimpose that ABNORMALCY onto every else”

        All people are born with the normal human capacity for assurance and conviction. That capacity for assurance and conviction then attaches itself to specific things through experience and learning. For assurance and conviction to be in Christ, a person must hear the word – or the gospel. However, not everyone who physically hears the gospel exhibits an assurance and conviction in Christ. Some do; some don’t. This leads Calvinists to conclude that God uses the gospel to convey assurance and conviction in Christ to His elect as a gift while not doing so for the non-elect. JaceWhite disagrees but cannot figure out a way for some people to receive faith where they hear the gospel while others do not given that there are no internal differences between them to account for the different outcomes – both are sinners and both have free will and both hear the gospel..

        Then, ‘And treating an Noun – written specifically as an Abstract Noun by an author – in a way that is against what that author intended – is an abuse of the text.”

        And you do not show that I have done this, so why bring it up? What’s your argument here?

      5. rhutchin
        Whatever faith is (commodity or otherwise0, it is something that people do not have originally

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION:
        I’m not prepared to be honest enough to affirm or deny – I’m treating it as a commodity (i.e., concrete object). – but I’ll just continue to ignore that and I hope I can trick you into following me around in endless IRRATIONAL circles.”

        rhutchin
        No, I treat “faith” as a noun, without further specification….

        br.d
        Thank you for manifesting my point! :-]

        rhutchin
        The key point is that faith is something that people do not have originally.

        br.d
        Here we see – how the Calvinist comes to a conclusion
        By repeating a MANTRA over and over – enough times to make his brain accept it.

        So if you treat faith as a CONCRETE object (i.e. concerete noun) which it isn’t
        What else is new?

        rhutchin
        My statement is drawn from Romans 10….etc

        br.d
        Like the man who drew from scripture – the PRESUMPTION that any women who wears pants – and any man who does not shave his head – will go to hell :-]

        rhutchin
        All people are born with the normal human capacity for assurance and conviction. That capacity for assurance and conviction then attaches itself to specific things through experience and learning.

        br.d
        Well – you stated something that is understood as NORMAL
        But lets see where you go from there.

        rhutchin
        not everyone who physically hears the gospel exhibits an assurance and conviction in Christ.

        br.d
        So here we have a evidence by observation – which is understood as NORMAL
        But lets see where you go from there.

        rhutchin
        This leads Calvinists to conclude that God uses the gospel to convey assurance and conviction in Christ to His elect as a gift while not doing so for the non-elect.

        br.d
        I can make a similar statement.
        I observe a degree of intellectual dishonesty with Calvinists.
        So I can conclude that Calvin’s god uses infallible decrees to convey a lack of honesty into Calvinists whom Calvin’s god has elected specifically for that purpose.

        rhutchin
        JaceWhite disagrees but cannot figure out a way for some people to receive faith ……etc

        br.d
        So why don’t you be honest with JaceWhite and tell him the WHOLE TRUTH up front – instead of trying to lead him on.
        An honest person would tell him up front – that Calvin’s god has to MAKE HIM willing to “figure it out”
        An honest person would tell him up front – that only the special elect FEW can “figure it out”.
        Tell him that you believe you are one of the special elect FEW
        And that the vast majority of the human race – are created specifically for eternal torment in the lake of fire – for Calvin’s god’s good pleasure

        AH but I already know why you won’t tell him those things.
        That is the “FINE PRINT” within Calvinism’s contract
        And the Calvinist salesman always wants the customer to sign the contract without seeing the “FINE PRINT”.

      6. rhutchin: “My statement is drawn from Romans 10….etc”
        br.d: “Like the man who drew from scripture – the PRESUMPTION that any women who wears pants – and any man who does not shave his head – will go to hell ”

        Unable to deal with Romans 10, br.d deflects. Non-Calvinists can be so predictable in their arguments against Calvinism..

      7. rhutchin
        My statement is drawn from Romans 10….etc”

        br.d
        Like the man who drew from scripture – the PRESUMPTION that any women who wears pants – and any man who does not shave his head – will go to hell ”

        rhutchin
        Unable to deal with Romans 10, br.d deflects. Non-Calvinists can be so predictable in their arguments against Calvinism..

        br.d
        Nah!
        br.d simply understands – how the Calvinist “draws” things from the text!

        He “draws” a god who goes about his office preventing non-existent events – treating events he knows have no possibility of ever coming to pass *AS-IF* what he knows is FALSE!

        What a hoot! :-]

      8. rhutchin
        The Scriptures tell us more than you seem willing to accept.

        br.d
        INTERPRETATION
        John Calvin got his reputation from knowing DIVINE SECRETS.

        With John Calvin’s magic decoder ring – you will be able to see that scripture is full of hidden messages

        A select few people – the GNOSIS ones (i.e. the “elect” ones) are supernaturally MADE WILLING to see what scripture tells us.

        The rest of the people don’t have the supernatural GNOSIS
        Because they are not MADE WILLING to see the DIVINE SECRETS.

      9. br.d writes, “John Calvin got his reputation from knowing DIVINE SECRETS.”

        I think br.d has nothing to say, so he just made this up. Of course, if by “DIVINE SECRETS,” he means that which the Scriptures tell us, then, OK.. John Calvin did get his reputation from knowing the Scriptures and teaching the Scriptures to others.

      10. br.d
        John Calvin got his reputation from knowing DIVINE SECRETS.

        rhutchin
        I think br.d has nothing to say, so he just made this up.

        br.d
        If br.d were to go around “making stuff up” – he would be following the Calvinist model
        And that is certainly not the case :-]

        rhutchin
        Of course, if by “DIVINE SECRETS,” he means that which the Scriptures tell us, then, OK..

        br.d
        Yeah right!
        All of those DIVINE SECRETS hidden within the text – that only that special group of “elect” ones.
        The “FEW” select ones who are supernaturally MADE WILLING to see DIVINE SECRETS hidden in the text.
        Those DIVINE SECRETS which are hidden to everyone else.

        That’s why – in the Calvinist’s mind – JaceWhite was -quote “Not willing to see what scripture is telling us”

        And you were not honest enough to reveal to JaceWhite – Calvinism’s tiny little caveat
        That Calvin’s god determines 100% of whatsoever comes to pass – within JaceWhite’s brain
        And JaceWhite has no say in the matter of what impulses were infallibly decreed to come to pass in his brain.

        Remember the TRUE “T” in the TULIP
        All Nature is “T” Totally Predestined:

        The state of nature (including man’s nature) at any instance in time is totally predestined PRIOR TO CREATION, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of man’s nature – or anything else for that matter – is ever up to any man.

      11. br.d: “John Calvin got his reputation from knowing DIVINE SECRETS.”
        rhutchin: “I think br.d has nothing to say, so he just made this up.
        br.d: “If br.d were to go around “making stuff up” – he would be following the Calvinist model”

        LOL!!! In order to get out of one lie, br.d finds that he must invent another. br.d always seems to be making bold claims for which he is unable to support.

      12. br.d
        If br.d were to go around “making stuff up” – he would be following the Calvinist model
        And that is certainly not the case :-]

        rhutchin
        LOL!!! In order to get out of one lie, br.d finds that he must invent another. br.d always seems to be making bold claims for which he is unable to support.

        br.d
        Nah!
        All the SOT101 reader need do – to observe “making stuff up” – is to read through a few Calvinist posts here at SOT101

        Take this one for example:
        Calvin’s god’s decree has no beginning or ending – but we don’t know when it began.

        Or how about this one:
        Calvin’s god intervenes to prevent – events which he established by infallible decree at the foundation of the world – to never have any possibility of ever coming to pass.

        The Calvinist model is not only to “make stuff up”
        But to “make stuff up” in the form of DOUBLE-SPEAK

        What a hoot!! 😀

      13. Hey RH, why did Jesus rebuke the eleven for not receiving faith in Mark 16:14? Seems rather strange to rebuke them for not doing something they couldn’t do; or should I say, ‘ for not receiving faith from above’ ? Make sense to you?

      14. I’m grand, thanks Br.d. And yerself?

        I have a question for you: Where in the New Testament does it actually condemn polygamy?

      15. I’m well – thank you much!

        On the question – I don’t think it directly or explicitly does.
        In the OT for example we have King Solomon.

        And although we understand his wives were part of his compromise – I’m not at this point familiar with any place in which God condemned or was displeased with Solomon for having more than one wife.

        When Sarah advises Abraham to go into the tent of Hagar, this seems to be a common occurrence in those days, especially with wealthy men, and there is no indication that God is unhappy with it.

        In the NT we have Jesus’ statements on marriage, and from general NT statements, it appears that one wife was assumed to be appropriate.

        We have Paul writing to Timothy concerning an Elder in the church and – the words ἄνδρα μιᾶς γυναικὸς “husband of one wife”. So I think it has become generally understood among Bible believers that polygamy is not appropriate for Christians, even though it appears to have been ok in the OT period.

      16. Thanks for your well thought out reply, br.d; but
        Jesus clearly condemned polygamy when He said, ‘ No man can serve two masters’.🤭

      17. Oh that is a good one!
        Thanks for sharing that!!

        It reminds me of the story where God tells a motorcycle man he wants to give him a special gift.
        The motorcycle man thinks about it and asks for a highway across the ocean.
        God says – do you know how difficult that would be!!!
        The motorcycle man says – ok lets go for something easier – tell me why my wife thinks the way she does.
        God says: How wide did you want that highway, 😀

      18. Aidan
        Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Good food but no atmosphere

        br.d
        Good one!
        That reminds me of the Calvinist who goes about his office *AS-IF* his brain is “self-determining”
        *AS-IF* Calvin’s god permits the Calvinist’s brain to determine anything for its “self”. :-]

      19. Agreed, the god who determines everything for the Calvinist is their human creed disguised in the pages of the bible. This seems to be quite common among many religious groups!

      20. Very true!
        And one eventually discovers – the *REAL* god determining everything in Calvinism – is actually the Calvinist himself. :-]

      21. Aidan,
        He worships his own god made after his own likeness!

        br.d
        Don’t we see it all the time!
        We know that is true because he attributes to his god – the very exact IRRATIONAL thinking – he exhibits himself.

        The Calvinist goes about his office *AS-IF* what he knows – is FALSE
        And he conceives of a god who seeks to prevent non-existent events from coming to pass *AS-IF* they are going to come to pass – which his god knows is FALSE.

        That’s a clear indicator of making a god in one’s own image. :-]

      22. Aidan writes, “the god who determines everything for the Calvinist is their human creed disguised in the pages of the bible. ”

        Bo, it is the God of whom Paul wrote that He “works all things according to the counsel of His will,” and who works, “all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ He is the God of whom the pagan king said, “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”

      23. Aidan writes, “why did Jesus rebuke the eleven for not receiving faith in Mark 16:14? Seems rather strange to rebuke them for not doing something they couldn’t do; or should I say, ‘ for not receiving faith from above’ ?”

        Mark 16
        14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

        The unsaved are marked by an absence of faith. The saved are marked by the presence of faith.

        Within the saved, some have a weak faith while others have a strong faith. Jesus rebuked the eleven for their weak faith. John wrote later, “truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” We might think that the eleven, having spent 3 1/2 years observing Jesus and learning from Him would have had greater faith. Apparently, not. As church people might say: Sometimes you are on a mountain top and sometimes you are in a valley. The eleven, having had to deal with the crucifixion of Jesus ,seemed to have been in a valley.

      24. Jesus didn’t rebuke them for having weak faith hear, but unbelief and hardness of heart. He had told them that He would be put to death, and then be raised again. The scriptures had said just as much, yet, in spite of having given them every reason to believe Him they were unbelieving.

        The fact that Jesus rebuked them for not believing is undeniable proof that they could have, and should have – but didn’t; hence the rebuke!

      25. Aidan writes, “The fact that Jesus rebuked them for not believing is undeniable proof that they could have, and should have – but didn’t; hence the rebuke!”

        I still think the eleven had faith. Jesus rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. The eleven were still His disciples and had confessed in John 6, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

      26. rhutchin
        1) I still think the eleven had faith.

        2) Jesus rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe…etc

        br.d
        So in some special cases – the doctrine that is normally infallibly TRUE can be FALSE.
        In this special case – we have persons who are in a condition where they do not believe and yet they still have faith

        This is very consistent with the Calvinist model – where any aspect of their doctrine can be TRUE one minute and whenever convenient – can be FALSE the next.

        And look who ends up being the sovereign one who determines which way it is?
        The Calvinist!

        The Calvinists spiritual inheritance has been well established.
        Creating a god after his own image :-]

      27. br.d writes, “In this special case – we have persons who are in a condition where they do not believe and yet they still have faith”

        In this case, Jesus rebukes them, “because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” The eleven had no faith in the testimony of the women. They still had faith in Christ even if it is beaten down.

        Then, This is very consistent with the Calvinist model – where any aspect of their doctrine can be TRUE one minute and whenever convenient – can be FALSE the next.”

        In this case a distinction is made between faith in Christ and faith in the testimony of others. This is illustrated in John 4, when the people of Samaria say to the women, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

        Then, “And look who ends up being the sovereign one who determines which way it is? The Calvinist! ”

        Actually, it is the Scripture that is at issue here and how we are to understand the Scripture. Of course, br.d always avoids dealing with the Scripture. Scripture to br.d seems to be like kryptonite to Superman.

      28. br.d
        In this special case – we have persons who are in a condition where they do not believe and yet they still have faith
        Which in Calvinism – is typically explained as not having been given faith as a concrete object

        rhuthcin
        In this case, Jesus rebukes them, “because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” The eleven had no faith in the testimony of the women. They still had faith in Christ even if it is beaten down.

        br.d
        This is a good example of how Calvinism is inherently IRRATIONAL

        They do not believe something that someone told them – supposedly simply because they do not believe anything those people say!

        When a RATIONAL mind would understand they do not believe that Christ could have done such a thing.

        And in the Calvinist’s mind the text states that Calvin’s god gave them the gift of “beaten down” faith! :-]

        br.d
        And look who ends up being the sovereign one who determines which way it is?
        The Calvinist!

        rhutchin
        Actually, it is the Scripture that is at issue here and how we are to understand the Scripture.

        br.d
        Oh I know how it works
        The Calvinist is the REAL sovereign one – who determines what the scripture really says – and who determines what Calvin’s god does and doesn’t. RATIONAL thinking is kryptonite to the Calvinist. :-]

      29. Brother Rhutchin,

        Rhutchin – “We both seem to agree that faith is “received” from a source outside the person.”

        You are misunderstanding what I have said. I have not said this nor do I agree that faith is “received” from a source outside the person.

        You briefly quote 1st Corinthians, and John 3, and John 6, then Eph 2 and say:
        Rhutchin – “From this, Calvinists conclude that God gives faith to one but not to another. You seem to claim that there is another source outside the person that uses the gospel to convey faith to a person. You seem unable to identify this source, but claim its identity is not a mystery. If it is not a mystery, as you state, why can’t you identify that source.”

        So, obviously, since I didn’t say nor agree that faith is “received” from an outside source the latter 2 sentences and questions in the above are not relevant. Furthermore, I already commented on your use of 1st Corinthians and do not find it persuasive that saving faith is the thing being irresistibly received as I pointed out that 1st Cor 15:1 does not say faith is irresistibly given. I think you are misunderstanding John 3:27 –> John the Baptist is not discussing “receiving faith”… rather, he is directing people to Christ instead of himself because he never “received” from Heaven the appointment as the Messiah, just the role by God to be the voice in the Wilderness pointing to Christ… to use this as an indication that the faith to believe in Christ is irresistibly given/received is misguided, imo. John 6 has already been discussed throughout the totality of this thread, so I have nothing new to add there. And, you seem to be determined to use the least likely understanding of Eph 2:8 and assert that “faith” is the thing that is being referred to as the “gift of God”. I have already mentioned to you that “Salvation” or “by grace you have been saved through faith” is a more likely referent which means that “faith” is not the gift Paul is referring to.

        You mention my testimony and then suggest that I am now wanting to deny God’s work in my life… Nothing could be further from the truth, Rhutchin. Did you actually read my prior comments on the fact that Salvation is totally and completely by the Grace of God? And did you read in my brief testimony that I first gave attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing conviction upon my heart? If God does not seek and if God does not save then none of us have any hope! But HE DOES seek and HE DOES save! God be Praised!!! He is an AMAZING SAVIOR!!!

        And, finally, you end by asking me a question. I think I gave you that answer in my testimony… I told you the circumstances I was in and influences I experienced when I turned to Christ. But, still you seem to want more. So, my question for you is the following:

        “How is the answer to the “what determines a person to believe” question relevant to whether a person can or cannot boast before God?” In other words, to me it seems there are 2 issues/questions you & I are circling around:

        1) What is the reason we know that Salvation is by Grace and that we cannot boast (Ro 4 etc. clearly answers this)
        2) What are the circumstances and influences in play when an individual believes in Christ (I think this is unique for each person as Jesus’ interactions with individuals demonstrates)

        These are distinct to me even though grace is clearly significant in both (as the conviction of the Holy Spirit is obviously involved in #2). But, are they distinct to you?… or possibly do you think any/some answers to the 2nd bear upon the answer to the 1st?

        Blessings in Christ

      30. JaceWhite writes, ““How is the answer to the “what determines a person to believe” question relevant to whether a person can or cannot boast before God?”

        That factor which determines one person to believe and another person not to believe tells us whether a person has any basis for boasting. If that factor is completely outside the control of the person, then he has no basis for boasting; if that factor is not completely outside the control of the person, but he has a basis for boasting. Calvinists identify the “factor” as God’s work in the person. Can you identify the factor that results in a person receiving faith and believing?

        Then, “In other words, to me it seems there are 2 issues/questions you & I are circling around:
        1) What is the reason we know that Salvation is by Grace and that we cannot boast (Ro 4 etc. clearly answers this)”

        The reason is that salvation is by grace and nothing anyone can do can deny the effect of grace and reject salvation. Romans 4 does many things but foes not tell us where Abraham got his faith. Paul explains this in Romans 10. Of course, faith provides no basis for one to boast because God gives a person faith; faith in God/Christ is not an inherent characteristic of any person (one that he is born with).

        Then, “2) What are the circumstances and influences in play when an individual believes in Christ (I think this is unique for each person as Jesus’ interactions with individuals demonstrates)’

        To believe in Christ, a person must have faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is the assurance and conviction a person receives on hearing the word, and that faith results in the outward behavior of believing in Christ. The issue before us is to identify how one person comes to have faith on hearing the gospel while another person has no faith after hearing the gospel.

        Then, “These are distinct to me even though grace is clearly significant in both (as the conviction of the Holy Spirit is obviously involved in #2). But, are they distinct to you?… or possibly do you think any/some answers to the 2nd bear upon the answer to the 1st?”

        Salvation is by grace and that grace cannot be denied to, or by, the person to whom God extends grace. However we think faith fits into the grace of salvation, we should agree that faith will always bring about salvation in the person who receives it.

      31. JaceWhite
        How is the answer to the “what determines a person to believe” question relevant to whether a person can or cannot boast before God?”

        rhutchin
        That factor which determines one person to believe and another person not to believe tells us whether a person has any basis for boasting

        br.d
        Here is a wonderful example of – being led about in endless IRRATIONAL circles

        On the SACRED UNIVERSAL DIVINE PREMISE that Calvin’s god – at the foundation of the world – determines whatsoever will come to pass within a person’s brain – that person with believe or not believe.

        But that same SACRED UNIVERSAL DIVINE PREMISE – suddenly disappears – when it comes to the question of whether that person will boast or not boast.

        Welcome to Calvinism’s crazy world of DOUBLE-THINK! :-]

      32. Maybe he secretly boasts over the millions whom his god didn’t pick not realizing that he picked himself and his confidence truly misplaced.

      33. Yes!
        Or perhaps the Calvinist gets caught boasting – in his vain imaginations of himself knowing DIVINE SECRETS
        So he invents a way to blame boasting on non-Calvinists – in order to reduce the specter of his boastful nature. :-]

      34. There will be nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything kept secret that will not be brought to light.

      35. I love that verse!!
        And: “You shall know the truth – and the truth shall set you free”
        And “Where the spirit of the Lord is – there is Liberty”.

      36. And when the Spirit has come, said Jesus to the apostles, He will guide you into all truth. But the Calvinist asks, ‘What is truth’? He has been told a thousand times, ‘ it is not to be found in Calvinism – THAT IS THE TRUTH!

      37. JaceWhite writes, ” I think you are misunderstanding John 3:27 –> John the Baptist is not discussing “receiving faith”…”

        John makes a strong statement about a person receiving anything and that would include faith. John presents a universal truth and emphasizes it by using a double negative – no person,,,not one thing. Anything a person has, he has because God has given it to him. That includes faith. 3:27 is as direct as it gets in stating truth,

        Then, “to use this as an indication that the faith to believe in Christ is irresistibly given/received is misguided,”

        Not on the basis of what John 3:27 says. What else would you exclude from 3:27 besides faith, or is it only faith that gives you heartburn?

        Then, ” I have already mentioned to you that “Salvation” or “by grace you have been saved through faith” is a more likely referent which means that “faith” is not the gift Paul is referring to.”

        We both agree on that. The “gift” in Ephesians 2:8 is “salvation through faith.” However, Paul says “by grace you have been saved” where the reader understands that grace means it is a gift. Salvation is a gift as previously stated in 2:5 “By grace you have been saved.” The expansion by Paul that the gift encompasses “salvation through faith” extends the gift to faith. You seem to agree with this when you say, “Salvation is totally and completely by the Grace of God.” Then, you say, “if God does not save then none of us have any hope!”

        Taking your position that faith is not a gift from God requires that you be able to explain how faith appears in one person and not another. This is what I have been laboring to get you to explain but you have resisted.

      38. rhutchin
        Taking your position that faith is not a gift from God requires that you be able to explain how faith APPEARS in one person and not another.

        br.d
        As a matter of fact – in Calvinism – how any neurological impulse at all APPEARS in a person’s brain – or doesn’t.
        Calvin’s god is the AUTHOR / ARRANGER / COMPOSER / PRODUCER / DETERMINER of the movement of every molecule and every impulse.

        As John Calvin explains:
        -quote
        Hence they are merely INSTRUMENTS INTO WHICH god CONSTANTLY INFUSES what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. (Institutes)

      39. Jesus rebukes them for their unbelief! He had told them that He would be raised. The scriptures had told them, and the women had told them that He was raised; yet they disbelieved it all. In fact as far as they were concerned He was dead, their cause was over and defeated.

        Obviously they had chosen to believe it was all over. There was no irresistible grace at play here. Like Thomas they chose not to believe until the evidence was overwhelming! And by the way, he also had heard testimony from more than just the women.

      40. When the Scripture openly contradicts the sacred doctrine – the indoctrinated simply look for ways to get around Scripture.
        Which reveals they are simply blowing smoke – when they claim their doctrine is derived from Scripture.
        And the fact that “reformed” represent about 14% of the Christian population tells you most Christians are smart enough to know better.

      41. And, doesn’t it prove the case; a man can’t serve two masters! No wonder the Calvinist is so DOUBLE MINDED.

      42. Right
        Bigamy as punished by law – is the act of defrauding one’s spouse by secretly marrying a second spouse. And or defrauding both spouses by maintaining two separate marriages secret from each other, which is obviously not the case with polygamy.

        Hmmm….that makes me think….. defrauding people with secrets – sounds like something akin to what Calvin’s god does! :-]

      43. it only makes sense ( to a Calvinist) that Jesus would rebuke someone for not believing something that another person said to them, rather than rebuking them for not believing he had risen from the dead ;).

      44. So now RH reveals – if a Calvinist is preaching Calvin’s gospel to a person – and that person doesn’t believe what the Calvinist says – then that does not show that person is absent faith. It simply shows, that person doesn’t believe what a Calvinist says.

        Which means – faith viewed as a concrete object which people don’t have possession of can be TRUE. But only if a Calvinist says its TRUE. And it can just as easily be FALSE. But only if a Calvinist says its FALSE

        Thus once again – revealing how many claims in Calvinism are TRUE one minute and FALSE the next.
        And guess who is the “sovereign one” who determines whether a given claim is TRUE or FALSE.
        The Calvinist! :-]

      45. brdmod writes, “if a Calvinist is preaching Calvin’s gospel to a person – and that person doesn’t believe what the Calvinist says – then that does not show that person is absent faith. It simply shows, that person doesn’t believe what a Calvinist says.”

        That is why people are told to check out the Scriptures for themselves regardless who is telling them what the Scriptures say, Calvinist or not. Faith comes from hearing the word, and a false teaching does not give faith.

      46. brd
        if a Calvinist is preaching Calvin’s gospel to a person – and that person doesn’t believe what the Calvinist says – then that does not show that person is absent faith. It simply shows, that person doesn’t believe what a Calvinist says.”

        rhutchin
        That is why people are told to check out the Scriptures for themselves regardless who is telling them what the Scriptures say, Calvinist or not. Faith comes from hearing the word, and a false teaching does not give faith.

        br.d
        Ah but that rules out all of the people who live prior to the establishment/printing of the Bible.

        So if that person doesn’t believe what a Gnosti/NeoPlatonist/Pre-Calvinist says – that doesn’t mean that person lacks faith as a possession, it just means that person didn’t believe what the Gnosti/NeoPlatonist/Pre-Calvinist says.

        And again – we see the “sovereign” one who determines whether faith is a concrete object that NORMAL people don’t have – is TRUE of FALSE. Again its the Gnosti/NeoPlatonist/Pre-Calvinist who is the grand determiner.

        And the joke explains it:
        It is written God made man in his image
        And the Gnosti/NeoPlatonist/Calvinist must return the favor! :-]

      47. THE CALVINIST THEME SONG

        Hold the pickles and the lettuce
        DOUBLE-THINK will never upset-us
        All we demand – is that you let-us
        Have everything BOTH WAYS

        Sung to the tune of the “Burger King Theme Song” 😎

      48. rhutchin
        Faith comes from hearing the word, and a false teaching does not give faith

        br.d
        On that answer – it LOGICALLY follows – that what the Calvinist says – (if the person doesn’t believe it) is a false teaching.
        Because if it wasn’t a false teaching then the words the Calvinist speak would come with Calvinism’s magical gift of faith. .

        At bear minimum – this shows that one can’t assume what the Calvinist says – to have the backing of – or to be linked with scripture.

        And that would make sense – since the “MANY” within the Calvinist fold are as John Calvin explains: A Large Mixture of Hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outwards appearance. :-]

      49. rhutchin: “Faith comes from hearing the word, and a false teaching does not give faith”
        br.d: “On that answer – it LOGICALLY follows – that what the Calvinist says – (if the person doesn’t believe it) is a false teaching.”

        Not really. The Calvinist, as the non-Calvinist, can accurately covey the gospel to people and people do not have to believe it. As Paul explains on 1 Corinthians, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” In the parable of the seed, Jesus said, “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: ‘When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.'” Paul also said, “even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

        This is the issue between JaceWhite and myself. We both seem to agree that all people who have the gospel preached/explained to them do not end up with faith: some do; some do not. he Calvinist says that this is explained by God giving faith to some and not to others. JaceWhitr disagrees but has yet to find a different explanation (with br.d being no help to him).

        Then, “Because if it wasn’t a false teaching then the words the Calvinist speak would come with Calvinism’s magical gift of faith.”

        The Calvinist says that faith is given to the person by God and that God uses the gospel as the means for doing this.

        Then, “At bear minimum – this shows that one can’t assume what the Calvinist says – to have the backing of – or to be linked with scripture. ”

        This is true for Calvinist and non-Calvinist. That is why people are encouraged to be like the Bereans who investigated the Scriptures to see what Paul said was so.

      50. So why didn’t the disciples believe Jesus when He spoke to them of His resurrection, despite the fact that He was the source of the information? Like Thomas, could choice(hardened heart) have had something to do with it?

      51. Aiden writes, “So why didn’t the disciples believe Jesus when He spoke to them of His resurrection,…”

        Don’t really know. Perhaps because they spiritually deficient until receiving the Holy Spirit as described in Acts.

      52. Yes you do know – it is because they did not believe what they were told “by someone”.
        But you also concluded that that does not constitute a lack faith as a concrete gift.
        And thus you concluded – that someone can choose not to believe – and that doesn’t constitute a lack of faith.
        And you thus concluded – a person can choose to not believe anything Calvinists say – and that does not constitute a lack of faith.

      53. brdmad writes, “Yes you do know – it is because they did not believe what they were told “by someone”.”

        Aiden asked, “Why?” the disciples did not believe what they were told “by someone.”. In other words, Aiden asked me to explain what it was that resulted in them not believing that which they were told. To that, I responded, “Don’t really know.”

        Then, “But you also concluded that that does not constitute a lack faith as a concrete gift.”

        Faith is a gift to a person from God. The disciples had “faith” as attested by Peter’s testimony in Matthew 16, “Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” to which Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” That this extended to the apostles is seen in John 6, where we read, “Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I think this tells us that the apostles had faith (excluding Judas as Jesus noted). In not believing what they were told, they give evidence of a weak faith even as you give evidence of a weak faith when you refuse to believe what the scriptures tell you.

        Then, “And thus you concluded – that someone can choose not to believe – and that doesn’t constitute a lack of faith.”

        A person to whom God has given faith will believe in Christ for salvation and will then call Jesus Lord by the Holy Spirit. However, believers are not made perfect when they confess Christ as Lord,, and they continue to sin. Paul addresses this in Romans 7. From this, I conclude that a believer can have faith but that his faith can be weak resulting in him not believing that which he reads in the Scriptures.

        Then, “And you thus concluded – a person can choose to not believe anything Calvinists say – and that does not constitute a lack of faith.”

        Just because believers are dumb does not mean that they lack faith.

      54. rhutchin
        Just because believers are dumb does not mean that they lack faith.

        br.d
        Calling someone who does not believe a “believer” is not necessarily a sign of “dumb”
        But it is a sign of self-contradiction or mental confusion :-]
        But I’ve come to expect that from Calvinists.

        rhutchin
        A person to whom God has given faith will believe in Christ for salvation and will then call Jesus Lord by the Holy Spirit.

        br.d
        OR:
        A person who exercises that God given capacity – which all NORMAL HUMANS are granted by design – uses that capacity to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation.

        Now for the Christian who is concerned about such things – that version has the benefit of not having evolved from Gnosticism.

      55. Aiden writes, “So why didn’t the disciples believe Jesus when He spoke to them of His resurrection,…”

        RH writes: “Don’t really know. Perhaps because they spiritually deficient until receiving the Holy Spirit as described in Acts.

        My response: Did you pull that answer off the top of your head? Because the disciples believed that He was raised long before they received the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.

      56. Aiden writes, “Did you pull that answer off the top of your head? Because the disciples believed that He was raised long before they received the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.”

        Yes. Nonetheless, my first statement on the issue at hand holds, “Don’t really know.”

      57. rhutchin
        Faith comes from hearing the word, and a false teaching does not give faith”

        br.d
        On that answer – it LOGICALLY follows – that what the Calvinist says – (if the person doesn’t believe it) is a false teaching.

        rhutchin
        Not really. The Calvinist, as the non-Calvinist, can accurately covey the gospel to people and people do not have to believe it.

        br.d
        Ah but that statement has nothing at all to do with obligation to believe something – just whether or not it is believed – and thus a false teaching.

        rhutchin
        As Paul explains…..etc

        br.d
        So you quote all of the proof-text verses that you would normally use to assert that if someone doesn’t believe what the Calvinist says – it shows that person has not been given the gift of faith.

        Which in this latest dialog you say is not TRUE – but the person simply didn’t believe what they were told -quote “by someone”.

        Then you stated that when a Calvinist speaks and the person doesn’t believe – a reason that does not show a person lacks faith is because -quote “a false teaching does not give faith”.

        I’m simply followed your line of thinking
        The person doesn’t believe what the Calvinist says
        What the Calvinist says does not give faith – because – quote “a false teaching does not give faith”.

        Also
        At bear minimum – this shows that one can’t assume what the Calvinist says – to have the backing of – or to be linked with scripture.

        rhutchin
        This is true for Calvinist and non-Calvinist…

        br.d
        Thank you!
        I’ll flag this post – because it contradicts other posts you’ve made where you’ve blindly asserted that everything Calvinists say – has the backing of – or is linked to scripture.

        But I’ll be prepared for you playing both sides – because I’ve known for years – the Calvinist tradition is to simply ignore self-contradictions. :-]

  21. I seem to have missed some of your texts above where you said we both agree that people “receive faith” from an outside source… I never said this and this treats faith as some kind of commodity… . so, our understanding are different… the conviction of the Holy Spirit does indeed work on a person but that does not TRANSFER faith as if it is some kind of thing that is exchanged. Faith is a relational response of a person to another… it is not a commodity to be exchanged.

    1. David Brons – of the Gnostic Society Library
      -quote
      The teaching about faith and gnosis is at the heart of the dispute between the Valentinians (i.e., Gnostics) and Irenaeus of Lyon.

      br.d
      Irenaeus of Lyon considered the Gnostic Christians (including the Valentinians) as synchronizing pagan concepts into Christian doctrine.
      The idea of faith (i.e. pistis) as a commodity reserved exclusively for special “elect” persons was one such concept.

      Dr. Kenneth Wilson has some recent published work – on Augustine’s synchronizing Gnostic/NeoPlatonic concepts into Christian doctrine.

    2. JaceWhite writes, ““the conviction of the Holy Spirit does indeed work on a person but that does not TRANSFER faith as if it is some kind of thing that is exchanged. Faith is a relational response of a person to another… it is not a commodity to be exchanged.”

      That’s fine. However, we know that faith is assurance and conviction. It is something that one person has and another person does not. Given that the source of faith is the gospel. John wrote, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Yet, one person will believe that Jesus is the Christ and another will not. Calvinists explain this saying that this results from the work of God in the life of the person who believes and the absence of God’s work in the life of the person who does not believe. You disagree with this. So, how do you explain it?

  22. The TRUE “L” in Calvinism TULIP

    We’ve been reviewing Calvinism’s underlying doctrine and as we do we realize that the current TULIP – as advertised by Calvinism – functions as a cosmetic deceptive mask – designed to make Calvinism APPEAR biblical – while hiding its underlying determinism

    So here is the TRUE “L” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    According to the underlying doctrine, Calvin’s god foreknows and has infallible certainty of what will come to pass, by virtue of decreeing that one unique future which is certain to infallibly come to pass.

    For example, Calvin’s god foreknows a human will choose to walk to the left vs walking to the right, by predestining which choice that human will be permitted to make.

    And Calvin’s god cannot himself leave man’s choice undetermined, leaving whatsoever comes to pass UP TO humans.

    And since it is logically impossible for a human to be predestined to walk to the left and walk to the right at the same time, this limits Calvin’s god to predestining one option or the other.

    Thus, limiting every event to one single physically possible predestined future.

    Whatever human choice/option is not predestined by Calvin’s god, exists only as an illusion of what could have been predestined, and which has no potential of existence not having been predestined.

    So, during human choice-making, any instance in which a human perceives multiple options or alternative possibilities as open or available to himself from which to choose, are simply human illusions.

    “L” Limited Possibilities and Human Illusions
    All human impulses, perceptions, choices, and desires are exclusively predetermined for each and every human (without exception) at the foundation of the world – prior to the existence of any man.

    And any perception of multiple options available for a human to choose from, exist only as human illusions. Illusions of non-predestined events which as such never had any possibility of ever coming to pass, at pain of falsifying what was predestined.

  23. The TRUE “I” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    We’ve been reviewing Calvinism’s underlying doctrine, and as we do, we realize that the current TULIP – as advertised by Calvinism – functions as a cosmetic deceptive mask – designed to make Calvinism APPEAR biblical – while hiding its underlying determinism.

    So here is the TRUE “I” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    “I” Irresistible Human Functionality

    According to the underlying doctrine, all things which come to pass – including all human neurological impulses – do so infallibly.

    And this was established prior to Adam and was thus fully applicable to Adam.

    It is a logical impossibility for any human to resist an impulse which comes to pass infallibly within the brain.

    Since all human functionality, including morally significant functionality, is the consequence of neurological impulses, choices, desires and decisions, it follows that all human functions are predestined to come to pass and are therefore utterly irresistible to humans. And in Calvinism, this would have been the case for Adam – and that which infallibly brought about Adam’s choices.

    So the TRUE “I” in Calvinism’s TULIP – stands for Irresistible Human Functionality
    All human functionality, including morally significant functionality, is produced by impulses infallibly actualized within the human brain which occur as irresistible.

  24. The TRUE “P” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    Ok – we’ve been reviewing Calvinism’s underlying doctrine. And as we do we realize that the current TULIP – as advertised by Calvinism – functions as a cosmetic deceptive mask – designed to make Calvinism APPEAR Biblical – while hiding its underlying determinism.

    And so now – that brings us to the “P” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    The TRUE “P” in Calvinism’s TULIP stands for – Possibility of Election:

    According to the underlying doctrine, an individual’s election is either infallibly/immutably TRUE or infallibly/immutably FALSE.

    And it is a logical impossibility for something that is infallibly/immutably TRUE to ever be FALSE.

    Therefore, the notion that something infallibly/immutably TRUE needs to “Persevere” in order to keep itself from becoming FALSE is no more rational than a married bachelor.

    The idea of apostasy or falling away in this context is an illusion, and the typical resolve concerning an individual in that situation, is that he was never really elect in the first place.

    That individual’s perception of election and salvation as infallibly/immutably TRUE, would have been a predestined illusion.

    As John Calvin states it:
    -quote
    He illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he….forsakes them……..and strikes them with even greater blindness (Institutes vol 2)

    -quote
    INSTILLS INTO THEIR MINDS such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.
    (Institutes pg 342)

    So this is the TRUE “P” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    “P” Possibility of Election:
    Any human certainty of election in this lifetime is an illusion. Each believer is promised only the possibility of election.

  25. Understanding why Calvinism’s currently advertised TULIP – is designed to function as a deceptive cosmetic mask.

    John Calvin released his first draft of his doctrines – the Institutes – in March 1536. But the five points of Calvinism, remembered by the mnemonic TULIP, evolved some 80 years later – crafted by the Synod of Dort, and then subsequently marketed to a non-Calvinist consumer-base, in the form of a booklet.

    The reason for this marketing strategy should become obvious.

    For the purpose of successfully marketing any product, one needs to bear in mind the demographics and interests of one’s potential customer-base.

    In the case of Calvinism as a marketed product, born-again Christians represent the preponderance of its potential consumers.

    So, in order to enhance the appearance of the product for a scripture oriented customer-base, one would want to make the product appear as Biblical as possible.

    To minimize Calvinism’s appearance as simply a form of Stoic/NeoPlatonic Determinism, the TULIP would make a strategic marketing tool, to help give the product a more scriptural appearance, while hiding its true underlying constituents which Christian consumers would otherwise find unappealing.

    But once we examine the underlying doctrine – looking behind the cosmetic mask – we will discover the TRUE TULIP.

  26. Just to make sure we have it here – as it was posted in a different topic area – here is the beginning of the TRUE TULIP:

    The TRUE “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    We’ve been reviewing Calvinism’s underlying doctrine. And as we do, we realize that the current TULIP – as advertised by Calvinism – functions as a cosmetic deceptive mask – designed to make Calvinism APPEAR biblical – while hiding its underlying determinism.

    “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
    The state of man’s nature at any instance in time is totally predestined PRIOR TO CREATION, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of nature – including man’s nature (or anything else for that matter) – is ever UP TO any man.

    As this was established as a rule over all created things, prior to creation, it would would obviously be applicable to Adam, who is produced late in the sequence of created things.

    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 prior to the creation of any created thing, including man.

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

    Since on this view, 100% of whatsoever comes to pass is exclusively up to a divine mind, it goes without saying that absolutely nothing about man (including his state of nature) at any instance in time, is ever UP TO man.

    As a matter of fact – since Calvin’s god exclusively determined 100% of whatsoever comes to pass concerning man – it LOGICALLY FOLLOWS – absolutely nothing is ever UP TO any man.

    Therefore we have the TRUE “T” in Calvinism’s TULIP

    “T” Totally Predestined Nature:
    The state of nature – (including man’s nature) at any instance in time is totally predestined prior to creation, and therefore absolutely nothing about any part of man – or man’s nature (or anything else for that matter) – is ever UP TO man.

  27. Aidan asked, “Where in the New Testament does it actually condemn polygamy?”

    Mark 10
    6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’
    7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
    8 ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
    9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
    10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.
    11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
    12 “And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    In v11, the charge of adultery is made against a person who is married and then has sexual relations with another. The charge is made in the case of a man who unlawfully divorces his wife and marries another and indicates that he is still married to the supposedly divorced wife. Thus, he now has two wives, a polygamous situation, and is charged with adultery. Polygamy results in an adulterous relationship and is thereby condemned.

    Paul agrees in Romans 7 – “the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.” Again, a polygamous relationship results in adultery and is thereby condemned.

    1. Notice how Calvinists typically treat scripture

      They often remind me of the “speaking with authority” smoke and fire routine – in the wizard of oz. :-]

      What is interesting – it is understood by historians – that Egyptian priests used to play the same games on the Egyptian people, who were not savvy enough to see through it.

    2. Well said, Rhutchin, but divorce and remarriage is not quite a polygamist relationship; it’s just changing one master for another.😁

      1. Aidan writes, “divorce and remarriage is not quite a polygamist relationship; it’s just changing one master for another.”

        It seems that a man who divorces his wife and marries another must still be married (in God’s eyes) to his first wife if the charge of adultery is to stick. Don’t two wives count as polygamy?

      2. You would have to ask a Mormon, but technically I think you have to be actively continuing in a full marital relationship with more than one woman for it to qualify as polygamy.

        If you want to get technical you might use the word bigamy.

      3. Bigamy, the crime of marrying while one’s spouse is still living, from whom no valid divorce has been effected.

      4. Aiden writes, “Bigamy, the crime of marrying while one’s spouse is still living, from whom no valid divorce has been effected.”

        So, bigamy is polygamy?

      5. If bigamy is poligamy then they have exactly the same definition, right?

        And by the way, usually when someone gets divorced and remarried, whether it’s scriptural or not, they have moved on and are not trying to serve two masters, as would be the case in poligamy! So, my joke still stands.

        But obviously you don’t have a sense of humor.

      6. Aidan writes, “If bigamy is poligamy then they have exactly the same definition, right?”

        No. Bigamy is one type of polygamy. Otherwise, I missed your joke – just went over my ehad/

      7. I’d like to know where you got your definition of bigamy? Maybe if you developed a sense of humor such things wouldn’t go over your head so easily! Br.d got it straight away.

      8. Aidan asks “I’d like to know where you got your definition of bigamy?”

        An assortment of internet dictionaries, including Wikipedia, that all have the same definition.

      9. rhutchin
        An assortment of internet dictionaries, including Wikipedia, that all have the same definition.

        Wikipedia
        Bigamy is a crime in most countries that recognize only monogamous marriages. When it occurs in this context often neither the first nor second spouse is aware of the other.

        And thus it is punishable by law – because it constitutes the defrauding of two spouses at the same time.
        It is thus differentiated from Polygamy – because in that case – multiple spouses enter into the arrangement willfully and voluntarily.

        Now on the issue of having multiple masters – the model is different also.

        With Bigamy – one switches back and forth between one master to the other – essentially having one master at a time.
        With Polygamy – one lives with – and thus serves – multiple masters at the same time.

        So Polygamy would tend to resolves to a more pronounced process of having two masters! :-]

      10. So Calvinism could be seen more like a spiritual form of Bigamy rather than Polygamy.
        Since Calvinism evolved as a synchronization of Gnostic DUALISM – where so many thing appear in antithetical pairs.

        A “Good-Evil” god, who presents himself as benevolent while actually malevolent.
        And who designs pretty much everything in the form of “Good-Evil”.
        And a theology containing concepts – which appear as TRUE at one point and FALSE at the next.
        A DUALISTIC system of that kind could be seen as a form of switching back and forth between two masters…..wink-wink :-]

      11. You said that bigamy was the same as polygamy according to the dictionaries you looked at; I’d like to see some quotes.

      12. I did, and none of them state that bigamy is defined the same as polygamy! But I think you know that already; otherwise you would have presented them by now.

      13. Aidan writes, “I did, and none of them state that bigamy is defined the same as polygamy! ”

        But I never claimed they did. My claim was that bigamy was a form of polygamy – I think I referred to bigamy as a subset of polygamy.

      14. Aidan writes, “I did, and none of them state that bigamy is defined the same as polygamy! ”

        RH WROTE: “But I never claimed they did. My claim was that bigamy was a form of polygamy – I think I referred to bigamy as a subset of polygamy.”

        MY QUESTION: What dictionary states either that bigamy is polygamy, or that bigamy is one type of polygamy?

        AGAIN, marriage, divorce and remarriage does not count as a polygamous relationship! I don’t think you understand the definition of polygamy!

      15. Aidan
        ‘they all said that bigamy is the same as poligamy? I don’t think so!”

        rhutchin
        ???

        br.d
        Normally the Calvinist doesn’t care if some wild imagination he’s trying to assert doesn’t make any sense or is not corroborated anywhere. The Calvinist must have everything his way – and simply MAKES-BELIEVE contradictions don’t exist.
        But in this case – we have ??? :-]

  28. Brother Rhutchin,
    Sorry for such a tardy response to you, and I see the site has moved on; but, I still wanted to reply. You say the following in a prior comment:

    Rhutchin – SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 AT 8:00 AM
    “This is the issue between JaceWhite and myself. We both seem to agree that all people who have the gospel preached/explained to them do not end up with faith: some do; some do not…”

    Well, I wouldn’t say it quite like that, I wouldn’t say “end up with faith”, but that’s beside my main point. My main point is that I believe there is a more fundamental difference between us. You say:

    Rhutchin – SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 AT 5:11 PM
    “That factor which determines one person to believe and another person not to believe tells us whether a person has any basis for boasting. If that factor is completely outside the control of the person, then he has no basis for boasting; if that factor is not completely outside the control of the person, but he has a basis for boasting.”

    So, I state the above represents a fundamental difference between us as I don’t see Scripture presenting what you are stating above regarding the basis for boasting. For brevity below, I will use the phrase “THE REASON” as shorthand for “the reason we know salvation is by grace and/or the reason we know we cannot boast”. Reviewing what we both seem to agree on – I presented Ro 3:27, Ro 11:19-20, Ro 4:4-8, and Ro 4:16 (and I suggested the 1 &1/2 chapters from end of Ro 3 through Ro 4) – and here Paul is unambiguously clear that THE REASON is the exercise of faith. You state you agree with this; but then you persist in talking about the determination of such faith as the true reason and you launch from the Romans passages into your assertion like this:

    Rhutchin – SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 AT 1:28 PM
    “Romans 4 does not tell us how one person has faith and another does not”
    And then, also you say:
    “Right. Again, this [does] not tell us where faith comes from – only its effect… “

    I grant that Romans 4 doesn’t tell us how one person believes and another does not – So, what?? Brother Rhutchin, what Paul is silent on does NOT grant you license to make relevant anything you choose in order to “fill in the gaps” of his presentation. But, you not only make your idea relevant, you make it the critically necessary idea that must be adhered to in order for THE REASON to be understood. Candidly, this is not a persuasive starting point for your argument. Romans is a doctrinally rich letter and Paul is clearly and consistently articulating in multiple Scriptures what is needed in order for us to understand THE REASON – yet, according to you, he seems to have omitted the most important point. Why you think you are on solid ground launching into an idea completely omitted by him is both perplexing and unconvincing.

    So, you move to other scriptures in your attempt to make your point. In general this is an excellent course of action as Cross-scripture study is necessary to properly handle of the Word of God; so I applaud this because Scripture does interpret Scripture. In your efforts, we see you use John 3, John 6, some passages in Corinthians, and so on. But, when we keep in mind the clarity with which Paul has communicated to us in Romans (where he presents THE REASON), we see very little of what you present having the same clarity in your attempts to connect it to THE REASON. We don’t see faith/salvation/grace/boasting/works laid out contextually in a way that clearly articulates that these Scriptures are connected to THE REASON in the way you attempt it (i.e. an unconditional determination of faith in the elect). I also find this unpersuasive by you because, while Scripture does interpret Scripture, it doesn’t do so in an ambiguous, confusing or forced way; and your assertion from these Scriptures appears to be an extrapolation beyond what the context of those Scriptures provide. If they are related to THE REASON, there is no indication they are related in the way you assert; since the critical point you try to make above they do not state.

    Admittedly, there is one passage you cite which does have salvation/grace/faith/works/boasting all contextually connected (Eph 2:8). Yet, even here, you choose the weakest of 3 possible renderings of that verse; a rendering which the underlying Greek does not readily suggest. So, it seems the strength of your assertion rests on choosing the weakest of 3 renderings of a single verse of Scripture – hardly a compelling case. I think this demonstrates that you are not able to show Scripture ever making your strongest statement which I cite again here -> “That factor which determines one person to believe and another person not to believe tells us whether a person has any basis for boasting.” And, since Scripture doesn’t say it, no one is compelled to hold to it. Finally, you say:

    Rhutchin – SEPTEMBER 13, 2020 AT 6:52 AM
    “Taking your position that faith is not a gift from God requires that you be able to explain how faith appears in one person and not another. This is what I have been laboring to get you to explain but you have resisted.”

    I have relayed to you my own testimony and I am happy to talk about the factors and circumstances which were involved in my conversion to Christ. It’s just that my testimony is not aimed at this fabricated “requirement” by you. Your assertion regarding boasting is extra-biblical; therefore, it does not require an answer in so far as it touches THE REASON. You have not demonstrated that the external determination of faith (and only for the elect) is THE REASON – Scripture does not state this and Scripture also clearly states exactly what THE REASON is (i.e. the exercise of faith, again, which you agree with); therefore, my resistance is to your extra-biblical notions. And, I most definitely SHOULD be on guard against extra-biblical notions. Furthermore, since you are looking for an external determination of a person’s response, it is possible you will not grasp any answer which is not couched in such terminology.

    Blessings In Christ

    1. JaceWhite – to RH
      Why you think you are on solid ground launching into an idea [from the text] completely omitted [by the text] is both perplexing and unconvincing.

      br.d
      Perhaps the underlying presumption – is that a CONCEIVED superior Knowledge is at work – with which the person can boast! :-]

      JaceWhite – to RH
      Since you are looking for an external determination of a person’s response, it is possible you will not grasp any answer which is not couched in such terminology.

      br.d
      BINGO!!!!
      BULLS-EYE!!!

    2. Sorry Jace for butting in here, but I noticed one of the verses you quoted from Romans was 3:27. If Rh truly understood what justification by faith really meant, he wouldn’t have contradicted that verse!

      In this chapter we are dealing with two conceivable systems of justification:
      1. Legal justification or justification by works of law.
      The concept defined–justification on the basis of keeping the law, always doing what is right. One who never violated the law would be justified on the basis of his own good record. Justification by works of law has nothing to do with justification of sinners. It is a justification for people who are not sinners; who have no need of grace or forgiveness; persons acquitted of guilt because they are not guilty! Nobody is justified on this basis Rom. 3:19-20. We have universal human guilt – all are guilty; none can be judged righteous on the basis of his record of law keeping. We need forgiveness!

      2. Justification on the basis of grace.
      No need to despair. Paul’s whole purpose in Rom. 1:18-3:20 is to demonstrate the hopelessness of one’s ever being justified on the basis of his own life in order to prepare us to accept the gospel plan of salvation. The concept–a justification based on the forgiveness of sins; a verdict of acquittal given to sinners as a gift. Therefore justification for sinners! The righteousness revealed in the Gospel (3:21-26). Then, the results of the Gospel plan (3:27-31).

      Hence we have the exclusion of every claim on the basis of human merit; all glorying is ruled out (vv. 27-28).

      Romans 3:27-28 NASB:
      “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

      There is no boasting for the sinner who simply chooses to believe and be baptized; humbling himself before God in accepting the gospel plan of salvation (Mark 16:16)! In doing so, he comes in obedience to the gospel as it were, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

      Where’s the boasting in that?

      1. AIDAN: “There is no boasting for the sinner who simply chooses to believe and be baptized; humbling himself before God in accepting the gospel…”

        There is no boasting for the sinner who hears the gospel, receives faith, and then simply chooses to believe and be baptized; humbling himself before God in accepting the gospel.

      2. rhutchin
        There is no boasting for the sinner who……..

        br.d
        GNOSTICS (i.e. Calvinists) because they know every DIVINE SECRET – can boast in their superior gnōstikós

        Perhaps as a way to keep from getting caught in their boasting – they accuse others of boasting – simply as a deflection strategy :-]

      3. AIDAN: “There is no boasting for the sinner who simply chooses to believe and be baptized; humbling himself before God in accepting the gospel…”

        RHUTCHIN: “There is no boasting for the sinner who hears the gospel, receives faith, and then simply chooses to believe and be baptized; humbling himself before God in accepting the gospel.”

        AIDAN: Actually Calvinists I believe are more like the Jews were in this regard, who saw themselves as superior to the rest of the world, namely, the Gentiles. God has chosen us above all others. We are the enlightened ones, and everyone else are despised and rejected. They are reprobate, unclean and totally rejected by God – but we, WE have been specially selected and are the apple of His eye. How hard it must be for the Calvinist to be humble!

      4. rhutchin
        There is no boasting for the sinner who hears the gospel, receives faith…..

        br.d
        Since no Calvinist can TRUTHFULLY say he is without sin – this claim LOGICALLY resolves to one of two options:

        Option 1: There is no such thing as a Calvinist boasting about anything
        Option 2: There is no such thing as a Calvinist hearing the gospel and receiving faith

        And since every Calvinist is totally clueless about whether or not he has heard the gospel and received faith
        And since rhutchin has told us his every decision is nothing more than a coin toss
        I suggest rhutchin toss a coin to find out which option Calvin’s god permitted him to have. :-]

      5. BR.D: “I suggest rhutchin toss a coin to find out which option Calvin’s god permitted him to have. :-]”

        AIDAN: Flipping a coin is a good way to try and find a third option – and then go into *AS-IF* mode so that he can convince himself that he KNOWS the truth! Why not? It seems to work for Calvinists all the time!

    3. Jacewhite writes, “Scripture also clearly states exactly what THE REASON is (i.e. the exercise of faith, again, which you agree with); therefore, my resistance is to your extra-biblical notions. ”

      It seems that we agree on this point – the person who exercises faith to believe in Christ is saved.

      Let’s leave it at that and not go further to discover why some people never have faith and thereby, cannot exercise faith to believe in Christ and be saved. I think finding an answer to that issue would provide direction to one’s prayer life – that a great many believers do anyway for obvious reasons as a great many believers know to earnestly appeal to God when they want to see people saved.

      1. rhutchin
        I think finding an answer to that issue would provide direction to one’s prayer life

        br.d
        Not if one is a Calvinist
        The only thing that determines a Calvinist’s prayer life is Calvin’s god determining every impulse that comes to pass within the Calvinist’s brain.

        No decree = no prayer
        And no decree to make any specific thought come to pass within the brain = no thought coming to pass within the brain :-]

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