"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The John 3:16 Conference at FBC Woodstock

I am outside Atlanta, Georgia attending the John 3:16 Conference hosted by Jerry Vines Ministries at First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia. Dr. Vines said the Conference was intended to be "a theological assessment of, and response to, five-point Calvinism." I came to hear what Southern Baptist leaders were saying about this subject, but more importantly, to ensure that there was not an attempt to denigrate or exclude Southern Baptists who might hold to what some call the doctrines of grace. I was pleasantly surprised Thursday night to hear not only some good preaching, but very little denigration of those who hold to Calvinism in the SBC, and even a handful of compliments extended toward them. The Conference is being held in the chapel of FBC Woodstock which probably seats 1500 people, and concludes Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. eastern. This post will be a short evalutation of the first three speakers.

Johnny Hunt, Host Pastor and First Speaker

This is only my second time to hear Dr. Hunt preach, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Johnny is very articulate and has some tremendous skills as an orator. It is easy to see why thousands will come to hear him preach every week. He calls himself a country preacher, but his polish and passion would rival those of ancient Greece. His text was Psalm 119:33-40 and he titled his message "Leading With the End in Mind." After a brief introduction, Dr. Hunt broke the text into eight major petitions from the pen of the Psalmist.

I. A prayer for education (v. 33).
The Psalmist prays "Teach me your ways . . . and I will keep it to the end." Dr. Hunt explained that a commitment is made by the writer before the truth is revealed. Many Christians wish to know in order to debate, but the Psalmist wished to know in order to obey. Johnny said our emulation as pastors should match our exhortation, and he revealed that he himself attended Sunday School every Sunday and was taught by a layman in his church. Johnny pointed out that our churches would experience revival if we were as committed to obedience as the Psalmist.

Each point of Dr. Hunt's message was articulated clearly, faithful to the text and sprinkled with appropriate illustrations. His points included, II. A prayer for illumination (v. 34); III. A prayer for direction (v. 35); IV. A prayer for inclination (v. 36); V. A prayer for attention (v. 37); VI. A prayer for realization (v. 38); VII. A prayer for protection (v. 39); VII. A prayer for aspiration (v. 40).

Dr. Hunt did say what seems to be the obligatory word against bloggers who work on their computers instead of knocking on the doors of the lost, but all in all, he preached an excellent expositional message.

Dr. Jerry Vines, Conference Host and Second Speaker

Dr. Vines used John 3:16 as his text and preached for about an hour. He is a very eloquent speaker, and Dr. Hunt introduced him as one third of the great trifecta of modern expositional preachers: Stephen Olford, Adrian Rogers, and Jerry Vines. Dr. Vines' hair is quite a bit more gray than the last time I saw him, but his preaching is just as good as ever. He said in his introduction that John 3:16 is an anwer to the "isms" of this world.

"For God" -- is an answer to Atheism.
"So Loved" -- is an answer to Fatalism.
"The World" -- is an answer to Nationalism.
"He Gave" -- is an answer to Agnosticism.
"His Only Begotten Son" -- is an answer to Mohammedism.
"That Whosoever" -- is an answer to Calvinism.
"Believeth in Him" -- is an answer to Legalism.
"Should Not Perish" -- is an answer to Annihilationism.
"But Have Everlasting Life" -- is an Answer to Arminianism.

Dr. Vines then gave us a four point outline of John 3:16 describing God's love.

First, God's love is global. Second, God's love is sacrificial. Third, God's love is personal. Finally, God's love is eternal. His message was excellent, and like Dr. Hunt's message before him, it was true to the text. Dr. Vines used a number of Greek references in his messages, from the text, so his message was exegetical as well. My favorite statement from his message was "Some people call me a Calvinistic when I preach one text, and some people call me an Arminian when I preach another text. I simply preach the text and let the chips fall where they may." I gave a hearty amen to that statement, and hope that the same could be said of my preaching.

If there is one thing I felt Dr. Vines sought to emphasize, it was that the word "whosoever" in the Greek is the Greek word 'pas' which is used 1228 times in the New Testament, and it means "anyone, anywhere, anytime." It includes "the whole and every part of" the world. Again, I have never met a Calvinist who would disagree. The "whosoever" of John 3:16 is modified by "believes," and "anyone, anywhere, anytime" who believes in Christ has eternal life. The million dollar question is "what causes a man to believe?" The third and final speaker of the night sought to answer that question.

Paige Patterson, the Third Speaker: 'Total Depravity.'

Paige Patterson was the first of what Dr. Vines called "the scholars" who will present messages to respond to each of the five points of Calvinism. Dr. Patterson's assignment was to review total depravity. He read a lengthy text from Romans 1:18-32 and Romans 3:9-26, and after a few introductory remarks, he said the purpose of his message was to answer three questions regarding depravity including, "What does depravity mean?" and, "How does depravity come about?" and finally, "What can a dead man do?"

I really enjoyed Dr. Patterson's message. He is funny and self-deprecating. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. I enjoyed his message as much as I did the previous two, and there was really just a couple of statements in Dr. Patterson's message with which I disagreed.

First, in answering the second question - "How does depravity come about?" - Dr. Patterson gave his personal opinion that no human being is born guilty before God because of Adam's sin, but we are all condemened for our own sins. Dr. Patterson's view seems to me to be a direct violation of the teaching of Romans 5, and the truth that all men (and women) are condemned for the sin of one man (Adam). I hope to be able to ask him a question about this in the Question and Answer time Friday afternoon, for I find that those who struggle with the idea that we are condemned for the sin of the first Adam often wind up denying that we are saved solely by the obedience of the Last Adam.

In addition, in answering the last question - "What can a dead man do?" - Dr. Patterson said that a dead man can believe. He then used Abraham and Romans 3 as an illustration of a dead man (in terms of child bearing) who "contrary to hope, in hope believed" and gave birth to a son when it was impossible. Abraham is an example of what a dead man can do. Dr. Patterson said that the sinner is really just sin sick, not dead as we consider dead, in that it is possible for that sinner to believe. So, according to Dr. Patterson's view, eternal life follows faith - and faith is within the ability of all those the Bible calls spiritually dead. Thus, the idea that regeneration (life) precedes faith is unnecessary in Dr. Patterson's view of salvation. These two points of disagreement may be major to some of my Calvinist friends, but they are minor to me, since without doubt, the gospel was preached by Dr. Patterson.

In addition, to Dr. Patterson's credit, he gave a pat on the back to those he calls his Calvinistic pastor friends in the Southern Baptist Convention. He said that at least they were "preaching the Word" in the pulpit, which is more than can be said of most pulpits in the United States. Dr. Patterson, along with Dr. Vines and Dr. Hunt, all disagree with most of the five points of Calvinism, but one must give them credit for acknowledging that some Southern Baptists disagree with them, and as long as both sides go about preaching the Word and the gospel, Southern Baptists ought to be able to cooperate for the sake of the Kingdom.

I appreciate the John 3:16 Conference and commend the men speaking for their passion to preach the Word of God. I will try place my thoughts on the second day of the John 3:16 Conference sometime Saturday.

In His Grace,

Wade

132 comments:

NativeVermonter said...

While my position on the Doctrines of Grace is quite fixed and anchored to my soul, I do have one question. Were you and Peter able to meet and have a cup of coffee along with some edifying conversation?

Oh, and my position on what a dead man can do...let me think for a sec, well, he can begin to stinketh. That's all I can come up with.

Jim Shaver said...

Thanks for being there and keeping us posted on this conference.

Anonymous said...

I am so weak. Pray for me. For I just can't get passed some of the remarks these great preachers have made as they ridiculed these treasured doctrines in the past.

Furthermore, I would find it difficult to sit under the teaching of someone who called the theology I so deeply believe in a "heresy" as both Vines and Hunt have done.

I feel like it would be better if they referred to themselves as they really are. They are not just NON calvinists. That would actually be okay with me. But what they really are is the same thing that Lumpkins is. They are ANTI calvinists. There is a big difference.

Of course, just like Lumpkins, they will deny this. But their passion in which they mockingly attack these doctrines and those that believe in them say differently.

Anonymous said...

John 3;16 is dealing with The World of the Elect. The World of Elect Jews and Elect Gentiles.

Paul tells us to mark those who walk contrary to the doctrines wherein we are taught, and have no company with them.
When one openly denies, and attacks The Doctrines of Grace, I Shun him like a plague. Dr. Paul W. Foltz

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I was glad to meet you face to face and shake hands. I also was appreciative of meeting up with Pastor Dwight. He is one big dude. I verbalized my wonder if he played professional football at one time.

I also thought to myself that, had I known his massive towering physique, I would not have been so sassy to him when we conversed via phone :^)

That aside, I concur with the initial evaluation you offer of J316C, Wade. Indeed, I predict your opening remarks will be among the most irenic, not to mention positive (if not the chief one) coming from Baptist Calvinism on the net.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Foltz,

It is the very method you take that qualifies perfectly for the conclusion you draw. And, it is diametrically opposed to the bloghost's own stated position.

Personally, I am grateful to our Lord that only a few among us embrace such a flawed, sub-biblical philosophy of interpersonal relationships apparently as do you.

With that, I am...

Peter

chadwick said...

Wade,

I get from your notes that Dr. Patterson clearly denies that men are not born sinners (due to Adam's original sin). Is my understanding of Dr. Patterson's 'personal'view correct?

Psalm 51:5/58:3
chadwick

Anonymous said...

Anon,

I have an open site. You are welcome to dialog anytime you wish when I post on things Calvinism. And, the burden of proof is upon you to demonstrate I am "ANTI-Calvinist."

For the record, anonymous rhetoric is very easy to accomplish and has the wonderful attraction of being completely free from accountability and public scrutiny.

Thus, if you do show up at my site for a little chat, know you won't get away with making statements for which you cannot be held fully accountable.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

Wade,

Thanks for attending the John 3:16 Conference and keeping us informed. I'm glad you and Peter were able to connect.

Johnny Hunt delivered the same message at SEBTS several weeks ago. I did not attend the chapel service, but I have heard it via the internet. I did hear him address the students at SEBTS last year, and I was very impressed with his down-to-earth approach to expository preaching. I can understand why he was selected as the President of the SBC.

For those who would like to hear Johnny Hunt's message, go to www.sebts.edu, click on Chapel, and scroll down to Thursday, October 16, 2008.

Blessings,

Wanda

Wade Burleson said...

Chadwick,

Patterson believes one is born with an inclination to sin, but is condemned for actual sins, and those actual sins do not occur until the age of accountability.
So, to be more precise, Dr. Patterson would not hesitate calling infants "sinners," but his exact statement is they are not born "guilty."

In other words, there is no judgment on those babies for Adam's sin.

Wade

P.S. Of course, I would ask "Then why do some infants "die" in infancy?"

Thy Peace said...

Here is the link Wanda mentioned above:

Dr. Johnny Hunt Oct 16, 2008

chadwick said...

Wade,

How would Dr. Patterson explain God's action of bringing judgment upon the world (including unborn babies and infants) via the Flood?

For whose guilt would the infants that were destroyed in the Flood be assigned? Adam's sin? or their own 'personal' sin?

chadwick

Anonymous said...

" Dr. Patterson gave his personal opinion that no human being is born guilty before God because of Adam's sin, but we are all condemened for our own sins. "

Is this a typical non calvinist SBC belief now? I have NEVER heard this before coming out of the mouth of any SBC preacher... even while growing up in non calvinist SBC churches.

What about Romans 5?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

PETER SAID:
"Personally, I am grateful to our Lord that only a few among us embrace such a flawed, sub-biblical philosophy of interpersonal relationships apparently as do you."

Peter, I did not know that you were a colleague and follower of Dr. Foltz.

Anonymous said...

PETER SAID,

"if you do show up at my site for a little chat, know you won't get away with making statements for which you cannot be held fully accountable."

Your words are your words, Peter.
Are YOU fully accountable before the Lord for all that YOU say to and about others: think about it.

One hopes that YOU are never placed in a position of responsibility for the welfare of others before you learn that the key signature of a Christian is
HUMILITY. You can do a lot of damage to others with all that unbridled pride of yours.

Anonymous said...

The death of infants is always sad, especially when it could have been prevented. In spite of all the 'reassurance' that people feel that all children receive adequate medical care: please know that it is not the case. So there is too much suffering going on to be smug.

I think of the death of little babies whose parent did not care for them, out of immaturity or ignorance or lack of resources: I think of that death in a special way.

I see it as
POST-BIRTH ABORTION OF LIFE
and those who speak against abortion need to speak for the care of these born infants also. L's

P.S. Here is one way people can help: transportation. My friends and I have, at risk, given parents and children rides to clinics, sometimes because the child's severe handicap and the parent's resources could not tolerate more public transportation.

That is just one way to help. There are hundreds of ways to help.
Please try to do what you can even if it involves some risk and cost to you. You may have to drive into neighborhoods that are not always safe. That is where you can find many in need of your help.

Anonymous said...

In the light of all the bickering about what is true about salvation, I am glad that the Lord Jesus Christ was not worried about His own salvation but about ours.

Is there a lesson in that?
Is there a reason, maybe, that we should be more concerned about the survival of others than about our own?

Was Jesus teaching about selflessness as a Christian model?
Or not? And what are the implications and the applications?

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Thanks for what appears to be a good summary of this conference. I am not surprised that Dr. Hunt, Dr. Vines and Dr. Patterson would be balanced in their comments about those in the SBC who are more Calvinistic than they. That has been my experience with these and other SBC leaders.

I am interested in the turn out. How many would you say are attending this conference? You said the auditorium seats 1500. Is it full?

It is interesting to note the ages of the the speakers. Can you take a guess at the average age of the attendees? Is it more like attending the SBC or a Passion Conference with Louis Giglio?

One thing I have noticed about the gathering called "Together for the Gospel" put on by Mohler, Dever, Mahaney and Duncan is the numbers (very large) and the age of the attendees, young.

I wonder to what extent the more Reformed message is making greater inroads in the SBC among young, educated folks vs. conferences like this one?

All of us, me included, are more apt to be in touch with a particular slice of the SBC pie. We all tend to run in circles that expose us to people who are more like ourselves. Having said that, it is my observation that more of the young seminary students and pastors whom I meet are more Reformed than the earlier generation of SBC pastors. Is that your experience?

I tend to believe it is a natural phenomenon that is due to cultural emphases and such. I know that won't sit well with people on either side of the divide, but I do believe that churches, spiritual movements and doctrinal emphases often occur to address cultural trends and issues and what is a more effective presentation to today's hearer. The Gospel never changes, but the emphasis given to various aspects of the Gospel and how it is presented do change, I believe.

If you have any thoughts along these lines (I don't know if you have ever attended Together for the Gospel), I would be interested.

Louis

Wanda said...

Louis is asking some important questions about current trends in the SBC. The embrace of Calvinism by a younger generation first came to my attention when I read the article "Young, Restless, Reformed" in the September 2006 issue of Christianity Today.

Here's the link if anyone would like to read it:

www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html

Anonymous said...

LOUIS said,
"We all tend to run in circles that expose us to people who are more like ourselves"

There is much truth in this statement. It has to do with a need for reinforcement of one's own ideas. It also reflects on the social nature of many 'religious' groups.
It is about staying inside one's own safe comfort zone.

BUT IS THIS WHAT CHRIST ASKS OF US?

Wanda said...

Unfortunately, part of the web address to the Christianity Today article got cut off in my comment. Sorry. I'll try it one more time.

christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html

Thy Peace said...

ChristianityToday.: Young, Restless, Reformed

Chris said...

From someone who is young, restless, and very NOT reformed,

I have found that a lot of my both in college and in churches have had Reformed tendencies. There have been just as many who have thought Calvinism was in error. I have a feeling that, just like in previous generations, the younger generation will have great preachers who fall on both sides and thus the SBC is held in the tension between the two points, where it traditionally has been.

But having noted that I'm one of those who think that Calvinism is misguided, I think I should try to address some of the questions being raised.

First, Romans 5. This makes much more sense if you read the text corporately rather than individually. Paul is talking about two types of humanity, those in Adam and those in Christ. Every human being is born in Adam, they have to do nothing to get there and nothing to stay there. It is because they are in Adam that they can and do die. It is a doctrine of original death, not original sin. Those in Christ, however, have done something to move from being in Adam to in Christ (and I believe what that is is found in Romans 8). And because they are now in Christ, they no longer die (ie. their bodies will be raised).

If you read Romans 5 individually, you ask the same questions that I've seen asked here. Why do infants die in infancy? Because they are tainted by the death Adam introduced to the world. By Adam's sin, all men died (not all men sinned). If you say it is because of their sins, sins which they can do nothing about, you are being quite a cruel parent not to practice infant baptism. Do we really think that all death and all bad things are the result of our individual sins? I doubt that most of you pastors would say that in counseling, so why would you say that here? I think it much more likely (and biblical) to acknowledge that bad things happen and that people sin and that the two are not always connected.

Chris said...

The opening paragraph should read "my peers both in college and in churches..." Can't believe I didn't catch that.

Anonymous said...

" . . . what causes a man to believe? . . ."

Hearing? (Romans 10:17 literally, ". . . so the [particular] faith [to which I am referring is] out of hearing [as its sources], but [or 'and'] the [particular] hearing [is] through [a specific] word about Christ . . ."


David

Anonymous said...

"source," not sources

Anonymous said...

Peter - The other anon wasn't me, but corroboration on your character by so many different people should cause you to look inward.

But alas, it doesn't.

I have no interest in your site for I have seen enough to know that you are an ANTI calvinist. So your threat to censor anon comments is meaningless to me and I have no desire to be accountable to you.

I converse with NON calvinist often. It is edifying for all of us and even fun (sometimes funny). But dialogue with an ANTI calvinist is a waste of time. Theirs and mine.

You read my comment. I know it. And that's good enough for me.

debbiekaufman said...

There are zealots everywhere, even in Calvinism. But the same could be said of those who are not Calvinists either. I'm sure there are people that are overly zealous in giving the reformed faith, but the same could be true of those who run after people "witnessing" to them couldn't it?

RC Sproul said in his book Chosen by God that he was an Arminian who later embraced the reformed doctrine in college where a professor taught it. He too was full of zeal at first. It's no different than a person who first has Christ, he just wants everyone to embrace Christ too. Why? Because it changed his/her life. Same with some who embrace the reformed faith. We all make mistakes when we are new Christians. Billy Graham has recorded many. Is it right? No, but we learn. I used to be the same way.

Anonymous said...

1. All my growing up years: "SBCers typically have held to a modified Calvinism, which equates to a modified Arminianism."

2. John 3:16 seems to support the position: God loved the world of humans He created (i.e., prized each human being---despite our innate sin natures and personal sin actions---and so pursued our total well-being) this way: so much that He provided His own and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the potential atonement of all and the actual atonement of each believing one;

3. In an eschatology course taught by Millard Erickson at SWBTS in the early 1990's: interesting discussions about what becomes of infants who die; Calvinists present in the class said that the fate of infants depends upon whether or not they are "of the elect"---the others of us present thought, "Well, King David must not have been a 5-point Calvinist!" Dr. Erickson was careful not to tell his personal beliefs at that point, as I recall---lest we all base ours on his?

4. Interesting related article: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=4700

5. Matthew 18:17, ". . . let him be unto you as a heathen . . ."--Christians know what to do with all heathens: love them to Christ and the Jesus way of life!


David

Lin said...

"The million dollar question is "what causes a man to believe?"

Amen. It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sin and need for a Savior.

Thy Peace said...

"The million dollar question is "what causes a man to believe?"

For me, when I see selflessness in someone, my heart leaps up in joy. I see this in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

That is what draws me to Him. (this is what my mind tells me)

I am certain it's The Holy Spirit who is drawing me to Him.

Drew said...

Is the million dollar question not answered simply and clearly in the preceding context, John 3:1-9?

John 3:3, "truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Its interesting to me that the immediate context of new birth is so often left out of sermons on John 3:16.

Which comes first, entrance into the kingdom or new birth? It seems pretty obvious to me, just trying to a man of the text!

Anonymous said...

The million dollar question is "what causes a man to believe?"

Amen. It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sin and need for a Savior.



So then the next question would be "Is it irresitable."

Anonymous said...

THY PEACE,

You have identified what draws us to Christ: His love was not empty words but active sacrifice.
We are drawn to Him: as a babe in the manger, as a Shepherd who fed and healed and raised from the dead, and finally as the Lamb of God sacrificed Himself for us.

He did not condemn so much as hold up a mirror so that we could examine our own lives before we judged others. Would that His followers were so wise.

He hung out with sinners and lepers. Not so the 'christians' of today who do not wish to be 'contaminated'. They are The Chosen: safe and 'saved' : and it's tough luck for the rest of world?
They forget that 'God so loved the world. . . "

His message taught us how to treat each other,
but it was His final example of Self-Sacrifice that we often will not learn from.
And it was the greatest lesson of all.

Too many believers adore the Messenger, but ignore His Message.
They forget they He WAS the Living Word. So they cannot ignore the example that He gave us, without rejecting Him.

Many know that "our need" is not the point: it is the "need" of those we help that is more important. Our salvation enables us to forget ourselves in His service to them.

If we can't get past the selfishness, and recognize Christ in the least of His, will we ever really know Him? Will He know us?L's

Thy Peace said...

"If we can't get past the selfishness, and recognize Christ in the least of His, will we ever really know Him? Will He know us?L's"

Amen.

Anonymous said...

"He did not condemn so much as hold up a mirror so that we could examine our own lives before we judged others. Would that His followers were so wise. "

You guys may want to check out what Jesus told the people...or His first sermon. (Even before Matthew 5) You might find it a bit 'condeming'.

Lydia

Thy Peace said...

Lydia, did you mean this?

Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Anonymous said...

TO LYDIA,

Thank you for responding. One of the great lessons Christ taught was when the adulterous woman was to be stoned.

Christ knew 'the Law' required that she be stoned.
He didn't say 'don't stone her'.
He just asked for the one among them who had not sinned to cast the first stone.

They dropped their stones.

And they walked away, one by one.

I wish we Christians could do that, too: put down our stones.

My reading of the Gospels has shown me that Jesus may have condemned the sin, but not the sinner.
He would tell them to go and sin no more.
And to go in peace. Imagine, being told that by Jesus!

We, on the other hand, are heavily into condemnation.

I remember a lady named Bunny in our lake community who had made some terrible comments publicly about the mother of another handicapped child.

I confronted Bunny on the lake beach and privately told her what I thought about her insensitivity. I was NOT gracious.

In those days, I often saw this lady, Bunny, driving around town.

Once, I remember, seeing her in her car and, an unbidden feeling of compassion and pity for her swept over me.

After that, I was never able to feel the same bitterness towards her again.

I think that must have been the intervention of the Holy Spirit: to teach me not to judge, but instead,to have sympathy for this woman.

Jesus promised to send us a Helper.
I think He did. L's

P.S. I just was reading in St. Matthew, as you suggested, and I came across one of my favorite passages: St. Matthew 16:24,25

Thank you for writing about St. Matthew. That was providential, too. I needed to read that book today.

Anonymous said...

"Christ knew 'the Law' required that she be stoned.
He didn't say 'don't stone her'.
He just asked for the one among them who had not sinned to cast the first stone.

They dropped their stones.

And they walked away, one by one."

Funny how people always remember only one side of that passage. We forget that Jewish law required the man to be tried, too. But the Pharisees were so anxious to try and catch Jesus they forgot? Yes, the law did require it. And Jesus kept the law perfectly while on earth, so why wasn't she stoned if He kept the law perfectly? Think about that for a while.

I am not sure what you guys are trying to communicate but if you think we are never to point out sin because we are sinners, then that means no pastor can preach on sin. Quite frankly, that is exactly what has happened in many churches in the USA. Either that, or they get to define what is sin which usually entails questioning any church 'authorities'.

We hear very little about the wages of sin and continuing in sin. Scripture teaches that without Holiness, we will not see God.

When is the last time you heard a sermon on Hebrews 10:26-31?

Lydia

Brent Hobbs said...

Wade,
Thanks for the summary and comments, it seems like we're getting a good feel for what's going on and I am pleasantly surprised.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
I am one of the 'you guys', I think. Actually, it's me, L's.

When I was a little girl and I heard the story about the 'adulterous woman', I didn't even know what adultery was.

But even at that young age,
I saw the teaching of the Lord
in what he said to the executioners. Even then.
And I see it now.

I'm not able to study the Scriptures with your competence. And, you are very competent.
I must glean what I am allowed to receive and keep it in my heart.
If in Biblical scholarship, I could be a Lydia or a Dr. Klouda, that would be wonderful,
but sadly, I'm not.
I have tried to pray for understanding before reading and I hope that it helps.

The focus on sin and hell and anger and judgment do not resonate with my spirit.
I can try to focus on that as others have suggested here, but it doesn't take.
All I see in the Scriptures is how much God has loved us. And this brings me such great peace.

Paula said...

Doesn't Calvinism teach that there is no such thing as "libertarian free will"? Then why should any Calvinists get upset if God has forced someone else to be non- or anti-Calvinist? They have no free will so they are non-C by God's sovereign decree. Why get upset? Isn't that being upset at God's choice?

If all of life is scripted by God, then God alone is responsible for everything we do, think, say, and believe. And we need none of this double-talk about "it's really free will to do evil; we freely choose to do only evil" either. A choice of one thing is no choice at all. And how can a dead man choose anything at all, if he is as dead as Calvinism asserts?

I don't expect answers to these rhetorical questions; I've spent too much time on this debate already. Just remember that God made me post this. ;-)

And what practical difference does this debate make? If one believes the gospel and preaches it to all, if one will spend years training new believers in the Word and stress a life of grateful service to God, and if one is truly a servant of Jesus and trust only Him for salvation--- then what are we fighting for among ourselves?

Things we agree on: we all sin, we all need to accept the free gift of salvation only God could offer, and we trust God to be perfectly just and fair in his judgments. We all hold the scriptures to be the Word of God and therefore the standard by which all else is measured.

So again: what do we profit by this debate?

Anonymous said...

With those shallow thoughts, you should not expect substantive answers. I will say that it is hard to believe that you have spent "too much time on this debate" with such easily refutable thoughts.

I'll take one and then let you apply the same logic to the rest of your statements.

We are talking about salvation here. Not about whether you have a free will to choose to wear a red tie or a blue tie today. Or whether you should buy a green car or a black car.

If you have spent "too much time on this debate", surely you know this.

I agree with some of your comments about any "difference" being made here. However, points are being made here about the disturbing need by some to be ANTI calvinist. And as you suggest, the question to that is indeed "Why"?

Anonymous said...

I think I finally understand Calvinism. It took awhile, but now I see.

PAULA said, " And how can a dead man choose anything at all, if he is as dead as Calvinism asserts?"


There may be a WAY for the Elect to help the Dead:

1. Empty all the Churches and invite God's Homeless Ones
in to stay

2. The Church People can then go
and build homes for the God's Homeless Ones.

3. Then, in this way, God's Homeless Ones have been used by God to help the Dead. The formerly Dead Church People are now among the Elect, and now, with God's Blessing, are fit to invite God's Once-Homeless Ones into the Church building so that ALL the Elect may now pray together.

DID I GET IT RIGHT ?????

Thy Peace said...

Anon 9:25 pm:

You are funny. I do not know anything about Calvinism. (pro, non or anti). I am also discovering that there is so much complexity in Southern Baptists. Wow! I think this might be true for Christianity in general.

Your idea of giving shelter to the homeless in all the magnificent churches has occurred to me often. The same argument could be used for business space (buildings) to house homeless.

Maybe someday in the future someone will work out the logistics. Or someone brave enough like Mother Teresa.

Paula said...

Someone hiding behind anonymity calls me shallow. Ouch! :-)

Calling these things shallow is just your way of not facing unanswerable questions. But don't blame me for what I just wrote, God made me do it.

So you think God lets us choose the color of our clothes BUT NOT OUR SALVATION?? Sorry, but my God isn't so petty.

And aren't you worried about calling what God forced me to be "disturbing"? You'll have to ask God "why", because I have no free will. And neither do you.

Have a nice day. If God has ordained it.

Now I wonder why God makes Calvinists so touchy...

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace says, "Your idea of giving shelter to the homeless in all the magnificent churches has occurred to me often. The same argument could be used for business space (buildings) to house homeless.

Maybe someday in the future someone will work out the logistics. "


I thought that was what the Great Commission was all about. ????
What IS the Great Commission?

. . . " and the words of the prophets are written on the sub-way walls, and tenement halls, And echo in the Sounds of Silence . . . " S and G

How much time left do we have before it's too late??

Or maybe, better days are coming soon for ALL people? ?

What is the Great Commission?

Anonymous said...

"The focus on sin and hell and anger and judgment do not resonate with my spirit."

You aren't alone. Joel Osteen has built the largest church in America with that philosophy and gotten quite rich. And, it cuts down on a lot of scripture you don't have to study.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

THY PEACE,

I suppose if Jesus had to stay in a stable, some of the 'elect' feel that the homeless can fend for themselves.

Maybe the 'elect' will lower themselves to offer to shelter the homeless in their stables?

Won't cost much. Hardly anything.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

Joel Osteen preaches a 'feel good' gospel which does not ask much of his followers. I am not one of them. My road is not an easy one.

Goodness knows, my faith sends us out of Church every Sunday by telling us to 'go out to love and serve the Lord.' Those are ORDERS.

That means: get out there and help people in His Holy Name.
That is not exactly the same as expecting God to shower us with material wealth.
Quite the opposite. We are asked to be generous with our resources until it hurts.
We are asked to work for the needy without expecting ANYTHING in return for ourselves. ANYTHING.
My faith is not 'Christianity Light' and I do NOT recommend it to anyone in tune with Osteen.
Osteen does not speak for me. I do not speak against him or his followers though. If he gives them some hope, how can I?

On the other hand, there are people I have met on this blog who are absolutely tormented by the
'negatives' they see in the Scriptures. I wonder where all this comes from. I read the Scriptures, and I find Peace. I just don't see what they see. Why focus on sin, when we have a Savior ? Why focus on ourselves at all? God needs us to help others in the world. He will look after us and give us the strength to help them. He can take away our fears and restore our peace. He is very good at that. :)

Lydia, what do you think of the Psalms?
I find that they give me great peace and strength. L's

Thy Peace said...

Anon:

"Won't cost much. Hardly anything."

This is what I am discovering for myself right now. I am a new Christian. I ended up on Wade's blog, because of Sheri Klouda's treatment. But I am learning slowly.

My heroes are the old saints. They are historically of the Catholic Faith. Though lot of the saints have been claimed universally by other Christians. Of course, the true source of everything has to be Our Lord Jesus Christ.

But lot of times, The Holy Spirit lights up each vessel, and when they illumine, they become saints.

I love St. Francis, Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross. There are others.

I am learning to die to myself. This is very hard. When I focus on doing it, I goof it up. When I lift up my eyes to Our Lord Jesus Christ, then I do not have to think about it. And it "seems" to be easier.

My honest guess is, it will probably take me till I literally die, to die to myself. What I mean is, this is a process.

What you are saying resonates with me. I feel, if we give up everything inside to Our Lord Jesus Christ, then what we give up on the outside is inconsequential.

God bless you Anon.

Thy Peace said...

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

To not embrace the Doctrines of Grace is to me, becoming more and more a primitive and anti-scholastic point of view. Today I visited the campus of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. I had a spectacular time but 2 highlights come to mind. 1. I purchased a John Calvin bobble-head doll at the campus bookstore. :) 2. I attended an "Acts & Paul" lecture by Dr. Hans Bayer. It goes without saying that Dr. Bayer is a Calvinist. But here is where his lecture took us. "We must reflect first on the 'indicative' before the 'imperative.'" “Who we are informs what we do...this is the difference between the Gospel and moralism." "We are an impatient people...wrongly focusing on behavior modification." "Have we made the imperative a moral armament?"

He then proceeded to give a 45 minute overview of the entire book of Ephesians. I pulled one key phrase out of his talk over Eph. 4:1-6:22......"Let grace come to fruition."

It is the power of the Holy Spirit through Christ's work that changes me not my adherence to the law. Thus I must desire to know more fully, the God I serve. (The indicative.) I can then use the imperative (the law) to compare myself to The Christ.

I always fail. I am always humbled and must go back to Eph 1:3 and do it all over again. “Bless God!”
I post this because in this light I am free from a legalistic childhood and free from judging my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ under the guise of “holding them accountable.”

Dr. Vine’s sermon a couple years ago at an SBCAM said it best: “Preach Jesus…!” Over and over he said this. I have been guilty of pulling out the imperatives and preaching them with behavior modification in mind as proof texts for sanctification. Father forgive me. Thank you for the indicatives.

…and thank you for the John Calvin bobble-head doll. :)

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace,

When we begin to die to self, it is then that we begin to
REALLY LIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME immersed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

That is the great mystery: lose your life and you will find it.

Then, and only then, all the fear goes away, we can forget about 'self' and reach out to others:

Because it is Our Savior who cares for them through us,
we have become His instruments in the world:
then, a simple act of kindness, when done in His Name, becomes a holy action in the Kingdom of God.

Anonymous said...

Paula - You do have shallow comments pertaining to this subject. Your antagonistic and insulting comments reveal that you have NOT studied this topic to any degree whatsoever. Maybe by "too much time" you meant 10 minutes listening to someone else mocking the Doctrines of Grace? I don't know.

I do know that if you had studied, you would have a more concrete rebuttal. To just say "golly gee I don't serve a God that let's me pick my tie but not my salvation" shows a tremendously shallow view of the issue. I don't care if you hate the DoG or not, but good grief, get an argument at least.

You are the one that came here and continue to make mocking arguments, making fun of things you have not studied. That is not helpful and it is insulting.

Now, since I have that off my chest please hear me. If you truly want to understand better, refrain from mocking. If you express a sincere desire to understand (not believe, but just understand) you won't be mocked back (not by me anyway) and an honest question or comment will be met with an honest answer or reply.

Paula said...

anon 6:09,

1. You refuse to identify yourself and be accountable.
2. You continue with personal attacks and baseless accusations.
3. You make assumptions about me and my studies without bothering to determine facts.
4. You mock me while berating me for mocking.
5. You want me to hear you but you show no willingness to hear me.
6. You have made no attempt to address my actual points.
7. You demand I "get an argument" while lacking of one of your own.
8. I only attack a doctrine while you attack me personally.

Etc. etc. etc.

God will judge between us, and He knows your name.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"God will judge between us"

No dear Paula, He will not.

You will be judged alone and without regard for the rest of the world. Anon 6:09 will be judged solely on his or her own works and deeds. You both will fail. If Christ's righteousness covers you then you will have eternal life. But God will not compare the sins of the sinners and saints.

Anonymous said...

"Paula" - The reason your nonsense is so prevalent is because you worry about stuff like who I am rather than your own words.

Okay "Paula", I'm "Steve Smith". Happy?

Now, you started this with your silly "golly gee I wish I could pick out what shoes I will wear today but God has to do it for me" idiotic, insulting caricature of the DoG theology.

Please see KMC's admonition, stop worrying about who I am and any judgement that I might receive, and please go study.

Please, I beg you to take the last word and then honor my request to not interact with me anymore unless you have a sincere, non-mocking question and you want a sincere, non-mocking, thoughtful reply.

Your attitude goes back to the comment above. Anyone who believes in the DoG loves to interact with one who is a NON calvinist. Good exchanges, iron sharpening iron, friendships developed and strengthened along with everyone's theology.

But you ANTI calvinists love to bring the conversation down to a level where communication is ruined. That is a shame.

Congrats "Paula".

By the way, is your last name Lumpkins?

Sincerely,
"Steve Smith"

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, there are people I have met on this blog who are absolutely tormented by the
'negatives' they see in the Scriptures."

How can truth be negative? I do not understand that view. Following Christ is not easy. We must give up ourselves. But at the same time, we must examine ourselves. When we are saved, we have a different view of sin. We see the horror of it and know that even our thoughts are sinful! It is a life of repenting and brokeness while at the same time we have joy because we are forgiven. We never 'arrive' at sinless perfection until we see Glory but we are to grow in Holiness or we will not see God at all. Holiness is not about works but the Spirit within us.


" I wonder where all this comes from. I read the Scriptures, and I find Peace. I just don't see what they see. Why focus on sin, when we have a Savior ? Why focus on ourselves at all? God needs us to help others in the world. He will look after us and give us the strength to help them. He can take away our fears and restore our peace. He is very good at that. :)"

WE are told to examine ourselves. We are told to walk in the light and many other admonitions. WE are told to see others as better than ourseleves but we are to first and formost serve God.

You are trying to imply that my words mean NOT helping othes. That is a huge leap that is not worthy of you.

"Lydia, what do you think of the Psalms?
I find that they give me great peace and strength."

David was well aware of his weakness and sin. The scriptures also tell us that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17). So, we had better be careful we do not fool ourselves on what the Christian life really is.

Good works do not save us. The nicest most serving others type person in the world will not be saved unless they are saved by Faith alone in Christ.

However, if we are saved, we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit which may not look to the world what they would expect. I get a bit uncomfortable with everyone deciding what a Christian would look like in terms of works.

There is more to that but I will stop here.

We are different. Many times my scripture reading leads me to conviction and repentance. Other times, joy. I pray that the Holy Spirit is doing the teaching.


Lydia

Paula said...

kevin:

May the LORD judge between you and me. -- Gen. 16.5

May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us. -- Gen. 31:53

May the LORD judge between you and me. --1 Sam. 24:12

I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. --Ezekiel 34:17


"Steve Smith":

My identity is traceable. You just typed a name. But you don't understand why I even asked. It's about accountability, not my personal need to know who you are. It's about standing for what you believe without cowardice or fear. And the demand for accountability is leveled by Calvinists as much as by anyone else. It's also about courtesy. Happy now?

You continue with your personal attacks against me while I deal with the logical implications of a doctrine. There is a huge difference between the two.

To spell it out: Your own Calvinist authors insist that there is no such thing as free will to choose to accept the gospel. Have you never heard about Luther's "Bondage of the Will"? Or how about a quote from Calvin's "Bondage and Liberation of the Will" at http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Free-Will/ ? Another of their articles at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/questions/freewill.html :

When Christians say that man has no free will it simply means that apart from the exertion of the grace of God no one willingly comes to faith in Christ.

A rebuttal to this Calvinistic definition of free will, should you "choose" to read it, is here:
http://allanturner.com/calbk_3.html

Here is an article covering various flavors of the free will issue philosophically:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

An example there of the complete no free will philosophy is Arthur Schopenhauer.

And yes, I've met many Calvinists who truly believe that God must pre-determine every detail of every moment of all of history. They truly believe that you cannot choose anything at all: not your clothes, your food, not anything. And this belief, they tell me, is based in God's sovereignty, and the fact that it would indeed be ridiculous for God to allow such mundane choices while denying the most important choice of all.

There was a time when I knew nothing of Calvinism. Someone I met online introduced me to it, and gave me all the standard links and books to read. I spent 6 months studying it all, all from pro-Calvinist authors. I took notes, I outlined, I checked scriptures. It all seemed so right.

But like a good Berean, and in keeping with Proverbs 18:17, I cross-examined it for several more months. I read arguments and counter-arguments. I studied debates. I took more notes and made more outlines. And at the end of it all I concluded that the TULIP was an evil weed that needed to be pulled up and burned.

I did not begin my studies with a prejudice against something I never heard of. But those who malign me personally on the basis of presumptions they make never give me the same chance I gave Calvinism.

If that isn't good enough for you, "Steve", then I rest in the fact that it's good enough for God. He alone knows my heart, and he alone will judge me-- and you.

Anonymous said...

Dear LYDIA,

You said,
"There is more to that but I will stop here."

Please continue. I am listening and trying to understand. It's okay that we see things differently but it is important to me that I try to understand what other people see in the Scriptures, too. You know that I respect your scholarship. If I am open to understanding, then I might have a chance learn what is important to another and why it is important to them. Please continue. L's

Thy Peace said...

Lydia: Thank you for your comments. I always learn from your comments, even when you are sparring with others. God bless you Sister.

Anonymous said...

PAULA on her web said,

"Tolerance is the weapon that defeated America."

Tolerance: To 'tolerate' people that are different from us'. To allow them the same dignity and rights as human beings that we claim for ourselves? Like all those liberals and gays and Democrats.

This has defeated America?

OKAY.

So let's remove all tolerance and make a nice 'christian nation'
where true values only are permitted:

Then, those we see as different will not be 'tolerated', they must be concentrated into ghettos, and then maybe, they don't even have the right to live.

NOW WE CAN GET DOWN TO THE BUSINESS OF SAVING AMERICA:

Start with 'firing' anyone we disagree with: that takes away their livelihood and the protection of health benefits from their children and spouses. That'll teach them all to tow the line or 'else': great Christian tactic.

Why stop there? Destroy reputations. Get your minions involved, at the peril of their own jobs.

Why not have 'witch' trials to find out who the 'heretics' are? Then, what to do with them?
Marginalization, isolation, oh why not just go ahead and burn 'em.

Without the Holocaust, we would never have got rid of all those 'unbelievers' would we?

There is NO END of the ways we can save America for Jesus, once we get rid of 'tolerance'.

Right, Paula?

INTOLERANT

johnMark said...

Wow, Peter and Wade were there and I didn't get to meet either one!


I wish I'd known!

I lived blogged the whole thing next to Andrew blogging at Challies.com.

Maybe next time.

Mark

Anonymous said...

THY PEACE

Thy Peace said, "Your idea of giving shelter to the homeless in all the magnificent churches has occurred to me often. "

In ancient days, people could come into the 'sanctuary' and escape from harm. No one was allowed to drag them out and hurt them, once they were safely in 'sanctuary'.

A number of years ago, some smart politicians cut off funding for the care of the mentally ill, thereby saving taxpayers a fortune. The mentally-ill people were turned out into the streets: for their 'own good', a 'less restrictive' environment. They were told to use the facilities of the communities they were pushed out into. In some cases, people who had been institutionalized almost their whole lives were driven to a clinic and put out on the side walk in front of the building and just left there.

PROBLEM: many were not competant to make the judgments to enable their own care. They quite literally, became 'refuse'.
They were 'disposable'.
With nowhere to go, they were totally at the mercy of the elements and the criminals and all of us 'decent Chritians'.

Maybe today, we could provide some kind of sanctuary for these people: a 'dwelling place'.


Some politicians saved the tax-payers a lot of money.
And our nation lost part of it's soul. May God have mercy on us.

I just don't understand why some fundamentalists see such a disconnect between 'good works' and Christianity. It makes no sense. At least, not to those who suffer. L's

Thy Peace said...

I too have read Paula's blog article. To be fair to Paula, the recent election has become very emotional to lot of bloggers. In the past I have agreed with some of the comments Paula makes. I do not know all the Christians doctrines, so I can not debate anyone fully on this.

But I would like to comment on this.

Paula says ... "And at the end of it all I concluded that the TULIP was an evil weed that needed to be pulled up and burned."

I do not know what the reference to TULIP is, but normally I am in favor of anyone disagreeing and disassociating from doctrines and beliefs in their own mind or self. The difficulty comes (and the tyranny) when one wants others to see or believe the way one does.

If you look at the separation of church and state, there are good historical reasons for this. When they did not do this, there was lot of persecution, because of one's believes did not coincide with the people in power.

Even if we look at southern baptists, there are so many differences in beliefs and practices. What about other religions, when only Christianity is espoused in public spheres. How can we silence other religions and differences?

I personally would favor the method of entreating with love and fellowship. I do not favor the methods of forced from above teachings on ALL people. I think this is cruel.

The forcing of ideas seems to be similar to the old testament, methods of exterminating people who are against God. Wiping or killing all the people who are opposed so as not to contaminate the elect is not right.

This is why for me the new testament and the Love of God is more important than all these do's and don'ts. Of course we are asked to look at the whole bible as the Word of God. I learn and struggle and seek guidance from The Holy Spirit as I read from the Word of God.

Paula said...

thy peace,

Feel free to come to my blog to comment on what I write there, especially since that particular post really isn't related to this one.

TULIP is an acronym for the "five points" of Calvinism, which were drawn up as a reaction to Arminiamism. You can read more about it at http://www.thecaveonline.com/APEH/calvinTULIP.html (it's concise, but I wish they'd change the page background).

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Paula,

Thank you for your diligence in searching Scripture for the truth. While I graciously read each of the verses you quoted, I also read the context of each verse and from my perspective the idea is indeed presented (judging between you and me) but that the idea was hoped for in contempt or anger in almost every case. So, again from my perspective, these passages present a possible rebuttal to your argument.

The last passage however was of most interest to me for I could not immediately see the context in the couple verses surrounding. So, two points from by brief study of the chapter 34:

1. The ESV study notes make an interesting point. VV. 17-22 are a unique parallel to v. 1-10. The writer is speaking of behavior within the flock, specifically the lack of physical and spiritual nourishment given by leaders and other sheep to whom authority has been given. There is also here an apparent implication that the sheep are to be "under" a qualified shepherd, for the purpose of being fed spiritually. This is kind of a no brainer, and when combined with being a "good Berean" one sees the whole counsel of God come alive.

2. This passage is very much a "Calvinistic passage." Note that there are never lost goats, only lost sheep. "I myself will make them lie down declares the Lord." (v.15) What is the overarching point of this chapter? That salvation is found only and completely in the Lord, not in man who corrupts.

I enjoyed the study. Thank you for bringing these passages to light.

Kevin

Paula said...

You're welcome, Kevin. But honestly, I posted those verses just to clarify what I meant by "God will judge between us". It was nothing more than that.

Thy Peace said...

Paula: Thanks for the offer. I have been a follower of your blog in the past month. I have not had the time to actively read and understand your articles. I shall endeavour to do so in the future.

I do learn from your comments here. I feel (lot of times) I am not at the level you (and other commentators) are. Thanks for the info on the TULIP. I agree with you on the distraction of the background. If you use Opera or Firefox with Opera Image extensions, you can disable images in a web page and see it clearly. Currently I am experimenting with Google Chrome, and it sadly does not let me do that.

I did enjoy the video of three dogs running back and forth in your yard. Believe it or not, it was peaceful to watch them.

God bless you Sister.

Paula said...

Thank you, thy peace; you are aptly named. :-)

I'm using Firefox, and I do have the developer tools installed so I can shut off the background. I was just thinking it would be nice to have a background that doesn't need to be shut off. ;-)

Bill Poore said...

Puritan John Trapp(1601-1669)contradicts Paige Patterson's shallow remarks at the John.3:16 conference.
Romans.5:14 Death reigned..."From the reign of death,he concludes the reign of sin.Infants are no innocents;the first sheet or blanket wherein they were covered is woven of sin,shame,blood,and filth."Ezek.16:1-7.

Anonymous said...

So this is what it all comes to: Some of the most potent preachers of today combine efforts to denounce the Doctrines of Grace instead of preaching the Gospel or edifying the body. All their points were well recognized in 1618 through 1619. Well nearly 300 years have passed and the Remonstrant still survives.

Anonymous said...

IS THIS CALVINIST DOCTRINE ?


Individual Salvation begins with the grace of God which touches a sinner's heart, and calls him to repentance. This grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Man may receive or reject this inspiration of God, he may turn to God or remain in sin. Grace does not constrain man's free will.

Thus assisted the sinner is disposed for salvation from sin; he believes in the revelation and promises of God, he fears God's justice, hopes in his mercy, TRUSTS THAT GOD WILL BE MERCIFUL TO HIM FOR CHRIST'S SAKE , begins to love God as the source of all justice, hates and detests his sins.

Is this Calvinism or not?
And why?

CURIOUS

Anonymous said...

Is it true that in Calvinism, God only chooses a few people to save?
If it is true, why would He do this? ?

Thy Peace said...

First, in answering the second question - "How does depravity come about?" - Dr. Patterson gave his personal opinion that no human being is born guilty before God because of Adam's sin, but we are all condemened for our own sins. Dr. Patterson's view seems to me to be a direct violation of the teaching of Romans 5, and the truth that all men (and women) are condemned for the sin of one man (Adam).

My understanding is, the First Sin by Adam, caused (causes) the physical death. The Last Adam by His Sacrifice gives Life Eternal to whosoever believeth in Him. And this First Sin cannot be revoked in the physical plane. We are all condemned to die (physical plane).

Dr. Patterson gave his personal opinion that no human being is born guilty before God because of Adam's sin, but we are all condemened for our own sins

... but we are all condemened for our own sins

The above comes from the Old Testament, where God chooses not to punish sons for their fathers sins.

no human being is born guilty before God because of Adam's sin ...

We are born guilty, for we all have to die physically.

Thy Peace said...

THE CALVINISTIC "TULIP"

T -- total depravity. This doesn't mean people are as bad as they can be. It means that sin is in every part of one's being, including the mind and will, so that a man cannot save himself.

U -- unconditional election. God chooses to save people unconditionally; that is, they are not chosen on the basis of their own merit.

L -- limited atonement. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross was for the purpose of saving the elect.

I -- irresistible grace. When God has chosen to save someone, He will.

P -- perseverence of the saints. Those people God chooses cannot lose their salvation; they will continue to believe. If they fall away, it will be only for a time.

Anonymous said...

"I just don't understand why some fundamentalists see such a disconnect between 'good works' and Christianity. It makes no sense. At least, not to those who suffer."

Truth be told, I am not sure what a fundamentalist is anymore. If it means staying with the the fundamentals of the gospel, count me in. If it means more of the extra biblical legalism and authoritarian rule over others in the Body we see taught today, then...no thanks. :o)

There is no disconnet between 'good works' and true Christianity. My point is that we cannot always know what good works are and should be careful when judging such. I will give you an example. My aunt worked in an inner city church for years. She left to do something else for several years and then came back. To many it looked like she abandoned her 'good works' but she was led by the Holy Spirit to deal with a confidential family matter for a couple of years.

But even her work in the inner city church was filthy rags IF she thought she was being righteous instead of serving her Savior, led by the Holy Spirit with peace and joy.

Isaiah 64:6

6 But we are all like an unclean thing,And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Scripture also teaches this:

Matthew 6

2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

If we are truly in Christ, there is no need for us to make sure that others see our 'good deeds'. As a matter of fact, that is sinful and we will get our reward 'here'.

No thanks. :o)

Lydia

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Curious:
My answer would be a hearty NO.

Why? Because that which God purposes to do will ALWAYS come to fruition: "My sheep WILL hear my voice."

One of your statements might be more aptly put: "thus created, the sinner is predestined to salvation from sin if and only if the Father has given him to the Son."

Joe White... said...

Wade,

This is a good summary of the first night's events. I too was pleased with the tone of the event. Not to bogart your blog, but for those interested I have a complete summary up on my blog. I look forward to reading your take on Day 2...

Anonymous said...

"Is it true that in Calvinism, God only chooses a few people to save?
If it is true, why would He do this?"

Good question!

But for the answer to your good question, I shall give a better question and ask you to simply dwell on it.

It should not be asked, "why does God only save a few", but why does God save ANY?

Therein lies His wonderous grace and mercy!

SL1M

I am using a stupid Mac and I have discovered that BlogTablet is not adding my SL1M signature following my comment sometimes. I regret that and will try to claim my comments. Just know that if a brilliant comment is made by an unsigned anony...then that's me! :)

Anonymous said...

So God is bound and cannot give mercy to anyone other than the predestined 'elect'. His 'Hands' are tied for all eternity?

But, does this mean that
God, then, is not all-powerful?
So, if you accept Calvinism, then God must lose His option of granting mercy?

God's mercy and God's justice. How are these reconciled? In a way that makes sense?

This is a very confusing doctrine, this Calvinism.

Everytime I get to where I think I understand it, it 'goes rogue' again and I run into another mystery. Calvinism is like a maze.
Too many dead ends and hard to find its core.

Anonymous said...

"So God is bound and cannot give mercy to anyone other than the predestined 'elect'. His 'Hands' are tied for all eternity? "

When Abraham begged for Lot to be spared, did God change His mind? Or, did He already know what Abraham was going to ask and even how he was going to ask?


Ephesians 1 says He chose us to be 'in Him' before the foundation of the world...

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.


Does anyone believe that God did NOT know that Adam and Eve would sin?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I don't know who you were addressing with your comment, but I would love to offer a few short and simple thoughts. I appreciate your honest attempt to understand.

"So God is bound and cannot give mercy to anyone other than the predestined 'elect'. His 'Hands' are tied for all eternity?"

--- His hands were (and still are) untied when He predestined His elect, all BEFORE the foundation of the world.

"But, does this mean that
God, then, is not all-powerful?
So, if you accept Calvinism, then God must lose His option of granting mercy?"

--- God is all powerful as He gives mercy to some and justice to everyone else.

"God's mercy and God's justice. How are these reconciled? In a way that makes sense?"

--- Some people go to Heaven. This is God's mercy. Surely they DON'T deserve it.

--- Some people go to Hell. This is God's justice. Surely they DO deserve it...as do we all.

"This is a very confusing doctrine, this Calvinism. Everytime I get to where I think I understand it, it 'goes rogue' again and I run into another mystery. Calvinism is like a maze.
Too many dead ends and hard to find its core."

--- It can be, especially if you are anything like I was at one time. I was steeped in my traditions as I allowed it to conform scripture instead of allowing scripture to conform my traditions. Overcoming traditions is very difficult in all parts of life. Theology is no different.

God bless your study.

SL1M

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Does anyone believe that God did NOT know that Adam and Eve would sin? "

I hope not. I would submit that it was even part of his plan..that is to say His plan of creation, redemption, and eternity beyond time.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone believe that God did NOT know that Adam and Eve would sin? "

I hope not. I would submit that it was even part of his plan..that is to say His plan of creation, redemption, and eternity beyond time.

Sat Nov 08, 04:23:00 PM 2008

Gee Crowder, we actually agree on something.:o) I submit that the whole progression you mention above shows God's Glory and that is the reason.

That is what it is all about. His Glory. Even His wrath is about His Glory.

I fear that some what to view God as not all powerful and Sovereign, as wringing His hands and wondering what His 'creation' is going to do next.



Matthew 10:30
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.


Lydia

Anonymous said...

Dr. Patterson disagrees with what follows.

From The Canons of Dordt
Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine
Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof.
The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:
Who teach: That it cannot properly be said, that original sin in itself suffices to condemn the whole human race, or to deserve temporal and eternal punishment. For these contradict the Apostle, who declares: "Therefore as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned," Romans 5:12. And: "The judgment came of one unto condemnation," Romans 5:16. And: "The wages of sin is death,"Romans 6:23.

Thy Peace said...

I do not understand Calvinism properly. But some of the comments in this stream maybe better understood in this context:

Think of it as frame of reference. From God's perspective, He is outside of ALL dimensions, including time and space. So theoretically He knows all that will happen, that has happened, and that is about to happen.

From a human perspective, we struggle in time and space. So whatever decisions we make, God knows about them. Even if we change our minds and go back, God sees everything.

I understand the above does not make any dent in the comment stream. But just my thoughts on the subject.

Anonymous said...

From The Canons of Dordt
Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine
Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof.
Article 2
Man after the fall begat children in his own likeness. A corrupt stock produced a corrupt offspring. Hence all the posterity of Adam, Christ only excepted, have derived corruption from their original parent, not by imitation, as the Pelagians of old asserted, but by the propagation of a vicious nature.
Article 3
Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto, and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform the depravity of their nature, nor to dispose themselves to reformation.

Thy Peace said...

Off topic:

Debbie Kaufman has posted two articles here and here. They have links inside the articles to blog posts of three "young" people who have a more positive view of the recent elections.

People who are linked:
- Lee Saunders
- Emily Hunter McGowin
- Rick Thompson

Thanks Debbie, for the positive articles and links.

Anonymous said...

It's more questions. (sorry for trouble, please ignore if too much trouble)

Accepting that God is eternal: outside of the bounds of time, to Him it is as is Creation and the End of 'Time' are the same moment.

I don't get that, but the Eternity thing is not just a flow of 'time' as a series of events: Eternity just 'is' no past, no present, no future, just 'is'

IS IT POSSIBLE that although God KNOWS ALL, He is not willing to decide FOR US which ones will CHOOSE to follow Him?

Hence, the gift of 'free will' and 'free choice'. Pretty serious investment on His part, seeing that Jesus Christ paid such a price for this 'gift' to us of choice. Having set us up for failure with that 'choice' thing it is good of God to come and Personally try to get us out of it in a way that we could understand.
I wonder if God wanted to be loved for Who He is; not because we were 'forced' to do it. We could choose of our own free will to love Him. Or does Calvinism say that this is impossible because He chose those already that He wanted to love Him? CONFUSING!

IS IT POSSIBLE that God seeks us ALL? And ALL have the same opportunity to respond in His eyes because His justice requires that He be just to ALL the children of His Creation? Or is this where Calvinism parts ways and has another view of God's justice????

Please help, if you can. All ideas and comments are appreciated.

Thanks to anyone willing to help sort out this thinking. :)

Anonymous said...

"IS IT POSSIBLE that although God KNOWS ALL, He is not willing to decide FOR US which ones will CHOOSE to follow Him? "

If God does not 'choose' then why did He 'choose' the Jews? I am suggesting all Jews of the OT were saved...only those who had faith... what I am asking is why did God choose those particular people to work through?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"I am suggesting all Jews of the OT were saved...only those who had faith..."

oops. Should read...I am NOT suggesting all Jews of the OT were saved....

Lydia

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Emily did not mention one thing about Obama's work opposing the Born Alive bill. That could be another reason many evangelicals were upset.

I also do not understand all the focus on Obama being black. I thought MLK said we should look at character not skin color. That is what some were doing when they were grieved over his taking on the mission to oppose the Born Alive bill...not once but twice. They were also grieved knowing what type of 'teaching' he was sitting under for 20 years at Jeremiah Wright's church which is a VERY political church.

Strangely, Emily left these serious issues out. I think these are issues to be very concerned about.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"IS IT POSSIBLE that although God KNOWS ALL, He is not willing to decide FOR US which ones will CHOOSE to follow Him? "

We are told that God is omniscient: All-Knowing

God has given us 'free will'
True or Not?

If He did, why?

Does He 'make' us be 'saved' or does He choose for us what we will 'choose'?

OR is this gift of 'free' will really a free choice: WE decide.

It cannot be both ways, can it?
HELP!

Anonymous said...

The free will question is a good one and I would suggest Luther's Bondage of The Will for a greater understanding. This work helped me understand that while I do have a "free" will, I will always and only choose that to which I desire (or am predisposed) to choose. In other words, I have a free will to choose mustard greens to eat for supper, but I never will because they make me gag.

The bible is marked in many locations declaring our inability to do anything good...on our best day we are still filthy rags...no one does good, no one...none seek after God, no one...in the flesh it is impossible to please God...etc etc etc

So we have a free will to choose God, but we never will. That is until that glorious day that He reaches down and grabs our filthy heart of stone and molds it into a beautiful piece of flesh that sees ourselves how we truly are and we then see our need for a Savior.

Why doesn't He do that for everyone? I don't know, you will have to ask Him.

These DoG cause me to rejoice in Him more, not less. I see no reason for Him to save me, and yet He did. I will not rob Him of His work by pretending that He did 99% of the job but I closed the deal by making a decision I would never make without His empowerment to do so.

That is a very fast and crude diatribe on the matter, but I pray it is edifying to you in some small way.

God bless your studies.

SL1M

Wayne Smith said...

People,

Read God’s Word and research all reference to Predestination, Elect and the Lamb’s Book of Life or Book of Life.
The Lamb’s Book of Life was WRITTEN Before the Foundation of the World. If One’s Name is in the Book then they are among the Elect, that were Predestined to be Chosen by God to be Quickened by the Holy Spirit.. Now How Hard is THAT??? If you need Bible Verses, Please request them.

Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith said...

SLIM,

YOU said IT all!!!

Wayne Smith

Anonymous said...

Does God FORESEE that a man will sin and be unrepentent and go to hell ?

OR

Does God FOREORDAIN that a man will sin and be unrepentant and go to hell?

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Dear Slim,

I loved what you said about God reaching down and changing our hearts. I wouldn't have said it
'quite that way', but you know me by now.

I truly believe that God will help us in time of need when we cannot find our way on our own. :)

Thank you for sharing. L's

Anonymous said...

If God predestines that some go to hell, God is then forced to frustrate the eternal welfare of all excluded from heaven, and to take care that they die in their sins.
Is this the language in which Holy Scripture speaks to us?
No; there we meet an anxious, loving father, who wills not "that any should perish, but that all should return to penance
(2 Peter 3:9).

Anonymous said...

wtreat here

OK, I have tried to stay out of it but I have to ask....why is someone always picking on Joel Olsteen? Why does someone always say "he preaches a feel good doctrine?"

If you don't like a feel good message then go somewhere to a hell and damnation message. If you want to be beat with the bible then look on the net and find some radical, "jesus is gonna strike you with lightning" kind of preacher.

Joel has plainly said that he is called to preach the gospel. He has plainly said that preaching hell and sin is not his call.

Christ said in MK 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Why do we condemn those who are called to preach ONLY the GOOD NEWS?

(OK, now i expect to hear the doctrinal opinions of those who must tear down someone)

I wonder why God has allowed the Olsteens to have the largest church in the country AFTER they left the SBC?

Now, can we get back to the John 3:16 conference post?

wtreat@centurytel.net

Anonymous said...

ABOUT CALVINISM:

Does God FORESEE that a man will sin and be unrepentent and go to hell ?

OR

Does God FOREORDAIN that a man will sin and be unrepentant and go to hell?

L's Gran

Thy Peace said...

Info:

Joel Osteen and Victoria Osteen (Pastor and Co-Pastor)

Anonymous said...

I know of those in the past in trying to witness to them that they recognized sin and recognized their need for Christ but trust still has to be regenerated by the Spirit of God through his grace lest the believer assumes he saves himself, from that point the believer must abide and continue to go through and sometimes often painful process of sanctification.

ezekiel said...

L's Gran,

1Pe 2:8 And, A Stone that will cause stumbling and a Rock that will give [men] offense; they stumble because they disobey and disbelieve [God's] Word, as those [who reject Him] were destined (appointed) to do.

Let's not forget the potter and the clay, vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy, vessels for honorable use and dishonorable...

Paula said...

L's:

Please also see these articles for some of the answers you seek. You can also comment there on any of them if you have questions.

Proverbs 18:17 - "The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins."

Rex Ray said...

It’s too bad Patterson does not walk his talk.

Anonymous said...

Why some elements of Calvinism ae true? So that no man can boast that he somehow saved himself.

Wayne Smith said...

People,

Read God’s Word and ask yourself if you are Worthy of God Giving You the Gift of Eternal Life. Do you Follow and Honor God’s 10 Commandments, including 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy'? Why do you Kid Yourself?

Wayne

Anonymous said...

HI PAULA,

I clicked on what you offered and I found this, that makes sense to me:

"Nowhere is there any mention of a curse on man’s soul or spirit, but only on the physical world."

I do believe that God is all-knowing: praescient (sp?) or omniscient.
Because of this, I understand that God knows before ANYTHING takes place that it WILL occur.

I do NOT accept that God would create a human being with 'free will' and for-order that this creature of His must sin.

I do not believe that God, who is All Good, is the author of sin.
This cannot make any sense. God cannot foreordain a man to sin and perish. Not possible in my faith.

1. If God is just, any predestination would have to be for blessing and for Salvation.
2. God, by His Nature, cannot WILL and COMMAND that any of his created children commit sin. It's that negative latter that cannot be.

Does Calvin believe that God ALSO orders his created child TO SIN and so, to perish?

If this part is true, then Calvinism would not be a doctrine I can accept in this regard.

L's

SUMMARY: God, by His Nature, cannot WILL that any of His children must act sinfully.
He cannot willingly be the Author of evil. Evil is the opposite of God. He permits US to choose to sin, but only by OUR free will.

By His nature, there is no part of God that can:
will or force or command us to choose evil.
We make that choice.
That means:
WE have the responsibility for our sins
and
GOD has the responsibility for our Salvation.

Now, does THIS make sense to others. L's

Thy Peace said...

Paula: Thanks for the link on Calvinism articles on your blog site. I started today and am methodically plowing through those articles.

I am learning much from your site.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

" Rex Ray said...
It’s too bad Patterson does not walk his talk."

Maybe Patterson can't: maybe he is not one of the 'elect' ?
Was Patterson 'for-ordained' to hurt people that he 'shepharded' or did Patterson choose to hurt them of his own free will?
The answers determine how Calvinistic one may be, I think.

Patterson's behavior is conflicted: he claims Christianity; yet also practices the 'murder' of people's careers, livelihoods, and reputations.
I use the word 'murder' in the way of the Judaic tradition that says a man who takes away another's livelihood, it is as it they had murdered them.

(I know that Patterson does not actually murder people, just sees that they are 'fired' at his pleasure.)

I am attempting to look at Patterson's conflicted behavior using the Calvinist debate.
I'm not very good at it, am I, so let me apologize ahead of time for offense because I DO care about the feelings of all of you. :) L's

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you can get all you want to know about Calvinism from:

1.Paula.

or from:

2.Luther
Spurgeon
Pink
Sproul
MacArthur
Boettner
Boice
Packer
Piper
Ryle
Whitefield
Lloyd Jones
Jodge
Newton
Owen

and many other titans of theology.

Happy studying!

SL1M

Paula said...

thy peace,

Glad to be of service.

L's,

You bring up an excellent point: that God's sovereignty must be limited by his nature. God's nature, scripture tells us, is love, holiness, justice, mercy... Some see conflict in those things, but scripture says all of them are true of God.

Sovereignty alone can be cruel and evil. But sovereignty tempered by love and mercy could never create people whose "love" for God is forced upon them. Such "love" and "faith" is a mere illusion, one that not even mere humans would accept. The article "Calvinism and Free Will" develops this further.

Paula said...

SL1M,

So Packer picked a Pink Piper, and Boice and Boettner are better.

And I'm sure you meant to type Hodge, not Jodge, in your obvious personal-attack letter.

:-)

Truth is, I learned all I know about Calvinism from that illustrious alliterated list. But the only One that matters, that has authority, that can be trusted, is God. How you or anyone else interprets the Word is personal preference. Those of us who recognize human fallibility do not fear studying both sides of an issue. Those who do fear, champion people they agree with and personally attack those they don't.

But I've left enough here to allow the Bereans to check both sides for themselves and not blindly swallow one view. I'll bow out with that and leave you alone, because it's only upsetting you.

To the Bereans:

Sorry, I won't be checking back here because I'd only get sucked into the mud-wrestling contest the Calvinists crave. I can be contacted via my blog.

Anonymous said...

Paula,

I am certain you will check back for at least a moment so please know that I have no interest in going down this road with you. Please feel free to hang around.

You have had several spats on here with others because it seems you want to accuse others of attacking while you personally while you declare yourself innocent by taking some imaginary "holier than thou road".

You need to know that if you mock others beliefs some will not just sit there and let you get away with it. Some (and maybe I did as well) will attack in a more personal way because they feel that you attacked them in a very personal way.

So, if you can't stand the heat...

I would rather discuss the issue with those who aren't sure or they simply have honest questions about the issue.

The one's that are overwhelmed with traditional thinking seem to all develop into conversations that just don't interest me. It reminds me too much of my own dreaded past.

As for you asking everyone to believe that each of those universally recognized titans of theology are ALL wrong about their similar interpretation of this issue, and that you are right?...well, I leave that up to them to decide.

Let's all keep studying!

SL1M

Lin said...

"You have had several spats on here with others because it seems you want to accuse others of attacking while you personally while you declare yourself innocent by taking some imaginary "holier than thou road"."

I have not seen that at all from Paula. And I think that characterizatiion is unfair. Seems to me she has made some serious points yet very few want to debate content. To ask if someone wants to learn Calvinism from Paula or a long list of humans is a form of attack upon her. Does one have to be famous or affirmed by other well known men to be listened to? We are allowed to question the teachings of mere men. Right?

Let's take Luther, for example. While he might have gotten some things right, his writing on women and Jews is horrible and he most certainly baptized babies and believed in sacraments. Augustine was insulting toward women, too, as were many other early church fathers. One can argue they were only products of their time but we hardly make allowances for that arguement today, do we? It is not a cogent one at the very least.

It is a bit frustrating to see someone attack someone for 'attacking' when they have only put forth serious debate questions about doctrine. Her points should drive us to scripture...not attacks because she does not accept predestination.

While I lean toward DoG, I most certainly worship with those who don't. I also respect that Paula has done quite a bit of study and research on this. That should drive me to scripture and that is always a good thing.

Even if I disagree with her, she is my sister in Christ. I do agree with her that we spend way too much time reading what 'men' teach instead of what the Word teaches.

BTW: Just to add to the conversation, Is Satan a 'created' being? Since, the answer is yes, where did evil come from? Satan's free will? ducking for cover :o)

Anonymous said...

Lin - I agree with most of what you wrote so I'm not sure what your point is.

I will tell you that if you will look above at how I have interacted with those with honest questions, you will see an honest attempt at answering respectfully.

On the other hand, here are some of Paula's quotes:

"Then why should any Calvinists get upset if God has forced someone else to be non- or anti-Calvinist?" (unfair characterization and mocking)

"Why get upset? Isn't that being upset at God's choice?" (mocking)

"And we need none of this double-talk about 'it's really free will to do evil;'" (Double talk! Can you say "mocking"?)

"And how can a dead man choose anything at all, if he is as dead as Calvinism asserts?" (Not only does this comment contradict scripture but it is mocking.)

"Just remember that God made me post this." (mocking)

"Calling these things shallow is just your way of not facing unanswerable questions." (mocking)

"But don't blame me for what I just wrote, God made me do it." (mocking)

"Sorry, but my God isn't so petty." (mocking)

"You'll have to ask God "why", because I have no free will. And neither do you." (unfair and inaccurate characterization; mocking.)

"Have a nice day. If God has ordained it." (mocking)

"Now I wonder why God makes Calvinists so touchy..." (mocking)

"A rebuttal to this Calvinistic definition of free will, should you 'choose' to read it, is here:
http://allanturner.com/calbk_3.html" (Notice the 'choose' in quotes. Paula knows what she is doing. It's called mocking).

In comparison to those who believe the DoG, Paula said,

"But like a good Berean,..."

as if those who agree with the DoG are not good Bereans. (Mocking)

"And at the end of it all I concluded that the TULIP was an evil weed that needed to be pulled up and burned." (Scary! Clearly Paula is a part of the B.I. movement wanting to "pull up and burn" those that don't agree with Paula. - Mocking)

"But the only One that matters, that has authority, that can be trusted, is God." (As if Calvinists don't believe this? - Mocking)

"Those of us who recognize human fallibility do not fear studying both sides of an issue." (mocking)

"But I've left enough here to allow the Bereans to check both sides for themselves and not blindly swallow one view." (As if Calvinists "swallow blindly").

And Lin, I left off many others.

Paula knows what she is doing. She is an ANTI Calvinist and she feels threatened by Calvinism because it bucks her tradition. That is a tough thing to deal with. I understand. I was there.

So what does she do? She mocks and ridicules with inaccurate characterizations so she can look brilliant tearing them down. This has been going on since Apostle Paul's day. He faced the same thing.

I'm sorry some of my comments upset you Lin. I like most of your comments.

I see the mocking. Paula knows what she is doing. And you can compare my comments to others who have decent, honest questions compared to Paula who mocks.

Paula won't be back to see this, so she is out of the picture. But I ask you to forgive me if I offended you in some of my defense to her mocking.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL IDEA:

I have a suggestion for all of us, myself included, as I am as GUILTY as the next one.

Let's establish a 'SABBATH DAY TRUCE' wherein we can blog and say anything we want EXCEPT we don't get upset with each other.

I feel this way. There have been times when I have been upset and when I have upset others.
But, I know, that given a chance to care for any one of you dear people, I would do it in a heartbeat.

On the SABBATH DAY, in honor of Our Lord, can we not be more caring toward each other and less offended by each other. If we can do this once for anyone, then maybe we can do this on Sundays to honor Him.
Love and prayers, dear people.

Be Peaceful on this holy day of the Lord. L's

Anonymous said...

Hi Slim,

It's me, L's.

You wrote: "universally recognized titans of theology"

and at first, I thought, I wonder if there ARE any? My thinking sometimes goes in strange directions and what came to mind was this:

that sometimes, it pleases God to reveal to the simple, what He keeps hidden from the scholars.

I like to think that way, being relatively unable to understand a lot of deep theology myself. Thank God for parables!

But, it's more than that.
I have worked with children all my life, and have mothered three of my own, thanks be to God.

I must say, that there have been many times when a CHILD said or did something that caused me to stop and be amazed at the wisdom expressed by the child.

If God is pleased to hide wisdom from the titans and reveal it to the simple, maybe we shouldn't discount anyone.

If I did not know anything more about God than this, I would say:

"I think I like this God who can raise the humble above the 'titans'. " :) L's

Thy Peace said...

Paula is definitely not B.I. by any stretch of the imagination. To me, she is at same level of knowledge, discernment and study of The Word of God as Pastor Wade and Cheryl Schatz.

I can not explain her words. But I have begun to develop deep respect for her work. I just started going in depth today. She is very humble, interested only in studying The Word of God for true translation and interpretation. It looks like, from her studies, she disagrees with some of the titans of Christianity. That is OK. As long as we seek and find fulfillment in Our Lord Jesus Christ who is The Final Arbiter, there is Peace.

I will leave this link, which seems to me at least, speaks of Paula's intentions in her personal study of The Word of God:

Familiarity Breeds Content

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts gang.

Paula said she won't be back and, frankly, I appreciate that discussion ending.

Gran - Good word on the simple things. I agree that in some things too much weight can be given to what someone says just because of who they are.

Blessings on this glorious Lord's day!

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Can God be completely MERCIFUL all the way through, for all eternity?;

and eternally , be completely JUST, all the way through, for all eternity ?

Since He trancends time and is not changed by what goes on in His Creation, I think this is possible, although it is surely a great mystery to me how it could be possible. But we are told that GOD IS MERCY AND
GOD IS JUSTICE.

The one characteristic in God cannot not cancel out the other in God who is what He is always in Eternity.

What a strange and compelling thought.

I want to trust that the Eternal God is both completely just and merciful to all eternally.

An idea too simple for us humans to grasp? yes.

Bob Cleveland said...

I just love coming to parties late, so I have an excuse ... not having read all the comments ... for sounding stupid.

Calvinists don't say we don't have free will. At least educated ones don't. What they do say is that we have a free will to do anything that is consistent with our nature.

I had this discussion with one of our church staff members last week. When he insisted he had free will, I asked him to float a foot in the air like a bird. Or stick his head in a toilet and breathe water like a fish. He admitted he wasn't free to do THAT.

Which is one of Calvinism's points about free will. And the natural man, not able to understand things of the Spirit, isn't free, by his own volition, to choose salvation by faith.

Anonymous said...

God creates mankind and wills that they sin. Then He wills that some born will sin and never be 'saved'. Then He wills that these unelected go to Hell. He created them for that purpose: to sin and to go to Hell, even if they believe in Jesus Christ.
The 'others', His 'elect' are to be saved and they are to know it while they are still among men so that they can brag about it and feel superior to the 'unsaved'. They can and do tell the 'unsaved' that they are going to Hell. Even if they sin, as long as they believe in Christ, they are 'saved'.
God's Justice overpowers His mercy towards the 'unsaved' and He is able to burn them forever in Hell.

What is wrong with this picture?

Anonymous said...

"the natural man, not able to understand things of the Spirit, isn't free, by his own volition, to choose salvation by faith."

Either all of mankind receives a mortal physical body, an eternal spirit, and an eternal soul from God, OR we are looking at these dichotomies:

Humans and Sub-humans
We'uns and They'uns
Saved and Unsaved
Elect and Un-elect
Our Kind and Not Our Kind
Forgiven and Unforgiven

Hmmmm, 'sub-humans, isn't that what Hitler thought about the Jews? A 'lower class'
of the species, not fit to survive, fit to burn in a concentration camp by any other name surely a 'hell'?

Did Calvinism also inspire Hitler?


PREDICTION: In the new 'Christian Nation', the un-elect might be branded on their foreheads with a "U" and placed where they won't contaminate the 'elect'. We don't want any polution of the gene-pool.

Who was more pagan: Luther, Calvin, or Hitler?

Hitler just burned the unelect on Earth.

Calvin wants his 'unelect' to burn always in Hell.

As for Luther, Satan got to Him towards the end of his life and converted Luther into a vicious anti-Semite.

BURN BABY BURN!

Anonymous said...

Some of you who might be down on me because, although I seemed to answer most questions thoughtfully, I become aggressive towards Paula (and other ANTI calvinists like Lumpkins) and her mocking.

Well, these comments above are what are inspired by the comments made by ANTI calvinists.

What the ANTI calvinists attitude bring out in others is why I got so upset at Paula's mocking and her silly "golly gee I need to pee but I'm not sure if God has ordained it" mentality and comments.

The ANTI calvinists arguments are typical and easily confronted biblically. But the mocking is damaging as it inspires others to say the silly things such as those above.

You don't get those kind of comments from NON calvinists. They simply have questions and want to learn more. And that is a beautiful thing for all of us.

With the kind of attitude of ANTI calvinists there is absoltely NO way that any meaningful dialogue can take place.

And that is truly a shame.

I will try to do better about having a similar attitude toward those who mock the DoG and those who simply ask in order to understand. But don't hold your breath.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Hi Slim,
It's me, L's G.

First of all, thank you for understanding what I wrote about the titans. You know, maybe each of us is given something special from God to share with the others. It may not be something 'profoundly theological' at all, it might be a way of speaking or writing a thought that helps another, if shared.
So thanks again, and have a wonderful AFTER SABBATH DAY, may the blessings of the Lord's Day follow you through this week. :) L's

P.S.
You wrote: " I will try to do better about having a similar attitude toward those who mock the DoG and those who simply ask in order to understand. But don't hold your breath."

Slim, Anyone who says 'I will try to do better' in the name of the Lord, serves mightily the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God. :) L's

PPS. Slim, what does DoG mean?
I really have NO CLUE.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words Gran.

DoG is just a short acro. for Doctrines of Grace.

See you next post! :)

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Heresy is much truth mixed with a lie. Patterson, Lemke, Hunt, Land, Stanley, Vines speak much truth, but also speak a lie. Are they heretics? Oh my! Is that too strong language for today's Christians? Just what would Jesus say to these men? And by confessing that they are true Christians, do we then help others to follow them in their error? Are we also heretics? Or are we just politicians?

Lucky said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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