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

The At-One-Ment of Jesus the Anointed One

William Tyndale himself coined the English word atonement to help get over translation difficulties of the Hebrew word kipper and the Greek word hilasterion. Tyndale's understanding of the words kipper and hilasterion was that they pointed to a full and entire work of the triune God in making a total satisfaction for sin by providing a complete substitution, which was a once-and-for-all act procuring everlasting salvation for His people. This "moment" of becoming "at one" with sinners He chose to redeem Tyndale called an "at- one- moment."

My friend George Ella writes about why Tyndale intentionally coined the word "atonement" in order to translate the Bible into English:

The Roman Catholic Church, in the days of Tyndale, viewed the atonement as reconciliation being made to God for man’s guilt or original sin but not for the penalty of sin which had to be worked off by works of special merit and penance. This left the reconciled without true union with Christ and with Christ’s work only half done. This error led Tyndale to realise that the entire Biblical teaching was concerned with man becoming fully accepted in the Beloved, and thus becoming one with God. Christ’s reconciling death, he therefore saw, was an at-one-ment with God and promptly used the word to express both the Old and New Testament words to do with a sinner becoming right with God through an expiatory sacrifice at God’s initiative.
I agree with Tyndale's view of the atonement. At Calvary, the blood of Christ became an at-one-moment when God united Himself with His people -at His initiative - through the blood of Jesus Christ. The holy, righteous and just anger of our Creator against our sins was propitiated (i.e. "satisfied and poured out") through His Son, Jesus the Anointed One.

This is the Good News. It is the gospel. Proclaimers of the gospel simply broadcast what God has done. The atonement is so powerful, so efficacious, so accomplished that every one for whom the blood of Christ was shed is at one with God. Were it not for the teaching of Scripture that Christ died for a particular people (i.e. "the church," "the elect," "the sheep," "the bride of Christ," "believers"), then one would have to be a Christian universalist; for that which covers sin and propitiates the wrath of God for sinners is Christ's at-one-ment.

Interestingly, some Baptist Identity writers have taken me to task for asking William Paul Young speak at our church. They say that Paul Young has a faulty view of the atonement. They say he denies the substitutionary, penal death of Jesus. It will be a privilege to discuss with Paul issues surrounding the atonement, and I may find there is disagreement between us - but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to speak at Emmanuel. For heaven's sake, many of my Baptist Identity friends are just as shaky in their understanding of the atonement. They actually believe that union with God requires something more than Christ's at-one-ment! Ironically, I would let them preach at Emmanuel too, though their view of the at-one-ment is as powerless as that which they claim Paul Young holds.

Jesus saves. Our faulty understanding of the atonement is not a hindrance to what Christ actually accomplished.


Wade

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

I wonder if someone in the Baptist Identity movement would come to Emmanuel if invited.

The perfect setting would be a three person "debate" regarding the atonement between you, Paul Young and Malcom Yarnell.

I have not witnessed a doctrinal debate since 1962 when I attended a two part debate on "does baptism save?". It was between a Baptist pastor and a Church of Christ Pastor. The first night the meeting was at a Baptist Chruch and we had musical insturments like organ and piano. The next night it was a capella at the Chruch of Christ church.

If such a thing happens I come up from OKC to attend. :)

RKSOKC66 said...

should be "I'll come up . . . "

gereja said...

Wade, Am I correct in reading your post that Christ died on the cross just for the elect few? If so then how would you explain 1Jn2:2?

Please clarify a bit more what you mean with Christ shed His blood. Are you saying Christ bled to death? My reading of John 19 shows Christ was still strong and cried Tetelesthai and then said to the Father "unto Thy hand I commit my spirit." Hence He died NOT because of bleeding to death by the act of giving up His human spirit to the Father. And His blood remained in His body after death. So He did not bled to death (some blood but not blood shedding).

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

Reconcilation

In Christian theology, atonement is the reconciliation (‘at-one-ment’) of men and women to God through the death of Christ. The word was introduced by W. Tyndale (in 1526) to translate
"reconciliatio".

Wade Burleson said...

Lu Mo Nyet,

You are reading my post wrong.

He died for the elect many not the elect "few" as you call them. The elect are from every tribe, every kindred, every tongue and every nation - the world. They are "an innumerable company" - ten thousand, times ten thousand times ten thousand.

But, a particular people none the less, all of whom are "believers," or "the church" or "the people of God" or "His people." In other words, Christ did not atone for those few (the reprobabes) who never trust Christ and will bear the wrath of God for their own sins.

In His Grace,

Wade

Robert said...

Wade,
Wow
This is exactly how what my response would have been to him!

He died for the elect many not the elect "few" as you call them. The elect are from every tribe, every kindred, every tongue and every nation - the world. They are "an innumerable company". Ten thousand, times ten thousand times ten thousand.

But, a particular people, all of whom are "believers," or "the church" or "the people of God" or "His people." In other words, Christ did not atone for those few (the reprobabes) who never trust Christ and will bear the wrath of God for their own sins.

2) On another point however I dont believe that point alone is the only error in the Shack.


Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

Anonymous,

The hilasmos itself is Christ Himself as the Priestly-Sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world (1Jn2:2). The reconciliation descrives one of the benefits of the atonement. Propitiation (satisfaction) is Godward side of the atonement; Redemption is sin-ward side of the atonement; and reconciliation is the believing sinner's side of the benefit of the atonement.

Lu Mo Nyet

Robert said...

Lu Mo Nyet,
I believe Wade holds to a classic reformed position on the Atonement.
This Was the classic Southern Baptist Position at its founding as I understand SBC history

Robert from Geneva

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

I know. I told you we believe the same.

We just treat people who disagree differently.

Thus, my friend, your assessment that I am a liberal theologically would make you one as well.

We both are Bible believing conservatives. I am just more liberal with grace towards those who disagree, and hope you can become liberal in such areas as well.

Anonymous said...

Did Tyndale wish to 'distance' the meaning of the 'atonement' from the Hebrew concept of 'kippur' :

or to keep the ties with the OT 'forecasts' of the meaning of atonement as fulfilled in the NT?

gereja said...

Robert,

2 Peter 3:9 says God “. . . is longsuffering toward you, not willing
that any men to perish, but all [conceivable men] to come to repentance." I quoted A.T. Robertson's on this verse and see if it is more viable exegetically to reject limited atonement:

A. T. Robertson Comments
“2 Pe 3:9—Is not slack concerning his promise (ou bradunei tês epaggelias). Ablative case epaggelias after bradunei (present active indicative of bradunô, from bradus, slow), old verb, to be slow in, to fall short of (like leipetai sophias in Jas 1:5), here and 1 Ti 3:15 only in N.T. Slackness(bradutêta). Old substantive from bradus (Jas 1:19), here only in N.T. God is not impotent nor unwilling to execute his promise. To youward (eis humas). Pros rather than eis after makrothumei in 1 Th 5:14 and epi in Jas 5:7, etc. Not wishing
(mê boulomenos). Present middle participle of boulomai. Some will perish (verse 7), but that is not God’s desire. Any (tinas). Rather than ‘some’ (tines) above. Accusative with the infinitive apolesthai (second aorist middle of apollumi. God wishes ‘all’ (pantas) to come (chôrêsai first aorist active infinitive of chôreô, old verb, to make room). See Ac 17:30; Ro 11:32; 1 Ti 2:4; Heb 2:9 for God’s provision of grace for all who will repent.” Word Pictures.

Lu Mo Nyet

Robert said...

Wade,

I dont understand your point here?

Thus, my friend, your assessment that I am a liberal theologically would make you one as well.

What makes you liberal in my mind is the practice of allowing Mr Young to promote his distorted view of Scripture on many fronts from your pulpit.
FYI Byroniac...all I meant by the pulpit here is the central authority of Gods revealed Word...ie proclamation trust if you will to borrow a phrase from the British.

Robert from Geneva

Anonymous said...

Wade;

I must agree, for if Christ died for me and yet I failed to come to repentance toward God and faith in Christ and died in that state, condemned to hell. That would have God handing out justice on two people for the sin of one man.
Unthinkable in my understanding
of justice! For God is just and the justifier of the ungodly.

Christiane said...

Lenten Scriptures:

MAN OF SORROWS


Isaiah 53:3-12 KJV

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: (Mt. 8.17)
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
(1 Pet. 2.24 )

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, (Rev. 5.6)
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living: (Acts 8.32, 33)
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
(1 Pet. 2.22)

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
and he was numbered with the transgressors: (Mk. 15.28)
( Lk. 22.37)
and he bare the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

gereja said...

Anonymous,

If you read carefully Rom 5:12-21 and 2Cor5 it will save you a lot of trouble from having to speculate [logically though] that two were unjustly punished for one sin. Actually all men are condemned for ONE sin of Adam (Rm5:12) and ALL sins were judged on the cross (1Jn2:2) and hence grace makes it available on "whosoever believeth"-- will be credited with God's righteousness without charging him/her with sins--hence God is just and justified without counting their trespasses (2Cor5:19).

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

Hilasterion in Romans 3:25

In Romans 3:25 there is a particularly (in)famous word: hilasterion. Biblical scholarship, and bible translations for the past century at least have been all over the place on this word, entirely unable to decide what it means. It has been variously translated with words and phrases such as: sacrifice of atonement, place of atonement, propitiation, expiation, placate, conciliate, mercy seat.

Now hilasterion and its various related words appear to be normal words in ancient Greek for referring to two parties settling a feud, or making peace, or one appeasing the other and thereby achieving some form or reconciliation. Often the word is used in relation to appeasing the gods, but can be equally used for when two groups of humans make peace.

Greek uses the word hilasterion as a name for a piece of the ark of the covenant often called the "mercy seat" that was on top of the ark and overshadowed by the Cherubim, on which the high priest would sprinkle blood once a year and on which God's presence would 'sit'. In Ezekiel in the LXX the word is used to refer to a particular piece of an altar, a 'ledge'.

Those are the basics. So the questions that face scholars include:

1. Is Paul meaning this as a reference to the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant, or using this in the normal usage of the Greek word? Or using it in reference to Ezekiel's altar ledges? I am somewhat partial to Stowers' argument that since the Ark had not existed for many years prior to Paul's writing Romans, and since the Temple of Paul's time had no hilasterion in it, he is more likely to be not referring to the Ark... but the majority opinion has generally tended to the view that he is.


2. If the Ark, what is the best translation? Mercy Seat? Dwelling Place of God? Place of Atonement? Sacrifice of Atonement?


3. If so, what theological significance should be derived from this? What is Paul meaning when using this imagery of Jesus as part of the Ark of the Covenant? Is Jesus the New Ark? Is he the new place of God's presence dwelling with man? Is Paul referring to the atoning rituals that took place centered around the mercy seat? Is he seeing Jesus as a sacrifice taking place on the mercy seat to please God?


4. If Paul is using the word in the normal Greek manner, then what is the best translation? It's not a particularly common word in Greek so it's not easy to tell. It seems to mean something vaguely like "appeasing gift", but no one can agree precisely what.


5. If it's normal Greek usage... God is the one said to be setting forth the hilasterion, so is he giving the gift to us removing our enmity toward him, like Paul says elsewhere? Or is he, more complicatedly, providing a hilasterion toward himself on our behalf?




Regardless of which meaning Paul is thinking of for hilasterion, how literally is he using it? To what extent is it a metaphor? (eg if Christ is the "mercy seat", then clearly Christ is not literally a piece of gold-coated wood that sits on the top of the Ark of the covenant.)

Robert said...

Lo Mo Nyet,

Are you Greg Harvey?....Gereja....Church!

For a video to counter your point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A5A8XBRVbw

Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

Robert,

I am a fellow Baptist but not Harvey. Is he famous?

Lu Mo Nyet

Robert said...

Lo Mo Nyet,
Are you from Indonesia?

If not curious why the use of the word Gereja ?

Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

Robert,

It is Indonesian word for church that I randomly chose after visiting Aceh after the Tsunami in Dec 2004. Glad you know. Is Harvey your missionary friend from or in Indonesia.

I would prefer reading Romans 3:25 first in its grammatical and syntactical setting:

“…Whom God, and no other, set forth (proetheto) as Atonement (hilastērion) by means of (en) His blood, [effective] through faith. . . .” This passage is improperly translated propitiation. The God of heaven, Who acted in love, gave, sent, and set forth, did none of this to appease His wrath and anger for the satisfaction of His justice; neither was it for the “satisfaction due to the outraged majesty….” The accusative objects of the setting forth are stated—Whom (hon) and Atonement (hilastērion). Thus, the purpose is not for propitiation, appeasement, punishment, and penal satisfaction! It is provision by Atonement for restoration from the Fall, and benefit by means of the blood, effective through faith.

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

"It is provision by Atonement for restoration from the Fall"

is that the same thing as
'reconciliation' between God and mankind?

gereja said...

Robert,

The nature of the atonement is much more important and essential than the focusing on its benefits.

The text is much more simple than all the theological speculations.

Atonement is NOT something done to Christ but something Christ DID—NOT DONE to Him, but also HE HIMSELF IS the atonement: according to the text it is expressed in predicate nominative construction as follows: kai autos hilasmos estin peri tōn hamartiōn hēmōn . . . and He, Himself, is Atonement concerning the sins of us (1 John 2:2). No other atonement theory can be stated in predicate nominative construction: kai = and, autos = Himself, hilasmos = Atonement, estin = He is, peri = concerning, tōn = the, hamartiōn = sins, hēmōn = of us. Here hilasmos (Atonement) is in the predicate nominative position; the linking verb estin (is) expresses a state of being, not action. The significance of this powerful construction is that it emphatically links the Person and His work, i.e., He and Atonement are the same—Person and Atonement. Thus Christ is the Atonement and the Atonement is He. The text must be violated first in order to read penal atonement into it!

Let us stick with text rather than speculative tradition. Let us call He Himself is our atonement!

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

If Christ IS the Atonement, then our Salvation began when He was incarnated, continued through His teachings and life, and His Sacrifice and Resurrection. Will Salvation culminate on the Day of the Lord?

Anonymous said...

He did say 'I am the Way'

Anonymous said...

Make the distinction, please: between "theologically-conservative" and "politically-moderate".

In the SBC: NO theologically-liberal members now, if there ever really were. In the SBC today: MILLIONS of politically-moderate members (me included, and everyone I either am related to or ever have attended church with) who simply will NOT force other individuals to believe what they believe (a trait of FUNDAMENTALISTS, who run rough-shod over anyone in their way--including each other; cf. the Missouri Baptist Convention as today's best examples). Your judge is: GOD (not me, though I possibly am your discipler).

Wade has become more politically-moderate over the course of time while blogging at this site; he is NOT theologically-liberal, or theologically-moderate (more conservative than our grandmommas' bloomers, I imagine). All bloggers here are theologically-conservative, even if some of them don't know what they're talking about.


David

Bob Cleveland said...

"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For "I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours." (John 17:6-9, NIV)

When I read that, I wonder Who initiated the "giving" of the people for whom Jesus was praying. Since, in my natural state, I was totally unable to comprehend, by myself, Spiritual things, I must conclude it was God's idea.

In other words, His choice.

But hasn't God always been a "Choosing God"?

jasonk said...

I commend Wade for having someone like Paul Young speak at his church. When you think about it, it is a pretty brilliant move. First, it shows Paul Young that even though he and Wade disagree, at least Wade respects Young enough to invite him to speak. That opens up a dialogue that none of his detractors will ever be able to open, because of their criticism. Wade is being given the opportunity to influence this author's thinking.
Second, people will come to Emmanuel who might not otherwise do so. Many of these people will be seeking truth, and when they come to church that Sunday, and find that the walls don't cave in, that people are open and receptive and loving toward them, well, who knows?
But when you say, "We do not agree, therefore we have nothing whatsoever to talk about," then you shut down many opportunities to communicate truth and love to people. You become spiritual snobs. And no one likes a snob.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

For Windows PC users, please run the Conficker Removal Tool or at least read about this worm, that is set to activate on April 1st.

Windows Secrets > Run a Conficker removal tool before April 1

Alan Paul said...

"We do not agree, therefore we have nothing whatsoever to talk about," then you shut down many opportunities to communicate truth and love to people. You become spiritual snobs. And no one likes a snob.

Yes! My quote of the day! And the day has just begun!

Robert said...

JasonK and others,
The point is not to prevent dialogue with Paul Young but rather giving him the pulpit to teach his heresy. Go rent the MABEE HALL and have a dialogue.
Do what Mark Driscol did with his debate here....

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/

That was at Mars Hill Church.

But Deepak Chopra was not given the Pulpit to spew his new age nonsense.

Robert from Geneva

Only By His Grace said...

Allen Paul,

Yes, and just as important to me; I lose a chance to learn, to widen my scope of understanding through challenge. It is why I think that debate in a right spirit can be beneficial.

Phil in Norman.

Robert said...

BTW....I at least appreciate the fact that people have conceded the point that the Shack book does teach theological truth.

Even Paul Young admited to that in Kendal Adams interview.....

http://rock-life.com/KAYP.html

People that allow heresy to be taught from the pulpit during a worship service are theological liberals!
Do what Kendal Adams did with his radio interview if you want a dialogue.


The community where I worship would never allow Paul Young to ever come and speak. Period!

Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

Central Issue: Nature of the Atonement!

In the New Testament Atonement is expressed in predicate nominative construction as follows: kai autos hilasmos estin peri tōn hamartiōn hēmōn . . .and He, Himself, is
Atonement concerning the sins of us (1 John 2:2). No other atonement theory can be stated in predicate nominative construction: kai = and, autos = Himself, hilasmos= Atonement, estin = He is, peri = concerning, tōn = the, hamartiōn = sins, hēmōn = of us. Here hilasmos (Atonement) is in the predicate nominative position; the linking verb estin (is) expresses a state of being, not action. The significance of this powerful construction is that it emphatically links the Person and His work, i.e., He and Atonement are the same—Person and Atonement. Thus Christ is the Atonement and the Atonement is He. The double nominative He and Himself emphasize the Person of Christ in Atonement. This is Atonement stated in predicate nominative construction. This is Atonement of Divine order. This Atonement man-made theories can neither duplicate in construction, merit, nor efficacy.

To teach that Christ was punished for either the elect’s sins or the sins of the world is to teach something the text does NOT teach. To teach penal atonement is imposing a legal cultural concept into the text. It is NOT exegesis but gross eisegesis. So talking of limited or unlimited atonement is talking heresy.

In Hebrews 7:27, “. . . He offered up Himself (heauton).”
In Hebrews 9:14, “. . . He offered Himself (heauton) to God without spot. . . .”
In verse 26, “. . . removal of the sin through the Sacrifice of Him, (autou) i.e., Himself. . . .”
Note the pronoun autou is used reflexively—of Himself—in Priestly-Sacrificial Atonement.

This powerful cumulative evidence can admit no additives whatsoever—penal, punishment, made sin, satisfaction, vicarious, wrath of God on Christ, or judgment of sin by punishing Christ, etc. I invite the Calvinist scholar to state penal satisfaction in predicate nominative construction based on the Greek New Testament.

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

Robert, not only is he "church", he is a "church mouse." Monyet (phonetically spelled) is mouse in Indonesian. Witty, our little Pendeta is.

Robert said...

Gereja,
You said...

I invite the Calvinist scholar to state penal satisfaction in predicate nominative construction based on the Greek New Testament.

The true Calvinist Scholars have long ago rejected the Shack. They would probably never visit Wades site especially since he rejects the term Calvinist.

Robert from Geneva

Byroniac said...

Robert, with all due respect, truth is truth and error is error no matter where it is spoken. If it happens to be in front of a piece of sacred furniture like a Baptist church, how is that worse than what it was in the debate forum with Deepak Chopra? Perhaps we should learn to hate error more no matter where it is spoken, not lessen its "evil" simply because of where it is spoken. The church is not a building, and all the pulpits in the world are only as good as the person speaking from them (though actually, that's not true, because they remain pieces of furniture).

Byroniac said...

Robert,

There's at least a few of us who reject the label "Calvinist" and the idea of "Geneva." I know the word "Biblicist" is grossly overused (when incorrectly applied), but we are neither dependent upon Calvin for the truths bearing his name, nor owing him honor every time such truths are spoken. It's just a label at best.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 11:04,

"Lu monyet" seems to be "you monkey" when translated. I think it's some sort of insult.

D'ya think?

Unacceptable Word Verification Alert: "rhumba"!

Rex Ray said...

Good grief,
Has everyone gone crazy but me! :)

Wade your post said, “Every one for whom the blood of Christ was shed is at one with God.”

Since Christ shed his blood for everyone before Calvary and after Calvary, that would be saying all of mankind is at one with God and no one will be in hell.

Your comment: “Christ did not atone for those few (the reprobates) who never trust Christ and will bear the wrath of God for their own sins.”

“Few” does not represent the number of “reprobates” going to hell: “Many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name…” (Matthew 7:22)

Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

gereja said...

Hi Bob,

It is just my name so don't stretch the interpretation or translation. Let us just stick to what the Scripture really teach.

Let us state what the Bible teaches on Hilasmos and if SBC's position squares with scripture. I think it is important. Dogma or theology has been easily perverted because of parroting traditions. Let us look deeper into text and for a moment forget about parroting Calvin or SBC confessions.

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

"The community where I worship would never allow Paul Young to ever come and speak. Period!"

Women, either. Perhaps you would burn Paul Young at the stake if you were in a state church government? It was your type of thinking that led to such things.

And I agree with Byroniac that pulpits are just pieces of furniture and are not sacred. Perhaps your current Bishop wears robes and a little black cap? Practices the sacraments, too?

Robert said...

Byroniac,
I think you and I would probably differ on our ecclesiology, thus my emphasis on the gathered redeemed! For a better understanding of the Reformed Baptist position please read mark Devers book on the Church.

You wrote....

If it happens to be in front of a piece of sacred furniture like a Baptist church, how is that worse than what it was in the debate forum with Deepak Chopra?
Did you see my tag to you on my comment to Wade?

FYI Byroniac...all I meant by the pulpit here is the central authority of Gods revealed Word...ie proclamation trust if you will to borrow a phrase from the British.

Lastly I have no problem with the label Calvinist so please dont try to impose your anti-label dogmatism on me. Scripture no where commands anti-labelism!

You said....

There's at least a few of us who reject the label "Calvinist" and the idea of "Geneva." I know the word "Biblicist" is grossly overused (when incorrectly applied), but we are neither dependent upon Calvin for the truths bearing his name, nor owing him honor every time such truths are spoken. It's just a label at best.

I just flatly disagree with you here.
It is his 500th birthday this year and I see nothing wrong in honoring him at all!
For some videos on John Calvin please see here.....

http://vidego.316networks.com/player.php?v=ivy2c166

Oh look a miniconference on John Calvin
and Al Mohler stats it off right out of the gate.cool


If the Southern Baptist Convention was more like Geneva then we would see great Reformation....I pray for that on a daily basis.

Robert from Geneva

Robert said...

Anon,
you said....

Women, either. Perhaps you would burn Paul Young at the stake if you were in a state church government? It was your type of thinking that led to such things.

On Women, I think that Scripture is absolutely clear on that so yes they would not speak from the pulpit in the church I attend.

Been to any christian Stake burnings lately?....I didnt think so! Might want to read up on the facts concerning Servetus....John Calvin was not even a citizen of Geneva when that happened.

On a side note....It is my understanding that Paul Young might be at an event that I plan to attend this summer. I see no reason why we would not get along fine!
I never have burned a single person at the Stake...dont plan to start now.

Byroniac said...

Robert,

I am not guilty of anti-label dogmatism (whatever THAT is). I just said, it's just a label at best. And that's what it is, and I use it myself in reference to myself and others in conversation (mainly out of habit). I didn't say or imply it was inherently wrong to have or use the label. I just said I rejected it, and suggested you should too, not that my opinion is to be "imposed" on you.

Calvin is an extremely important theologian, and will be for the rest of church history (no matter what side you take in the argument of predestination vs. freewill, etc.). I just hear entirely too much praise for Calvin the man and Geneva the seat of Reformation and only lip-service (it seems to me) paid to Christ. Sometimes I wish he had never been born in the first place.

And, Robert, you stated that, "If the Southern Baptist Convention was more like Geneva then we would see great Reformation....I pray for that on a daily basis." Please don't take this the wrong way, but frankly that scares the fiery perdition out of me. Geneva may have been wonderful in certain theological aspects, but it brooked no dissent and showed no mercy. And it's very ironic to hear your support of it, being a Baptist.

And I'm finally beginning to understand this whole liberal versus fundamentalist thing. If you can't have the label "liberal" pinned on you for failing to have the right and officially approved beliefs, it gets slapped on you anyway for "bad behavior." Sometimes it just depends on whether you're in favor or not. Independent thinking has always been a threat to the establishment and I suppose it always will. On the plus side, I no longer have any doubts as to what a fundamentalist is: the term is becoming increasingly well-defined and narrowed in scope. On the down side, look for membership enrollment to continue its swan dive. Glad I left fundamentalism recently when I did (I should have left it long ago)!

James Hunt said...

Wade,

First of all great first part of your post regarding the atonement. We are in full agreement.

Regarding your scheduled time with Paul Young...well, it reminds me of a time when I invited another very, very well known writer in Christian circles to come and speak. I remember the first time he got up to speak...I almost thought...and began to wish that I could crawl out the back door. I was horrified. This speaker came right up to the "edge of universalism" and then backed away with a quick comment. He spoke of grace...only...with no comments regarding the backdrop of God's wrath appeased in Christ for the regenerate and remaining for the un-regenerate. Again, I was horrified.

I have since regretted the day I invited this man to speak to those whom I shepherd. He did some good...he did some bad...but I am the one who was supposed to be the overseer of those under my care. I should have had the spiritual, biblical discernment to not bring this man's mixture of truth and error into the pulpit. I'm ashamed and will bear that shame till I answer for it someday...though I know I'm forgiven in Christ I'm still accountable...right?

Why not change the format at your church if you're wanting to host this man? Why give him the pulpit on a Sunday? Why not simply make it a dialogue between you and him on a stage at another time - you affirming what is true and stating clearly and biblically throughout the discussion when Young is theologically making a blunder? Wouldn't that be more helpful to the flock under your charge?

I respect you - disagree with some of what you believe - but do respect your fortitude to stand up to the "power-houses" in the SBC. Don't quit that.

Blessings to you.

Wade Burleson said...

To All:

My point of this post is a simple one. I have very firm convictions about what the Bible teaches regarding reconciliation, atonement, propitation, etc . . . I believe God redeems sinners, and salvation is all of Him.

Two things you need to understand about my view:

(1). I fully realize I could be wrong - but that does not in any way cause me to doubt my belief.
(2). I have no care nor concern that you view the atonement the way I, Tyndale, Spurgeon, Gill, Keach, Dagg, and a host of other Christians (particularly Baptists) have viewed the atonement over the years. My fellowship with you is based upon the person of Jesus.

Finally, Lu Mo Nyet makes some excellent arguments for universal atonement. If he convinces me of his view, my understanding of God's power in reconciling Himself to sinners through Jesus Christ would lead me to be a universalist - i.e. "all will be in heaven."

I do not believe what takes a person to heaven is his "understanding" of the atonement. I believe it is the atonement that takes a person to heaven - whether he fully understands it or not.

Frankly, the Bible simply says "Kiss the Son, lest God be angry." The embrace of the Son will probably look a ton different from one believer to another.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

James,

You ask, "Why not change the format at your church if you're wanting to host this man? Why give him the pulpit on a Sunday? Why not simply make it a dialogue between you and him on a stage at another time?

James, when I preach, I am doing precisely what you are suggesting I do with Paul Young. I am "dialoguing" with the people God has called me to shepherd. I, like the Apostle Paul, never tell my people that my words are God's words. I tell them to hear what I say and then to search it out for themselves to see whether or not what I say is true.

They are so used to that concept that when they hear Paul Young they will do the same thing.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

To All:

I am on my way to the Oklahoma Senate to give a short talk and open the session with prayer. I will post what I say to the Senators later this week.

It ought to be an interesting day.

:)

Robert said...

Byroniac,
you said...

but it brooked no dissent and showed no mercy. And it's very ironic to hear your support of it, being a Baptist.

I think your understanding of history is flawed here.....Spurgeon had no problem with Calvinism
Those fleeing Catholicism had no problem living in Geneva.


BTW...No fundamentalist would have me.
Iam a Reformed Baptist as the SBC was at its founding!


Robert from Geneva

Lin said...

Byroniac, as to your comment: Mon Mar 30, 12:45:00 PM 2009

Well said.

I agree with every word. I have come to see that in order for legalistic fundamentalism to thrive it must have an enemy in order to rally the troops.

Lin said...

Robert, Do baptists have more in common with Calvin or Felix Mann?

Byroniac said...

Robert,

OK, perhaps I am. But as I understand it, Geneva would not allow believer's baptism or lack of participation in the "State" church. So what if any of those fleeing Catholicism started practicing believer's baptism and decrying the idea of State church?

To say Spurgeon had no problems with Calvinism is to speak primarily (if not solely) about soteriology, and that's fine because I'm a five-point "Calvinist" as well. I just don't depend on the label or feel particularly obligated to it or enriched by it. I shouldn't use the label if I reject it, so I guess I have to admit I don't fully reject it, but it remains just a label.

Robert, your statement, "BTW...No fundamentalist would have me" should scare YOU.

And you said, "I am a Reformed Baptist as the SBC was at its founding!" I don't know about this. From what I understand, the SBC has never been monolithic in its soteriology (I wish that it had!). Soon, there may not be a place for either one of us.

BTW, I don't like the label "Reformed" either. ;) (I agree with my Presbyterian brothers that I am not completely Reformed and disagree with them that I should be). I suspect that "Reformed Baptist" uses a minority intrepretation of the word "Reformed" but I have not researched enough to know.

Robert said...

Byronaic,
you said ....

Robert, your statement, "BTW...No fundamentalist would have me" should scare YOU.

Why should it scare me...all I was saying is that I know of no fundamentalist who is a particular baptist ie who holds to limited atonement. I do so they would not have me!

For a complete understanding of what I am trying to say please read this article by Tom Ascol. It would be
my "working paper"!

http://founders.org/library/reform.html

Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

FATAL PROBLEMS OF LIMITED ATONEMENT


John 3:16 presents a fatal problem to all limited atonement Calvinists:

• No Calvinist has ever exegeted Jn 3:16 as proof of limitation
• No Calvinist has ever shown how loved in Jn 3:16 can apply to both the saved and damned in its object, world
• No Calvinist has ever exegeted Jn 3:16 to show how world, the object of the verb can be divided into elect and unelect
• No Calvinist has ever shown how world in Jn 3:16, a monadic construction, may be divided into parts―the saved and damned
• Thus no Calvinist has ever exegeted Jn 3:16, but all interpret Jn 3:16 from other passages
• Calvinist, Jn 3:16 has a subject, a verb, and the verb has an object. Why leave this fertile ground of Biblical exegesis?

Lu Mo Nyet

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thanks for that "off topic" information, Thy Peace. I don't see any contact information for Susan Bradley who wrote the article (linked from the article you posted) that tells you how to fix this, but she's got a wrong line in it.

She says to go to the following section of the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
Explorer\NoDriveTypeAutorun

There is no "NoDriveTypeAutorun" in that section.

The correct line is:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
Explorer\NoDriveTypeAutorun

You have to type "FF" not "0xFF" as instructed because you can't type an "x" in hex.

The Microsoft page for the patch (which, if people have kept up with Windows updates they should already have installed) give the correct instructions.

Robert said...

New BBC Open Forum,
Better long term solution...use Linux.

Robert From Geneva

Thy Peace said...

Good catch NASS.

Windows Secrets > Microsoft flubs a way to disable AutoRun in XP

Microsoft's instructions for disabling AutoRun in Windows XP, which I referred to last week, pointed to an incorrect Registry key.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I'm sure I would agree, Robert -- for the long term, but a lot of people still use Windows and April 1st is less than 36 hours away.

Speaking of April 1st, beware of trolls spreading "sensational" rumors Wednesday. More than ever, read everything with discretion.

Word verification: grampile

Anonymous said...

Yo- Lu Mo! What are you after? Give it a rest.

If you believe that Christ died for the "potential" salvation of every single person, only to be disappointed as most will NOT be saved, then that's great. Go for it! Love ya bro (or sis).

But as for some of us, we are gonna believe that Christ died for the "definite" salvation of "those he came to save"...just as the song says. :)

No worries. It's cool bro. (or sis).

Most of us are going to refuse to have a view of God as being a lonely old man sitting with His fingers crossed hoping that folks will choose Him no matter how many greek words you throw at us.

I don't understand the hesitation to give all the glory to God. I love giving Him all of it. Way to go God! Try it bro (or sis), you might like it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thy Peace,

Actually Microsoft's instructions are correct now (I guess they corrected them). It was the March 5th article by Susan Bradley which contained the error, but I guess she was copying Microsoft's old instructions. Thanks.

Does the word verification generator have a sense of humor? This time it was "hangmac."

Robert said...

New BBC Open Forum,
Less than an hour to wipe drive.DBAN....install Ubuntu linux ....run the ubdates....install codecs....tweak compiz fusion.

36 in the time that you have before April first!

Cost of OS.....0 dollars...cost of geek.
70 dollars= 35 x2 hour min!

Robert from Geneva

New BBC Open Forum said...

This is a quote from the March 12th "correction" article posted by Thy Peace.

In a column on Feb. 5, WS contributing editor Woody Leonhard explained a crucial flaw in the forthcoming Windows 7's User Account Control (UAC) function. Hacker code could defeat UAC in the beta of Win7, a fact amply demonstrated by blogger Long Zheng and many others besides Woody.

Microsoft initially refused to change the settings, forcing Long to make his concerns public. A few days later, Redmond changed course, announcing it would fix the problem, as Woody reported in a special news update on Feb. 11.

The situation with the weird shutdown logic of Windows 7 isn't security-related, but is just an important to many of us. When an issue like this comes up, I wish every bug tester had the ability to muster public support the way Long did. I recall many times when Microsoft has shut down
[shut 'em down!] any discussion of bugs by simply labeling them "by design."

Microsoft has already closed at least one bug ticket on the shutdown behavior in exactly this way: calling it "by design." I disagree with Microsoft's decision, and I think you will, too.


Does this not sound eerily like what people like Wade, Watchdog, Christa Brown, and some of the rest of us are doing by exposing the problems in the SBC, state conventions, and certain churches and the reactions of the SBC and said conventions and churches? That just jumped out at me. If it were not for a few people who care enough to speak out, the "hackers" in the churches and the SBC would completely take over and no one would ever know what happened. Not that they haven't already pretty much taken over, but maybe... eventually... enough people will see their tactics that those in positions of influence and authority will have the courage to hold them accountable and things will start to change. Not holding my breath though.

Anonymous said...

Yo Anon.

"I don't understand the hesitation to give all the glory to God."

do you?

Robert said...

New BBC Open Forum,
Your analogy is not complete.
The Hackers of the SBC have/are convincing people that third way is possible...cooperation with doctrinal conviction.
You guys however have become the Crackers...gain power/win at any cost. Even it is illegal/unethical.
Yes Microsoft(baptist Identity) is in power in some places but the majority of us just dismiss them and use open source ie the young,restless and reformed!

proud to be a hacker

Robert from Geneva

gereja said...

Anonymous,

Big problem is your claim that Christ died for some but not all IS AGAINST the explicit expressed doctrine even in JOhn 3:16. The only way you can read limited atonement into the text of Jn3:16 is to mangle "the world" to mean "the elect." How about 1Jn2:2? You have to consider to put limited atonement to RIP.

My contention is this: the so called Baptist tradition on this is plain parroting to please each other but NOT because it is textually and exegetically defensible.

Lu Mo Nyet

gereja said...

All,

We Baptists always trying hard to be faithful to the so called Baptist tradition--I call this parroting. Most just swallow what others say about the atonement without even care to exegete a text as simple as John 3:16. How about exegeting thie text to prove limited atonement? It is impossible. Listen to this Lutheran NT scholar:

R. C. H. Lenski comments on John 3:16: “The universality already expressed in the title ‘the Son of man’ (1:51; 3:14) and in ‘everyone who believes’ (v. 15), is brought out with the most vivid clearness in the statement that God loved ‘the world,’ ton kosmon, the world of men, all men, not one excepted. To insert a limitation, either here or in similar passages, is to misinterpret. We know of nothing more terrible than to shut out poor dying sinners from God’s love and redemption. But this is done by inserting a limiting word where Jesus and the Scriptures have no such word.”

Lu Mo Nyet

greg.w.h said...

Lu Mo Nyet:

I'm the Greg Harvey that Robert was alluding to earlier. My parents were in Indonesia as Ms with the FMB in the mid 70s.

Your exegesis of John 3:16 is quite accurate, but it isn't balanced with the rest of Scripture. Consistently there are references to the elect, to predestination, and to God choosing who he will choose. If we take those into account when reading John 3:16, the term "every" actually becomes a limitation in the since that ONLY those who believe avoid destruction. This is not a process-oriented verse, but instead is only outcome-oriented verse.

We can prove that by looking at John 3:17 where we see Christ did not come into the cosmos to condemn it but to save it.

But does that mean the entire cosmos is already not condemned? Not according to verse 18:

The one (singular) believing into him not is judged yet while (the one) not believing "ede kekritai oti me pepisteuken eis to onoma tou monogenous uiou tou theou". Or, roughly, he who does not believe is already judged as evidenced by the fact that he doesn't believe in the name of the only generated/begotten son of (the) God. Said simply, you aren't judged if you believe in Jesus but you are already judged if you don't believe in Him.

What is that judgment and how do we recognize those that are under it? "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be reproved [or more accurately exposed]."

The idea that the offer of John 3:16 is universal doesn't even survive John 3:18-21 much less the rest of Scripture.

And now a Calvinist has provided an exegesis that says everything that you say no Calvinist has done before. And I already provided the very same exegesis on Wade's comment stream in the past. ;)

That said: I do not mind in any way that--those with traditional Southern Baptist soteriology or even full-throated Arminians--fight against the implications of this exegesis or other passages that seem to limit the extent of God's invitation to all people.

I similarly think every Calvinist should take up that challenge and preach the Gospel to every continent, every region, every "state", each ethnic group, each tribe, and each person as if full-throated Arminianism is in force and as if every person that hears the gospel can be saved. And I know of know missionary Calvinist who believes differently.

Not that there aren't hyper-Calvinists, but most of them seem to be those who are in the imagination of anti-Calvinists rather than actual believers in the formulation we call the doctrines of grace. As I've said before, the doctrines of grace produce humility in me because I can take no credit at all for my salvation because of them and I glorify God earnestly and completely because of that.

In this sense Jesus is our at-one-moment: it's his mystery to reveal as to which of us best understands how he goes about saving people. At this time, any of us who claim to understand it all might be guilty of presumption.

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...

This oddly constructed sentence:

"And I know of know missionary Calvinist who believes differently."

was intended to be written instead as:

"And I know of no missionary Calvinist who believes differently."

Anonymous said...

Yo yo anon, do I what?


Yo Lu - You are so missing my point. You want to keep talking about John 3:16 and "world", and "love" and, and, and...

What do you want anyone here to say to you?

Let us try this again.

If you have all this figured out (in the greek, no less) and believe that Christ's atonement is limited in power, then go ahead. No problem. It doesn't bother any of us.

But if we want to believe that the scope of His atomement was limited in scope (instead of power like you do), then why can't we believe that? You seem so bothered by this.

Almost like you are not gonna be happy until I say, Wow! That's it! You got it all figured it out dude. I see it now, finally.

LuLu is right.

And to think, all these years me and

Spurgeon
MacArthur
Edwards
Newton
Sproul
Calvin
Luther
Augustine
Whitfield
Packer
Carson
Kennedy
and of course Burleson :)

had it all wrong?

Jesus will die in vain for a whole bunch of people before I do that Lu. It ain't gonna happen.

You have a better chance of talking me into using hymnals instead of powerpoint during Sunday services.

Which would be easy to do, by the way.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg Harvey,

The word "brilliant" is too modest of an adjective for your exegesis of John 3:16.

Thank you for illustrating why it is best for all of us to avoid absolute statements like "no Calvinist has ever exegeted John 3:16."

:)

gereja said...

Mr. Harvey,

Let me pursue this world thing just a step further.

God (Subject) so loved the world (object): The manner in which God loved was an unconditional act. The object of God’s love is collective, the world. But is world, the world or the elect? Most in this room claim that world is the elect only. World is a monadic construction with no limiting word or phrase, and so indivisible. Thus, world is the world.

You are big on missions and evangelism: so must be big also on the imperative to preach the gospel as a Divine urgency in behalf of the fallen race.

You mentioned other scriptures that limit world to the elect only. How about this Mark 16:15: the world to whom the gospel is to be preached is the same world that God loved: ton kosmon hapanta…the whole world: Hapanta is an emphatic form, emphasizing the world as a whole. Here the world is the world. Jesus did not issue a commandment to parts or divisions of the world known as the elect while rejecting the non-elect, but the command is to the whole world— Adam’s fallen race.

kēruxate to euaggelion…preach the gospel: Preach is an imperative concerning the gospel that must be proclaimed to the whole world without distinction whatsoever, whether secular…race, color, creed, or nationality; or religious…Jew or Gentile. The Divine imperative does not consist in divisions or caste systems or social classes or parts called the world, but ton kosmon apanta (the whole world). God’s imperative, to proclaim does not fork off into parts here and there over the globe. The gospel of Christ is for the world. Accordingly, implicit to the command to preach, the Holy Spirit takes the message to the hearers and they respond or reject grounded in belief or unbelief with respect to the Word preached. There are thus no distinctions among Adam’s fallen race as to kinds of call: one to the few, which is irresistible; another to the many to which response is impossible. Why reading election and predestination to John 3:16 and similar texts? Assuming TULIP first and reading text accordingly?

pasē tē ktisei: to all the human beings is a dative of personal interest. The concern is the salvation of all men. Further, pasē is in the predicate position and denotes the whole—all human beings of the whole world to whom the gospel is to be preached. No limiting word or division between the elect and the rest of the world here. Thus, we have here creation, what is created, created order, creature (people) so all human beings of Adam’s fallen race.

In verse 16 the Word of God tells us precisely of the response: The one having believed (pisteusas) …will be saved (sōthēsetai); the one not believing will be damned. Thus, whether saved or damned had nothing to do with a decree from eternity or kind of call: special inward or outward general, but rather had to do with the hearer and the response to the gospel preached—having believed, having believed not. So the quotations of the condemned already from John 3:18 does not negate the scope of “world” in v16.

Lu Mo Nyet

New BBC Open Forum said...

"You guys however have become the Crackers...gain power/win at any cost. Even it is illegal/unethical."

Say what???

"You guys"?

"Crackers"?

"Gain power"?

"'Win' at any cost"?

"Illegal/unethical"?

You're funny, Robert! Clueless, but funny!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the confusion is:

1. was it just the 'elect' who were reconciled to God? They may or may not have any choice in this.

or

was it all of 'humanity' who were reconciled to God? Some may choose to reject this reconciliation.


2.There are many Bible verses that don't line up with Calvinism, not just John3:16
Examine and exegete (sp?) these verses in context with OT AND NT.

There are many Bible verses that can be interpreted according to a Calvinistic point of view. Examine and exegete (sp?) these verses in context with OT AND NT.


3. Calvinism is a 'doctrine'? Under which organized churches is it a doctrine and on what authority?

or

Calvinism is a 'theory'? As a theory, are there any parts of Calvinism that reflect the teachings of the early Church Fathers, not just Augustine.
Who were they?

Anonymous said...

Another question: what parts of Augustine's work is not in line with Calvinistic teachings?

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy reading all you theologicans cuss and discuss. At least its a whole lot better than reading about the anonymous bloggers in Memphis and Jacksonville.

Thanks for the respite.

Anonymous said...

No, it's not.
They are heroes. You're just jealous 'cause you can't do what they must do for you.

But, hey, welcome to the
'Doctrine of the Month' Club.

Robert said...

New BBC Open forum,
Glad you liked my attempt at humor!
I have no idea who you guys are...but do promote free software.

Robert Stallman from Geneva

John Daly said...

Greg, I appreciate how you adhere to Tota Scriptura.

William Tyndall when facing death said: "Here are my requests, a warmer cap, a candle, a piece of cloth to patch my leggings, but avoe all I beseech and entreat you to provide a Hebrew Bible and Hebrew dictionary to study."

Dude was a stud.

happy gram said...

wow. you guys have it all figured out. i don't. because that would make me God...and i'm not.

grateful for the mystery :)

Anonymous said...

In coming across a piece of literature that discussed the Schleitheim Confessions and the Ban, I did not think that it truly follow Paul's logic on church discipline. Could someone explain this confession and if baptists still use it?

Anonymous said...

The Schleitheim Confession

"The Schleitheim Confession (also known as the Brüderliche Vereinigung or the Schleitheim Brotherly Union) has come to be recognized as a watershed articulation of certain Swiss Anabaptist distinctives.

Michael Sattler is now accepted as being the primary author of the seven articles.
These were ratified on Feb. 24, 1527 during an assembly of Anabaptists in the northern Swiss village of Schleitheim ."

(from 'Schleitheim Confession' in the Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia).


Apparently this is more related to the Mennonites and the Amish than any Southern Baptist set of beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Happy Gram: you discovered that many of our bloggers know more than God. And they ADMIT IT.

Anonymous said...

Who was it said Jesus was a Calvinist ?

Byroniac said...

Robert, you are a brother in the Lord and a fellow Honorable Knight of the Sacred Order of the Penguin.

Have you tried FreeBSD or PC-BSD (a derivative)?

I tried both and they and my hardware absolutely hated each other (and I'm not enough of a guru to make it work). The operating systems impugned the salvation and election of my hardware, and my hardware returned the favor. My hardware and the two operating systems would happily kick the other out of their heaven without so much a please or a thank you.

I got so frustrated with it, I felt like taking the whole computer software and all down to my lake and baptizing it. I guess you could call that "baptismal degeneration," and it would perfectly symbolize death and burial (resurrection, not so much, at least not cheaply). Best term I can think of for the term itself is not paedobaptism or credobaptism but possibly thanatobaptism. For a couple of minutes, the idea of my computer having a full at-one-ment with the lake felt very comfortable (then I remembered how much I paid for this thing, and wisely repented).

I guess I could run it in a virtual machine (not easy to do since it isn't well supported). But right now I lack the hard disk space to do it comfortably. Too bad, because I love the operating system.

Chris Ryan said...

I know they say that all the great theologians were Calvinists, but I know of several good Arminian ones:

John Wesley
Jacobus Arminius
Thomas Helwys
Henry Hammond
Hugo Grotius
James Dunn
N.T. Wright
Jesus
Paul


Calvinists don't get all the good ones. :)

Byroniac said...

Chris, I got my Calvinism straight from Jesus (John 3 ironically enough), and to a lesser extent, Paul. Those last two in your list are claimed by both camps. So far, I think my camp has the better evidence for membership. ;)

gmommy said...

Chris,
Are you sure NT Wright isn't reformed???? I'm no expert in this area at all but the people I know who read his books lean heavily in the reformed direction. Just wondering.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"There are many Bible verses that don't line up with Calvinism, not just John3:16
Examine and exegete (sp?) these verses in context with OT AND NT."


John 3:16,if one wanted to pull out just one verse of Scripture, is at the very core of Calvinistic Theology. You might be able to see this if you read 17, 18 and following.

Don't listen to yoyoma He or she must have taken a class with PP.

To build a theology on any one verse in the Bible is about as foolish as having a conference over just one verse in the Bible.

John Murray writes, "Any doctrine of the atonement is misdirected from the outset if it does not take account of the fact that the atonement is the provision of God's love...and all that has been achieved by Christ's vicarious undertaking must always be subordinated to the design and purpose of the Father’s love."

When we ask the question "why did God put John 3:16 in the Bible?" as we must ask with every passage and verse (the 'so what?' question) we see clearly that Murray gives us the exact answer. It is not the clear desire of the verse to answer to the letter the question "for whom?" and thus it becomes foolish to try and exegete a specific answer from a general verse or passage. The very word "theological" communicates to us the logic of God--The knowledge of God--The truth of God, and so our theology must take into account the entire revelation of God. For it is not logical to assume that all of God's knowledge should be contained in the Johannine literature, nor the Pauline letters, nor even the red letters of one's Scofield Bible.

So, finally who are the "whosoever will's"??? They are a subset of the whole. That is logical and cannot be denied else one slip into the bonds of Universalism. Yes, they are indeed those whom the Father has given the Son.

John Murray further writes in his article simply entitled "The Atonement" and available at Chapel Library, www.mountzion.org, as to the extent of the atonement: " it is so defined in terms of efficacious accomplishment that it must have the same extent as salvation bestowed and consummated." As to the fact that some will perish eternally Murray lists only 2 options: "a limited efficacy or a limited extent; there is no such thing as an unlimited atonement."

The whosoever wills are a subset of the whole. The Bible calls them the elect of God.

Chris Ryan said...

Gmommy,

N.T. Wright is definately read by both camps. He isn't Reformed/Calvinist. He is read so heavily by Calvinists because of the way he treats the issue of election (a treatment that goes back to EP Sanders). For Wright, election and predestination are not individualistic realities but corporate realities: ie God has elected Christ and predestined those who follow Christ to go to Heaven. It is the church universal that is elect, not church members. Anyone is capable of responding to the call of God and becoming a member of the elect.


Byroniac,
I added those last two somewhat satirically because I know that both camps can claim them. I hope that you think your camp has better evidence for their admittance, otherwise you have no reason to be in your camp. But I'm sure you can understand if I think that they belong on the other side. I'm definately a New Perspective kind of guy who views all the talk of election and predestination in terms of corporate realities.

Wayne Smith said...

Lu Mo Nyet and Wade.

1 John 2:2 ESV Notes
1 John 2:2 Propitiation (Gk. hilasmos) here means “a sacrifice that bears God's wrath and turns it to favor,” and that is also the meaning of the English word “propitiation.” (See note on Rom. 3:25.) As the perfect sacrifice for sin, Jesus turns away God's wrath (see also 1 John 4:10). For the sins of the whole world does not mean that every person will be saved, for John is clear that forgiveness of sins comes only to those who repent and believe the gospel (see 2:4, 23; 3:10; 5:12; cf. John 3:18; 5:24). But Jesus' sacrifice is offered and made available to everyone in “the whole world,” not just to John and his current readers.

Wayne

Elisabeth said...

One thing that I thought of reading these comments about Calvinist vs. Non-Calvinist: which is more important; this or the fact that Jesus did die and there is an atonement?

Chris Ryan said...

Elisabeth,

Undoubtedly that Jesus did die and there is an atonement. I believe that was the last paragraph in Wade's post, too.

All the rest is just brain-flexing by people who need hobbies.

Rex Ray said...

It’s hard to believe you guys are serious who say Jesus suffered only for Christians.

Saying Jesus suffering for only the elect would mean Christians are the only ones that caused Jesus pain. If I didn’t want to cause Jesus pain, I would reject him…that’s crazy, but that’s what most of you are saying.

I thing you’ve educated yourselves so smart …well I’d better not say it.

Picture a gentleman that uses his cape to cover a mud hole so a lady will not get her shoes dirty. His cape is filthy but he is happy because the lady used his cape as he intended. But what if she walks around his cape? His cape is dirty for nothing. She has shown contempt for his kindness.

Think how much more God’s fury will be for those who reject the suffering his Son endured for the payment of their sins.

Happy Gram,
Your: “Wow. You guys have it all figured out. I don’t because that would make me God…” is a sight for sore eyes.

Lu Mo Nyet,
Hang in there…common sense doesn’t always win but it’s better to stand for your convections than bow to the crowd.

I believe the best thing about this post is it being an example of (Mark 12:38 and Luke 20:46 Living) “Beware of the teachers of religion!”

gereja said...

WHY THE WORLD BECAME THE ELECT?

We Baptists pride ourselves as inerrantist; but some stop short of exegeting the inspired text when assumed the absolute truth of the world in Jn3:16 as the elect, the church. . .

John 1:29 states: “…Behold the Lamb of God, the One taking away (airōn) the sin of the world…” World is a monadic or indivisible construction and cannot be divided into some predestinated to damnation and others to eternal life; the construction either permits universalism, i.e.,
all are saved universally, or all/whosoever are saved of those who yield to the call of the Holy Spirit.

1 Jn 2:2 reads: “. . .and He, Himself, is Hilasmos concerning the sins of us, but [de] not concerning ours [sins] only, but [alla, stronger than de] also concerning the world as a whole (holou)…; The world as a whole translates the force of the predicate position: holou tou
kosmou. 1 John also uses this SAME CONSTRUCTION in 5:19 where the word order is “. . . ho kosmos holos, i.e., the entire (holos) world lies in the evil one.” (see: see Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar, 1175). Christ died for the world as a whole . . . the entire world [that] lies in the evil one. Accordingly, the Atonement is coextensive with the Fall.

Christ gave His life as Atonement for sins, both ours and
those of the whole world (1 John 2:2). John’s usage of whole (holou) cannot be evaded. In the same sweeping context he points out “the whole (holos) world lies in the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).

Anybody who assumes that whole applies only to the chosen or elect of God in 2:2, then, that the whole (holos) world lies in the wicked one must also apply to the elect, not the rest of the world. Is this what the Calvinist wants to say? This is what he must say if the theory on 1 Jn 2:2 is maintained! But the force of alla + kai cannot be avoided.

“. . . so that by the grace of God He might taste death on behalf of (huper) every man” (Hebrews 2:9). Limitation?

“. . . the Son of man came to seek and to save the thing having been lost” (Luke 19:10). Who was lost? Was it the whole world?

These passages show that Christ’s Atonement is not exclusively for his people, his body, for the sheep, the Church, and the like, ruling out the rest of the world as Calvinists claim―both are included.

I know it is convenient and politically correct to parrot some big names. But big name (even John Calvin) are not above the text of Scripture.

Lu Mo Nyet

Rex Ray said...

Wayne Smith,
I like the way you said that.

Tom Kelley said...

Lu Mo Nyet,
You said "The only way you can read limited atonement into the text of Jn3:16 is to mangle "the world" to mean "the elect." How about 1Jn2:2? You have to consider to put limited atonement to RIP."

I'm interested to know how you interpret another passage by the same author as the two verses you mention -- 1 John 5:19, "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." Do you believe that you, as a Christian, are under Satan's control? If Christians are not under Satan's control, is it possible the John might sometimes mean something other than "every individual person" by the word "world"?

Tom Kelley said...

Lu Mo Nyet,
I asked my question before I saw your latest post, where you said, "1 John also uses this SAME CONSTRUCTION in 5:19 where the word order is “. . . ho kosmos holos, i.e., the entire (holos) world lies in the evil one.” (see: see Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar, 1175). Christ died for the world as a whole . . . the entire world [that] lies in the evil one. "

I think it is a stretch (eisegesis) to say that "the whole world lies in the evil one" (a present tense construction) includes Christians. 1 Jn 5:19 is contrasting us, the children of God, with the "whole world" that that still lies in the evil one. Believers are no longer in Satan's dominion or under his control. Thus 1 Jn 5:19 shows us that the word "world" as used by John does not have to include every individual person.

Keep studying, bro, and dig deeper in the meaning of the text ... God can show you the truth you are missing. :)

Byroniac said...

Chris,

That's fine with me. I used to be in your camp, too, but I used my free will to leave and join the other one (grin). Who knows, maybe you will change your mind as well and like a Piece of Flair on Facebook says, "Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies."

Rex Ray said...

And once again Lu Mo Nyet follows ‘lefts and rights’ with an astounding ‘right to the jaw’.

His opponents are down…
their eyes are glassy…
the expression of ‘duhh’ is on their face…
the referee Chris Ryan is counting!
Moderates are cheering their lungs out.
Ut, Oh, is Tom Kelley trying to revive ‘glassy eyes’?
Stay tuned for more…

gereja said...

SCRIPTURES INTERPRETED TO FIT CALVIN'S POSITION

We can easily argue that the posture of Calvinistic dogma of election has been swallowed long before looking into any and all texts pertaining to atonement. In one sense unconditional election demands limited atonement. Listen to John Calvin:

He says: “Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by which he has determined in himself, what he would have tobecome of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is foreordainedfor some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say,
he is predestinated either to life or to death.” Institutes, 3.21.5.

He says the following dogma on the damnation of infants: “I inquire again, how it came to pass that the fall of Adam, independent of any remedy, should involve so many nations with their infant children in eternal death, but because such was the will of God. Their tongues so loquacious on every other point, must here be struck dumb. It is an awful decree, I confess; but no one can deny that God foreknew the future final fate of man before he created him, and that he did foreknow
it because it was appointed by his own decree.” Institutes, 3.23.7;

Now every and all texts pertaining to the atonement MUST fit what Calvin has decreed--he must have decreed these because nowhere can be be found such decrees in any text of Scripture.

Lo Mo Nyet

Rex Ray said...

Tom Kelley,
If a temptation is false is not a temptation. Thus the devil saved his greatest temptation till last:

“…showed him all the kingdoms of the world…I will give it all to you…” (Matthew 4:8-9)

If the devil did not own all the world, it would not have tempted Jesus.

Jesus did not reply, “No, devil, I’ll choose the ones I want and you can have the rest.”

greg.w.h said...

Rex and Lu Mo Nyet:

I don't think argument by volume--either measured in decibels or in number of pages--is an effective tool for convincing other people. I am sympathetic to the verses that suggest that Christ died for everyone. But I cannot ignore the preponderance of evidence in the New Testament points not to universal atonement--where it is mostly ineffectual in restoring relationships with people--but to limited atonement of, essentially, a remnant. I'm not making that up. It's in the Bible after all and it's a predominant theme.

But I don't have a skin in the game of forcing my interpretation of the Bible down either your throat OR God's. I've graciously demonstrated my willingness to treat this area as mystery and let it go at that.

So why do each of you have a skin in the game of forcing your interpretation down ours? Do you really believe that God has given you unique insight into the Bible? And if you do, please present your credentials in terms of miracles you've performed that certify your view of the Bible as superior to mine.

If you cannot claim the role of the apostle including the ability to perform miracles, then you're going to have to be satisfied that others--as wrong as they may be from your viewpoint--are honestly interpreting Scripture with the leadership of the Holy Spirit and let it go at that.

Pretending this is a match between pugilists seems to me to be an especially wrong analogy, Rex. And given how much you detest the Conservative Resurgence, it seems awfully hypocritical to use the same technique with others.

Greg Harvey

Alan Paul said...

Lu Mo Nyet-

I'd like to see less books written by you and more succinct, to the point answers from you. I haven't read all of your words (and don't plan to wade through them - I am reading a couple other books right now!) but you are not addressing the salient points of your counterparts' arguments. Right now, we have dueling arguments. I'd like to see point, counterpoint instead. That would actually help me and probably others who don't pretend to have it all figured out.

I'd also like to see you de-camp from John 3:16 - that argument has been refuted already on this blog. You cannot camp on one verse and pretend there isn't the rest of the Biblical text to deal with.

gereja said...

Mr. Harvey,

As per 2Tim3:16 every word of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This entails the grammar and syntax in the original as you well know. Hence the meaning is NOT in the interpreter but in the text. Bible texts can't possibly teach limited and unlimited atonement at the same time [the Spirit is no a politician]. SBC seminaries can do that for political purposes but not the inspired text. Of course this is accepted. But not in practice. Even a clear text as Jn3:16 has been mangled to teach limited atonement to fit calvinistic philosophical theology.

Again Jn3:16 must be mangled to teach limited atonemet:

1) The object of loved, world, is a monadic construction and indivisible and cannot branch off into the saved and damned, the predestinated and non-predestinated -- impossible.

Mr. Harvey: how could you branch off the world to mean the elect only?

2) All the ones believing MAY not perish ... MAY have eternal life. How in the world can this BELIEVING in present tense and conditional MAY, in both cases, can apply to the unconditional salvation of the elect! It is ONLY possible if you read the U of the TULIP into this verse.

The subjunctive mood cannot apply to election decree BEFORE the ones believeing exist; it proves the impossibility of application!

Besides, Limited atonement requires irresistibly in salvation, which cannot have a condition. Salvation BY DECREE.

May not perish and may have eternal life are contingent upon the SUBJUNCTIVE of believing, and cannot apply to the necessities of limited atonement ― irresistible salvation. Unless you have accepted DEPRAVITY=INABILITY even before reading this text.

Reading the text faifully does not need miracles!

How can you harmonize present tense believing with the conditions ― MAY not perish ... MAY have eternal life. (The subjunctive mood and limited atonement are an antithesis, because limited atonement requires irresistibility and CANNOT have a condition).

The salvation of the elect in limited atonement must be unconditional...cannot be conditional ― MAY not... MAY have... cf. Jn 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47. MAY not (me) perish ― Note that not (me), a negating particle, is “used where the negation depends on a condition or hypothesis, expressed or understood…” (G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament). Dana and Mantey says in a quote: “‘In a word, me, is just the negative to use when one does not wish to be too positive. Me leaves the question open for further remarks or entreaty... . This use of me can have no application whatsoever to irresistibility as in limited atonement.

I guess Bible text and its grammar and syntax does not matter anymore once the U of the TULIP has been taken as a ABSOLUTE 'revelation.'

Mr. Harvey, please don't jump all over the Bible to teach whatever you want. Stick with Jn3:16 and teach limited atonement and you have proven truthfulness of Calvin's premise on LA. That is all: using text to support Calvinism. I know it is trendy. But it is NOT biblical. I believe in free will/volition, so to swallow or not to swallow is a personal choice.

Lu Mo Nyet

Bob Cleveland said...

Lu,

I believe in free will, too, but the natural man is not free to "choose salvation". It's not in his nature, any more than man is free to breathe water, like a fish, or hover in mid-air, like a hummingbird.

It's not in man's nature; the bible says so.

Christiane said...

Hi Everyone,

It's me, L's

What a fascinating discussion, and one that has finally helped me to understand more about the doctrines described because of the point-counterpoint dialogue.

This all reminded me of a story about my own faith, which over many centuries has had such dialogues raging.

One such debate has been over this:

" Re: Molinism v. Thomism

The Thomists in question (not to be confused with the general principle of Thomism, i.e. following the understanding of Aquinas, which is an umbrella that includes Molinists) followed the argument of Banez, who said that people are saved because God specifically wills this person to be saved irresistably. They believed that all people were "potentially saved" in that the power of Grace was out there for them to be saved (sufficient Grace), but that only if God "forced" them to accept it (efficient Grace) they would absolutely not be saved.

Molinists, following Molina, said that it's not that God uses a different form of Grace to "force" certain people to accept the power of Salvation, but rather He chooses the world and circumstances in which certain people will be saved, and then they "activate" the sufficient Grace. For example, God wants to save Tony, and in one possible world Tony will reject God, and in another Tony will accept God (let's say that the difference is a rainstorm that causes Tony to step inside the nearest building that happens to be a church, and encounters God that way). God then creates the world that would lead to Tony being saved, as opposed to the Thomist answer that God forces the "activation" of Grace on Tony through efficient Grace.

These aren't the only two possibilities, not even from reading Aquinas' arguments, but they were the two that clashed head to head in a famous theological controversy that ended in a draw. It's important to remember that both sides claimed to be upholding Aquinas."



It is very interesting to me that my Church DID make one demand of those involved in the controversy:
they were NOT PERMITTED TO CALL EACH OTHER 'HERETICS'. :)

This is interesting because I know how much that Wade wants the SBC to be able to have dialogues about doctrines such as Calvinism, without causing the terrible divisions that can come when pride calls the 'other side' a 'heretic'.

Just thought I would add my observation.

Lo Mu Nyet, you have added another dimension to the dialogue with your exquisite knowledge of syntax and your grammatical analysis of languages.
As a former teacher, I appreciate the dialogue elevated to that scholarly level. And I love the use of the Scriptures in dialoguing done with such great reverence, which is so important in my own faith.

Hope I haven't stirred a firestorm up by mentioning Aquinas, but my faith has been through all this discussion before and my Church has allowed it to take place without interference, except to protect the participants from 'heretic' labels by their adversaries. There is something maybe here that the SBC might learn from. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

Love, L's

gereja said...

Hi Bob,

If you read the Gospel of John more openly and put aside Jonathan Edward's or Luther's Bondage of the Will you will benefit more from Scripture than all those big names (even John Calvin, Albert Mohler Jr., etc). Sometimes they are a hindrance rather than helps in seeing correctly what is in the text. Blinded by admiration. Even admiration and praise for Wade could effect such blindness. Just joking.

Bob, the reason salvation is provided does NOT reside in free-will at all; the content of salvation does NOT depend on free-will at all; the power to save does NOT reside neither in free-will nor in believing. The merit of free will is ZERO; the merit of belief/faith as a VERB is ZERO; the MERIT is 100% in the OBJECT of believe/faith: 100% in Christ alone. Free will does not deny but affirm: Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Believe/Faith as a VERB in active voice is the only CONDITION to receive salvation. It does not have any merit such as meriting salvation. Believe/faith is not WORK. It is the ONLY Biblical condition to receive the gift of salvation. As when you accept your birthday gift--receiving it does not make you add a penny to that received gift. And don't push the illustration too far.

Lastly, God is NOT an inch more glorified when or if men don't have free will and hence irresistibly regenerated and given faith in order to believe as per R.C. Sproul admission: sinners are saved first in order to believe. Men are more scared to offend Calvinists rather than God. To think that men don't have free will does not make it so bro.

Lu Mo Nyet

Rex Ray said...

Greg,
Wade said, “Lu Mo Nyet makes some excellent arguments for universal atonement…”all will be in heaven.”

Has Nyet been saying everyone is going to heaven? You see, like most of your comments are so long that I barely skim over them, I haven’t grasp that he’s preaching all going to heaven.

I thought he’s been saying Jesus died for everyone but only those that accept him are going to heaven. So that’s why I’ve agreed with him because that’s what I believe.

Greg, I believe most of what you’ve written in the past is on target, but what you wrote Nyet and me is somewhat laughable:

1. “I don’t think argument by volume…”
Look who’s talking about volume.

2. “…preponderance of evidence…”
According to who?

3. You accuse us of forcing our views down your throat and God’s. (“Why do each of you…forcing your interpretation down ours?”)

4. “I’ve graciously demonstrated my willingness…”
Nuff said.

5. “Present your credentials in terms of miracles you’ve preformed...”

6. If you cannot claim the role of the apostle including the ability to perform miracles…”

7. “Pretending this is a match between pugilists…wrong… hypocritical…”
Hey! Like I said, “This post is an example of “Beware of the teachers of religion.” That just might include all of us…even you.

Lu Mo Nyet,
We might as well give up since we are not an apostle, and we couldn’t possible perform the miracle of getting Greg to see he’s in need of taking his own advice.

Anonymous said...

Dialogue is GOOD.
It only threatens those who are UNSURE how sure they are of what they know for sure.

Now, those people have a problem.

Sometimes, the people threatened are those who know for sure, but can't stand up in the winds that blow when there is an open dialogue. They WANT to jump in there, but they lack the gravitas to give and take. So they rather see all debate ended and avoid dialogue.

The most threatened are the control freaks. Anything challenging their point of view is a threat to them. They will use any and all means to 'shut down' the opponent. These people do not like open debate or dialogue.

Any winners? Yes. Those on both sides of an issue who, by dialoguing and debating, clarify their own opinions, or begin to see and understand why the other side thinks the way that they do.

Sort of like the five blind men describing an elephant: they are each examing a different aspect of the elephant's physical structure.
When they decide about what the elephant is like: ALL descriptions are different, and ALL are right, because each man has examined only one part of the elephant's anatomy.
It is only when they share their five descriptions with each other that a more complete description of the elephant emerges.
Let the debates continue so that our blindness may be diminished in our shared observations. :)

greg.w.h said...

Rex & Lu Mo Nyet:

You're not going to dictate to me what I believe, either. In fact, no one is. Yet I've consistently showed--I believe--an accurate and faithful handling of Scripture in my posts. There undoubtedly are points where others disagree, and some might even claim I'm wrong, but I consistently support my positions directly from Scripture and frequently use original languages to discuss my positions.

You're not going to move me off that dime by claiming that either a bigger picture or a smaller picture dismisses accurate handling of Scripture. You're free to support each other as much as you would like and to both agree with each other and disagree with me. The same Holy Spirit that you claim informs your thoughts informs mine.

I'm all in favor of syntax and grammar being inspired. But I'm entirely opposed to the lawyering that Lu Mo Nyet is doing. Just because you interpret even original languages in a particular way doesn't mean your interpretation is uniquely correct. It's A POSITION of what you have concluded Scripture means.

The preponderance of evidence I referred to, Rex, is MY STUDY of Scripture. You're ignoring connotations of words like election and predestination that you dislike. Yet in my opinion we can discard NEITHER position without harmonizing the PRECISE words of Scripture with whatever doctrine we believe. Election is kind of a goofy word that might not connote God deciding who is in and is out.

But John 3:18 leaves no doubt that whoever does not believe is already judged and condemned. And that the proof of that judgment is the rejection of the name of Jesus Christ and the preference for dark over light. That word condemnation cannot be ignored. And everyone who does not believe is already condemned. You cannot change what that passage says.

Whether you view that outcome as a matter of limited atonement or not depends on what you mean by the word atonement. If it means reconciliation, then there is no reconciliation for those that are already condemned. Their non-belief is also non-reconciliation. If you want to use atonement to mean the possibility of reconciliation, then, in some hypothetical sense they may not already have been completely judged and therefore might believe. But that construction is not supported by the John 3 passage.

I didn't even mention John 3:14. ONLY those who were bitten and looked on the serpent lived according to Exodus 21. WE assume by silence that those who were bitten and did not look on the serpent died. I think it's worth noting that the entire nation was chosen yet some were not reconciled. That might further the point Rex and Lu Mo Nyet are making, but it also raises the issue of national v. individual reconciliation and how exactly that might work. We can then take exactly the same thought and apply it to Paul's proclamation to the Philippian jailer that he and his family would be saved (which is one of the key verses used to support the pedobaptist position, but I digress.)

I don't need to take my own advice because I'm not bullying anyone to a particular position. I'm instead insisting that others who are doing that--Rex and Lu Mo Nyet--cease and desist from that approach to deling with brothers and sisters in the faith. Permit them to be wrong rather than appear to be bullying. And don't throw syntax and grammar at me. I've studied seven different modern and ancient languages over my lifetime and I recognize both the strengths AND the limitations of syntax/grammatical arguments. One of the limitations is this: we do not use perfect grammar in our daily conversations and in our writing. I see no claim by the Bible that inspiration perfects either grammar or syntax, so context is just as important if not more so.

I won't cede the interpretation of the Bible to the syntaticists and grammarists. I'm interested in their views. I delight in the specificity they bring to the argument. But they will argue the hermeunetic of locality over the hermeunetic of the entire Bible interpreting every single passage. And I think that view point is--if not entirely defective--suspect. You have to balance those two hermeunetic rules. No...not even a single verse...passage stands alone.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: has any of this discussion made anyone search the Scriptures more thoroughly?
Could all the different viewpoints be a part of God's plan for us?
Can He bring good out of this?

Maybe the Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways to increase our understanding.

Or maybe He keeps our 'pride' where it belongs when we find out we don't have ALL the answers.

No one has ALL the answers. Not yet, people. Some Day. Not now.

Anonymous said...

Poor Lu. If he tries to exegete one verse in detail, he is asked to apply it in context to all of scripture.
If he widens his application to include a broader interpretation, he is then asked to be specific.

This is a sign of insecure minds that attack a 'method' rather than the 'substance' of his argument.

People must come from where they stand, but let's allow Lu to do the same.

Bob Cleveland said...

Lu,

:)

Anonymous said...

That's why we love you, Bob Cleveland. You 'get it'. :)

Wayne Smith said...

Lu Mo Nyet,

I believe you need to take the advise of some who suggest you dig a little dipper in what God’s Word has to say about His Chosen People BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD AND THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.

Ephesians 1:4 (Show Ephesians 1)
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Revelation 13:8 (Show Revelation 13)
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

Greg asked LuLu, "So why do each of you have a skin in the game of forcing your interpretation down ours?"

I have been asking him that since yesterday Greg. Nothing but crickets.

Good luck getting an answer.

It's okay for him to be wrong, loud, and long. But until those of us that are humble and right give up our correct position, he will just keep quoting John 3:16.

Weak theology makes me ill.

But then I start laughing when I think about someone like Spurgeon having his theological jockstrap handed to him by someone named Lu on a blog. Hilarious.

I guess because it doesn't make sense.

And LuLu, Bob can smile away your insult if he wants, but I think you're punk for telling him to get his nose out of his Edwards and Luther books and get it in the bible...and then you lie about it and say you were just joking.

You were not just joking, you are an arrogant free willie, and if I stole glory from God for my salvation like you do, I would become a Calvinists just to seperate myself from your attitude.

By the way LuLu, why is your nickname:

LO ottie
MO on
Nyet (Russian word for "no")

Maybe you are a hypercalvinist and don't know it?

B Nettles said...

"This is a sign of insecure minds that attack a 'method' rather than the 'substance' of his argument. "

Poor method yields poor substance.

Greg,
We've been over the John 3 passage with this troll before. He refuses to address the whole story (ps...there ARE NO VERSES in the Greek), thinking that "the world" is summarized by John 3:16.

It's time to turn and walk away.

Anonymous said...

Want help with John 3:16 Troll Lo Mo?

The following is a document I saved because of the clarity I received from it.

These few paragraphs were part of the process that turned me from a life long free willie universalist and traditionalist like you to a bible student.

It's a long commment, but not as long as yours.

Enjoy, if you dare.

The most famous verse in the entire Bible is John 3:16. Here Jesus says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

When hearing the biblical teaching on the subject of Divine election, some seek immediate refuge in a traditional and may I say, unbiblical understanding of this verse.

They say this: "God can't elect certain ones to salvation because John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that gave His Son so that WHOEVER believes in Christ would have eternal life.

Therefore, God has done His part in offering the gift of salvation in His Son and just leaves it up to us to receive the gift through faith. Amen. Case closed!" (emphasis theirs)

Or so it might seem... Though this is a very common tradition, and one I held to myself for many a year, it needs to be pointed out that in spite of the emphasis made by many people here on the word "whoever", the text does not actually discuss who does or who does not have the ability to believe.

Someone might just as well be quoting John 3:16 to suggest that all churches need to have red carpets in their sanctuaries! Why? Because that also is not a topic addressed in the text.

The verse is often quoted, but actually it has no relevance to the subject.

For the understanding of a text in the New Testament, we need to check the original language in which it was written, namely koine Greek.

It may come as a big surprise to learn that in the original Greek of John 3:16, there is no word "whoever." The word "whoever" is expressing a phrase in Greek which is difficult to express smoothly in English.

Literally, the text reads "in order that every the one believing in Him, not to perish, but have everlasting life." It says "every" or "all the one believing..." That's hard to express in English, but in essence, it is saying "all the believing ones." That's what is being communicated.

It is saying that there is no such thing as a believing one who does not receive eternal life, but who perishes. Though our English translation says "whoever believes" the literal rendering is accurately translated as "every believing one" and the emphasis is NOT AT ALL on the "whosoever" but on the belief. The ones BELIEVING will not have one consequence but will have another. They will not perish but will have everlasting life.

Why? Because of the main verb - because God GAVE His Son. God gave His Son for the purpose (Greek: hina) that every believing one should not perish, but that every believing one should have everlasting life.

The text (John 3:16) actually speaks of a limitation of a particular rather than a universal redemption, for clearly, not everyone will be saved, but only those who believe in Christ. The Father gave His Son for the purpose of those who believe. The Son is given so that the believing ones will not perish, but opposite to that, have eternal life. That is the purpose of the giving.

So, what John 3:16 teaches is:

ALL who do A (believe in Him)
will not B (perish)
but will have C (everlasting life)

What does this text tell us about who WILL believe or who CAN believe?

The answer is: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The text does not address the issue of who WILL believe or who CAN believe.

However, if you do want to know John's view on who CAN exercise faith, he does deal with that question - just not in this text. If you go back a few verses in the chapter to John 3:3, John quotes Jesus as saying "unless a man is born again he CANNOT enter the kingdom of God." That's clear isn't it?

Jesus said that a pre-requisite, a necessary condition, that must be met before someone can enter the kingdom of God is that they are born again. We enter the kingdom of God through faith, but in order to enter the kingdom, we must first be born again, or made spiritually alive. If we are not FIRST born again, we CANNOT enter the kingdom of God.

This same issue is certainly addressed by Jesus 3 chapters further on in John 6:44, when He said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." (we should note that the one drawn by the Father to the Son is also raised up on the last day to eternal life). (John 6:39, 40). In John 6:65, Jesus said, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

Of course, all who exercise true faith will certainly be saved. John 3:16 clearly teaches that anyone believing in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life. But what we need to ask is "who WILL have faith?"

The Augustinian, and I believe biblical view, is that only the elect will be brought to faith. No one can come to Christ unless God does something to enable that person to come.

So why do people miss what John 3:16 teaches or read into it (eisegesis) what is not actually in the text?

That's easy. It is because of how they have heard John 3:16 used over and over and over again. They have an ingrained, preconceived notion of what the verse says, and fail to question that assumption and read the text for what it actually says.

It's a TRADITION and if you dare question it, you might be accused of questioning the very word of God, rather than their traditional interpretation of the word of God, and that can create a whole lot of emotion.

This text, of course, is just one example of many that could be quoted, but it does show us how powerful our traditions can be. We need to continuously expose our traditions to the light of God's Word. If they can be confirmed by detailed study of the text of Scripture, we can be sure that the traditions are valid. If not, then we need to dispense with them. Let God be true and every man a liar... even if the "man" here refers to our own firmly held beliefs, but not the testimony of Scripture itself.

Anonymous said...

WHO are YOU, Troll Anonymous ?

Sincerely,
The Troll-Labelers' Patrol

Anonymous said...

To the Anon with the time 3:54

Your article does not make any sense.

Can you explain what it means?

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote: 'We need to continuously expose our traditions to the light of God's Word. If they can be confirmed by detailed study of the text of Scripture, we can be sure that the traditions are valid.'

The canon of scripture?
worship on Sunday?

gereja said...

Mr. Harvey,

You are right that paedobaptists err because they misinterpret Acts 16:31; so are the Campbellites' reading of Acts2:38, I think. That is partly my contention: You and limited brothers see limited atonement everywhere even where it is not there; what more--even in general passages such as Jn3:16; this is exactly the same as the paedobaptists' reading of baptism everywhere where it does not exists--even in the passage where Christ asked His disciples not to forbid children from coming to HIM. I think this is what our LA brothers are doing with so many passages that don't have anything to do with predestination and LA. For example: your misreading of the concept of condemnation in Jn3:18. I don't read any explanation or reasons for your postulation on the condemnation concept.

If the paedobaptists read just a little carefully: the Gospel was preached first and after the whole family accepted the Lord, then the whole group who had already believed then were baptized.

Acts 16:29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Acts 16:31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family."

He and his whole family had come to believe. I am using this passage to shed some light on my former posts. NOWHERE in the Acts or anywhere it is said that anybody believe BECAUSE of the decree of predestination. It is a theological speculation and NOT an explicit teaching of any text; even in Acts 13:48 it is NOT taught--it is the KJV mistranslation that sticks in many minds.

What have the limited done to the universal passages such as Jn3:16; IJn2:2, etc. but keep reading something alien, namely LA into those texts.

Your idea that the Holy Spirit gives plurality of conflicting reading of the same text of Scripture is a pious way to affirm postmodernistic errant hermeneutics. Vanhoozer, Wright, etc. are big on this postmodernistic strategy to affirm pluralism. Actually Heidegger popularizes the idea that meaning is determined by the interpreter. This negation of the text in favor of multi-perpectivalism is dangerous.

Mr. Harvey, your firm rejection of a contrary view is not of itself established your view as true to the text, however strong a language you use to reject it.

Let us pursue the LA if it is indeed the teaching of the Holy Spirit in His inspired texts.

My contention is: having read these conflicting views I arrived at the conclusion that LA does not result from objective reading of the text of Scripture; but using text of Scripture to defend the presumption of the U of the TULIP.


Lu Mo Nyet

gereja said...

Bro. Wayne,

Why don't you explain what your take on these three texts and then I will rejoin you. Go ahead and use what you call a deeper digging. I will be glad to learn from your digging.

Let us keep digging bro. It is God's word. It does matter more than what Calvin says.

Lu Mo Nyet

ezekiel said...

Just to throw a couple of cents in here, I don't believe the atonement was limited. In any way.

However, I don't believe that the atonement saves. That is done by a gift of faith, that not of ourselves. A gift that results in repentance that results in forgiveness.

Joh 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."

In other words, He has given us ears to hear and eyes to see so that we repent and He heals us.

That is different to me than atoning for the sins of the world.

Another way to look at it, the blood on the doorposts in Egypt only made the inhabitants look different, it kept them from the angel of death.
They weren't actually delivered from bondage, led out by moses.

So we have the atonement that was only applied to the Jews then but deliverance from Egypt followed. In like manner, the atonement is applied to the sin of the world at the Cross but the work of deliverance from the bondage.

Heb 4:2 For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).

I know the song says "saved by the blood" but is this really accurate. I think the atonement is in place for the sins of the world. That is what it says. On the other hand, not all are granted the gift of faith.

Are we confusing atonement with saving faith?

gereja said...

Hi Anon 3:54 post

What Greek text are you referring to that does not have whoever? My UBS Nestle-Alland text of Jn3:16 has PAS HO = whoever/everyone who he is [without distinction] that in and of itself makes it impossible to affirm limited atonement from this text.

Lu Mo Nyet

Wayne Smith said...

Lu Mo Nyet,

Eph. 1:4 He chose us in him means that the Father chose Christians in the Son (Christ), and this took place in eternity past, before the foundation of the world. This indicates that for all eternity the Father has had the role of leading and directing among the persons of the Trinity, even though Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal in deity and attributes. God's initiative in redeeming the believer from sin and death was not an arbitrary or whimsical decision but something God had planned all along “in Christ.” Since God chose his people in his love, they can take no credit for their salvation. God was determined to have them as his own (see note on 2:8). holy. God chose them with the goal that they be holy and blameless before him. This goal is not optional for Christians—it is the purpose of election. Holiness here expresses moral purity, while blamelessness expresses freedom from the guilt of trespasses and sins in which the Christian formerly walked (1:7; 2:1, 5). In love, at the end of 1:4, properly belongs to v. 5, describing predestination, though the esv footnote indicates that “in love” can also be taken with the preceding phrase (“that we should be holy and blameless before him in love”). Versification was introduced into Bibles in the sixteenth century a.d. for convenience and is not part of the original inspired text.

Rev. 13:8 written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Before creation and by grace alone, God chose individuals to be redeemed by Christ's death (see Eph. 1:4–14; and note on Eph. 1:11). God's registry of life appears in Ex. 32:32–33; Dan. 12:1; Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5; 17:8; 20:15. Those not enrolled in the Lamb's book blindly worship the beast and will be cast with it into the lake of fire. The parallel expression in 17:8 shows that “before the foundation of the world” is best taken to modify “written” rather than “slain” as in some translations.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

Lulu - Well surprise surprise. Everyone that has given you scripture, made excellent comments in rebuttal, or by using simple logic has shot down your universalism...

and we are using the wrong bible...

or we are stupid and don't know what we are talking about...

or we are blind followers of a man named Calvin because we take the side of a no good preacher like Spurgeon instead a blog commenter named Lo.

Do you see a pattern here genius?

Your odor of arrogance is making its way through my computer and I only pray it knocks that April 1st bug out.

I'm tired of the back and forth, so after this comment from me why don't you just quote John 3:16 again and we will call it done.

But don't misunderstand me. I know we will be in heaven together. And while you are standing in front of Jesus receiving your congratulations, be sure and look for me.

I'll be the one next to you on my knees at His feet thanking Him for saving me.

In spite of me, not because of me.

Anonymous said...

Lu,

This is what a Calfundie looks like:


"Your odor of arrogance is making its way through my computer and I only pray it knocks that April 1st bug out.

I'm tired of the back and forth, so after this comment from me why don't you just quote John 3:16 again and we will call it done."

A 'Cal-fundie' is RUDE, CRUDE, and assumes a degree of intellectual superiority.
It ain't a pretty sight.

Oh, and also an anonymous 'mouse'.

We are not all like this.
Thank God.

John Fariss said...

You guys arguing the miniscule points of theology. . . well, that's. . . interesting. I even enjoyed doing that myself back when I was in seminary. Now maybe it was just the time I was there, but we were a bit more contemporary than the 16th Century theologians y'all are into. You know: people like Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, Moltmann, even conservatives like Bloesch and Bruce. But you know something? Since I got out of seminary and into life, I have found that most people just don't care. Even I have found it more instructive--and have been led of the Holy Spirit--to focus on (1) the church as a family system, with all its foils and folliables, (2) the fact of Jesus' life, teachings, death, and atonement which (result in?) (make possible?) (whatever!) a saving relationship with the Risen Christ, and (3) with preaching the Word and making disciples (not of this theologian or that, but of Jesus Christ).

You want to be a Calvinist, or Reformed, or an adherent to the Doctrines of Grace (too long and clumsy), by whatever name? OK, fine. You want to adopt Arminianism as your frame of reference? OK by me. But guys, there is probably a reason that the Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed folks (even, yes, the conservative ones) don't argue about it anymore. IT IS OLD, DRY, AND ABOUT DEAD! Our Baptist heritage comes from folks of a lot of different theological persuasions, but life is where it's at, not theological debate.

I'm sorry, but the comment string here is getting boring. I wish we'd move on. But that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.

John Fariss

gereja said...

FOR THE SAKE OF THE INSPIRED TEXT

Here is an example of tranlating and reading a text based on Calvinism predestination: Calvin says “All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or to death.” Institutes, 3.21.5.

Translation based on the above U of the TULIP: NAS “for Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved ...PAS GAR HOS AN EPI KALESETAI TO ONOMA KURIOU SOTHESETAI”

Calvinists attempt to rewrite the gospel by hiding vital elements of syntax, leaving them untranslated:

1) It does not express the emphatic double nominatives
2) Note carefully that everyone, whosoever may call are the collective masses of the universe; and the individuals that will be saved are not the same in number or the same group, because all the masses did not savingly
call. pas (everyone), and hos (whosoever), emphasizing the universality of God’s will to
save all men.
3) It completely ignores the potential or conditional nature of salvation: The contingent nature of AN is ignored; epikalesētai, a subjunctive mood verb, expressing potential is ignored.
4) By forced translation the text subtly identifies whoever will call and will be saved as the same persons, implying “definite redemption” or “irresistible grace” for all for whom Christ died, i.e., limited atonement for
the elect only; whoever will call and will be saved are implicitly equated together by ignoring the conditional mood, may call. But the cumulative evidence of grammatical construction here flatly denies to the Calvinist his
doctrine of irresistible grace extracted out of forced translation.

UNTRANSLATED TRUTHS HIDDEN
PAS, everyone; the force of pas without the article means every conceivable one – NOT TRANSLATED.
HOS, whosoever, used with an has an indefinite or conditional force – NOT TRANSLATED
AN, emphasizes a contingency: on the condition that – IGNORED IN TRANSLATION
Epikalesētai, subjunctive mood, may call – IGNORED, middle voice – IGNORED

DIGGING THE TEXT APART FROM DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Rom 10:13 KJV “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be save. . . PAS GAR HOS AN EPI KALESETAI TO ONOMA KURIOU SOTHESETAI” cp. Joel 2:32: KJV And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.”

Full literal reading: “For every conceivable one, whosoever [PAS. . . HOS], on the condition that he/she may call [SUBJUNCTIVE] upon the name of the Lord for himself/herself will be saved [RESULT].” Paul here gives essentially a direct quote from the Prophet Joel; he left off the futuristic and it will (kai estai). Joel prophetically sees the time coming in which whosoever may call in a universal sense; this he sees in a manner not known in Israel, the chosen people. He refers to a time of change, of something new (cf. Heb 9:9-10), of universal. Paul addresses his audience of the gospel day that whosoever may call in a universal sense. The time is now, not will be as in Joel. Thus both the Prophet and Apostle speak of universal availability of salvation, stated conditionally and in a futuristic and present sense.

The NAS translation: " whoever will call . . . will be saved" avoids the subjunctive mood, translating will call instead of may call; contingency is thus avoided. This translation does the following: It subtly identifies whoever will call and will be saved as the same persons,
implying “definite redemption” for all for whom Christ died. Thus
the whoever and the will be saved are implicitly equated together by inoculating the translation with a dose of implicit election, a special inward call, and irresistible grace, i.e., they are elected to call; so these necessarily call savingly, and so saved. But the cumulative evidence of grammatical construction flatly denies to the Calvinist his doctrine of election and irresistible grace extracted
from this false translation that hid the subjunctive mood and the distinction, as translated, between whoever will call and will be saved. Further, the translation implies a basis in limited atonement. Calvinists will complain that this verse does not deal with the Atonement; but it certainly deals with the benefits of the Atonement

Instead it is a call to "every conceivable one, whosoever: The double nominative construction
here is very strong in calling attention to the unlimited mass of humanity– every conceivable one, (pas) and whosoever (hos); so salvation as a benefit of the Atonement is not for a limited group from among the masses, but for the masses of the whole world NOT a limited group.

Some use their free will to suppress the full force of the text under the politics of the U of the TULIP. I think philosophy has swallowed up the full meaning of text.

Lu Mo Nyet

Dienekes said...

For what it's worth, a couple thoughts and I'm out:

Hopefully, none of us in here believe in true universal atonement. I have read 90% of Lu's comments and, as Rex Ray pointed out, he has not yet advocated that. Universal atonement, in my view, is clearly bogus. The universal availability of the gift of atonement to any individual is, in my view, the biblical biblically accurate.

I'm glad Lu brought this up (in his 11:54 comment):
"the reason salvation is provided does NOT reside in free-will at all; the content of salvation does NOT depend on free-will at all; the power to save does NOT reside neither in free-will nor in believing. The merit of free will is ZERO; the merit of belief/faith as a VERB is ZERO; the MERIT is 100% in the OBJECT of believe/faith: 100% in Christ alone. Free will does not deny but affirm: Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Believe/Faith as a VERB in active voice is the only CONDITION to receive salvation. It does not have any merit such as meriting salvation. Believe/faith is not WORK. It is the ONLY Biblical condition to receive the gift of salvation. As when you accept your birthday gift--receiving it does not make you add a penny to that received gift."

The contention that the value of the gift is somehow cheapened by our freedom to accept or reject it strikes me as illogical. The gift is a gift, bought by the Giver, created by the Creator, and not cheapened by rejection.

What's more, the contention that the sovereignty of God is undermined if we believe that He has created beings that are genuinely morally free is a blatant non sequitur. In fact, the sovereignty of the God Who HAS created free beings blows me away. His power astounds all the more (rather than being diminished).

Finally, the ridiculous caricatures thrown around by both sides, such as the one from anonymous at Mon Mar 30, 03:10:00 PM 2009, don't do anyone any good.

Chris Ryan:
If you're still reading, I'm strongly investigating the whole corporate election theory as well. Like any theory (including Calvinistic predestination and Arminian free-will), we need to posit this as a hypothesis, and then seeing if it fits all the data (which in this case is Scripture). I think the corporate election argument has some very strong things to say.

BTW, whoever had the list of theologians in each camp, I think you can add Hank Hanegraeff (sp?) to the non-Calvinists. By what I've heard, he's a corporate election thinker as well.

Dienekes said...

Oh, and I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with John Fariss' comment a couple minutes ago.

A-M-E-N.

Dienekes said...

P.S. Apologies for my horrid grammar above.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Check out:
COMPARISON OF TEACHINGS--The Shack and Universal Reconciliation

http://theshackreview.com/content/Comparison-Shack-UR-Bible.pdf

Wayne Smith said...

Lu Mo Nyet,

John 3:16 Here is the most famous summary of the gospel in the entire Bible. For connects to v. 15 and explains what happened to make it possible that someone can “have eternal life” (v. 15), that is, through believing in Christ. God so loved the world was an astounding statement in that context because the OT and other Jewish writings had spoken only of God's love for his people Israel. God's love for “the world” made it possible for “whoever” (v. 15) believes in Christ, not Jews alone, to have eternal life. God's love for the world was not mere sentiment but led to a specific action: he gave his only Son, which John elsewhere explains as sending him to earth as a man (v. 17) to suffer and die and thereby to bear the penalty for sins (see note on 1 John 2:2; cf. Rom. 3:25). On “only Son,” see note on John 1:14, which contains the same Greek phrase. The purpose of giving his Son was to make God's great gift of eternal life available to anyone—to whoever believes in him, that is, whoever personally trusts in him (see note on 11:25). Not perish means not perish in eternal judgment, in contrast to having eternal life, the life of abundant joy and immeasurable blessing in the presence of God forever. Those who “believe in” Christ have that “eternal life” and already experience its blessings in this present time, not yet fully, but in some significant measure.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully, none of us in here believe in true universal atonement"

WHAT is your definition of 'true universal atonement' ?

Tim Marsh said...

Dienekes,

I saw Chris Ryan's post and wanted to throw my two cents in, if it is even worth that.

I read through parts of John Piper's The Future of Justification - A Response to N.T. Wright (a corporate election thinker) and came to the conclusion that Piper could not argue around his theological presuppositions that he brings to the text. Piper was worried about what Wright's readings meant for the "reformed doctrine of Justification by Faith" whereas Wright was concerned with Paul's logic, regardless of the results.

One reason that I admire Wright is his engagement with the New Testament in its socio-historical setting and literary context regardless of what camp it places him in, what doctrines must be rethought, or who it places him at odds with.

I hear people admiring Calvin, Wesley, John Gill, Luther, or whoever from the Reformation and Enlightenment, and I want to say, "Great! However, these guys are starting points for conversation. They were great theologians, preachers, etc. However, we have more data to apply to the study of the text at our fingertips - even the average person."

Being Baptist means not only that we believe the text, but that we also READ the text. Most of all, the Bible is the authority for faith and practice, not great Reformation Theologians.

We need to honestly ask if we are continuing to read the text for finer points of theology that are unsettled. Or, are we merely parroting the things that a theologian, whether Luther, Calvin or Wright, are saying?

And, it is scandalous the way evangelicals avoid engaging the "New Perspective" and its claims at the level of the Text.

Bob Cleveland said...

I think folks might confuse "Limited atonement" with "Limited Sacrifice" or "Limited Price".

Jesus paid the price for all those who will ever place saving faith in Him; but He didn't atone for the sins of those who won't. And He paid it with a price, a sacrifice, that was far more than enough for everyone who ever drew breath.

If Jesus atoned for a person's sin, that person goes to heaven.

Period.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Conficker Worm Info:

NYT > Virus Seen Communicating With Server
The choice of April Fool’s Day by the program’s authors, who are unknown, has led to speculation that the program might be a hoax. But a variety of computer security executives and law enforcement officials have pointed out that the program, which has spread to at least 12 million computers, could inflict genuine harm. Consensus among security specialists on Tuesday was that it was likely to take several days before the program’s intent could be determined.

“All we are saying is ‘patch and clean, patch and clean,’ ” said Nicole Miller, a Microsoft spokeswoman, referring to the process of disinfecting and protecting machines infected by the software, which targets Windows-based computers.


SRI Intl. > Technical Report - An Aanalysis Of Conficker's Logic And Rendezvous Points

SRI Intl. > Technical Report > Addendum -Conficker C Analysis

Windows Secrets > Run a Conficker removal tool before April 1

Windows Secrets > Microsoft flubs a way to disable AutoRun in XP

Anonymous said...

How many do not know Christ, but if they did, they would choose to be with Him?

How many people know Christ, say they believe in Him, but their lives show no evidence of either?

Only God sees into the heart of a man. Thank God only He will judge all of us.

Chris Ryan said...

Tim and Dienekes,

I'm glad I'm not the only person who is familiar with this idea. I know that it is relatively new on the scene (although there are Jews who would tell you the idea is 2000 years old), but I would have thought more people would have taken the time to ivestigate this. Especially the Calvinists who have a great deal at stake in what election and predestination mean.

Dienekes, I have studied through every letter of Paul and I firmly believe that in every case a corporate election interpretation can be validly made. I may have missed something, but I think that there are a lot of passages that actually make a great deal more sense when read in that light.

Tim, I had not actually read that work of Piper's. It was on the list of things to get to, but quite a way down. That is a very interesting response of his. I don't know that it is wrong to approach a new perspective with "what does this do to the way I've understood things?" But I would certainly hope that the first question is always, "how does this derive from the text?" I haven't read it, but I hope that Piper starts there.

I agree that it is unbelievable how Wright is avoided, but conservative Evangelicals have a bit of a history in not accepting anything that isn't about 4000 years old (after all, we have much more faith in the 10 Commandments than in the Sermon on the Mount). :)

Anonymous said...

Now that's funny. An anonymouse calling me an anonymouse. ha

And I don't know what a Calfundie is, but if he is reformed I'll be him!

John - You make some good points. The whole reason some of us are giving LuLu the business on his universalismis because we all tried to get him to believe in universalism if he wanted to, no problem. But don't keep dragging John 3:16 through the theological mud to try to convince the rest of us that it means something it doesn't.

As you can see above, he just keeps on doing it.

So, we opened up a can of theological whoop hiney on him.

I don't like doing that, but it had to be done.

I will move on with a dedication to our beloved LuLu.

To the tune of Amazing Grace.

Arminian “grace!” How strange the sound,
Salvation hinged on me.
I once was lost then turned around,
Was blind then chose to see.


What “grace” is it that calls for choice,
Made from some good within?
That part that wills to heed God’s voice,
Proved stronger than my sin.

Thru many ardent gospel pleas,
I sat with heart of stone.
But then some hidden good in me,
Propelled me toward my home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Because of what we’ve done,
We’ve no less days to sing our praise,
Than when we first begun.

(With apologies to the Calvinist John Newton)

Rex Ray said...

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in…” (Revelation 3:20)

There's a famous painting that shows Jesus knocking on a door without an outside door knob.

I believe the artist had the right theology.

Tim Marsh said...

Chris Ryan,

If you want to read Piper's book, go to his website (you can link it from my blog) and down load a PDF copy. Piper has several of his book manuscripts in PDF formats on his website.

I think that you will find my assessment accurate, though I did not read the whole thing.

Too, if you access the NT Wright Page and the Paul Page (they are linked on my blog) you can find some of Wright's responses to Piper in which he basically says that Piper has not engaged the text.

That a theologian such as Calvin teach individual election is not surprising. When we who are more Arminian in our theology hear election and predestination from Baptists, we worry about which individuals are in and who are out.

Predestination fir neatly into Calvin's system because you have a state church that baptized infants from that "state." Other nations were not predestined, your nation was. For Calvin, Predestination was mean for assurance. When Predestination goes against assurance, then it does the exact opposite that the intended doctrine was to create.

It is interesting what Paul really says when we can escape the Calvin-Arminian categories of God's Sovereignty and Human Freedom.

Tim Marsh said...

Too, it would be a mistake to suggest that Calvin's politics, social location and historical context did not influence his theology as much as his "reading" of scripture.

The same is true for our own theology. Many of us lack the self-awareness to admit such.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex Ray,

That is the verse they told me to use in witnessing, to tell how we are to "let Jesus in". But it was said to the lukewarm church at Laodiciea.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,
So? Does that make the words of Jesus untrue?

BTW, I hope I’m free to express my thoughts without upsetting Greg in ‘forcing’ him to change his mind. :)

Rex Ray said...

Greg,
Do you have a painting of Jesus breaking the door down?

Byroniac said...

Hmmm...

Which to prefer?

A popular theology with an impotent Jesus?

OR...

The Christ of Scripture who is Lord of the house He Himself built and lets Himself in with a key, then comes in to dine with the sinner?

I know which one I prefer.

Rex Ray said...

Byroniac,
Hmmm…
For every Christian that dies, I’d guess at least a thousand die without knowing him.

Do you prefer an impotent Jesus or impotent men?

Byroniac said...

Sorry, Rex, my previous comment was a little rude.

That's a hard question to type the reply to, without it looking wrong. I prefer "impotent men" who acknowledge that God's grace and mercy are the only reasons they are saved. Christ saves whomever He will and the rest are justly condemned (and He didn't have to save ANY of us, men, women, or children).

Chris Ryan said...

Byroniac,

Why, if free-will exists, does that make God/Jesus impotent?

I don't know of any person who would say that God is impotent after any fashion when it comes to our salvation. I know only of those who would say that God disregards human autonomy (or such a thing does not exist) and those who say that God is willing to set aside His divine claim on you and I in respect of human autonomy. God is in neither case impotent.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex,

Nope, but He also said some stuff to people at particular times that doesn't seem to apply to everyone everywhere. I've often heard a text without a context is a pretext, and using words spoken to a lukewarm church, to apply to unbelievers for all time, does not seem to be in their context, to me.

Just my opinion.

Byroniac said...

Bob Cleveland, good point.

Chris, I agree with you that there is no inherent impotency in the Divine, but Divine volitional impotency equates to the same thing practically. He will not save men without their free decision in His favor, according to free will (as I understand it?), so to assert that He retains the power to save outside of man's will seems pointless and moot (it wouldn't matter even if it were true).

And if free will in salvation is true, why pray for other's salvation? Why not simply pray that God will woo the will sufficiently for salvation? Then you run into wonderful philosophical questions like, why would God create those who will never choose to be saved (and what answer can He give to those who pray for their salvation?).

I apologize to all for the snarkiness of my previous tone. I don't have it all figured out. I wish everyone was a Calvinist, though (ack, sorry Robert, I know I said I did not like the label but it sure is convenient so I admit to a little hypocrisy here).

Kendall said...

Wade,

here is an interesting question for Paul Young this weekend:

The Shack: “Honey, you asked me what Jesus did on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world” (192). Later in the book, Papa tells Mack, “In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship” (225).

1) If one does not believe that Jesus death was a sacrifice to God, then how in the world is their reconciliation or forgiveness?

2) How do you get around all of the following Scriptures?

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Jesus, in his sacrificial death, bore the penalty that I deserved. Jesus gave himself as a sin-offering to God (Eph 5:2), for the sake of sinners who are guilty before him.

Romans 5:6-9 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE "--


OT priest first sacrificed for their own sin (5:1-4), Christ only for the sins of others (Heb. 7:27; 9:24-28; *He was without sin – 2:10; 4:15)
Heb 7:26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
Heb 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the {sins} of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Heb 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many

Nate said...

Wade,

You said the following about the "BI" guys.

"They actually believe that union with God requires something more than Christ's at-one-ment!"

What more would it require? Just curious? Are you referring to man's responsibility to accept this atonement?

Nate

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Your quote is dealing with Jesus and the church, not a plea for salvation of sinners. The artist might make a pretty picture, but his theology is on level with LuLu's. I suspect that's why he painted instead of preached.

Context is key and yet many people still ignore it.

They are content with making themselves feel better by using more Greek words. Even though it's still out of context.

LuLu on his knees prays desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will: there is no room for it. Fancy him praying,

"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."

Spurgeon is AWESOME!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Rex. I didn't see Bob's clarification already.

I read your comment "out of context" and consequently screwed it all up.

See how that doesn't work? :)

Anonymous said...

Place JESUS' words in 'context'?

No wonder there are so many problems in the church.
If Jesus is not a Man of His Word, and His Word's need to be parsed to fit the doctrine of the month, then we are all lost.

Let Jesus speak.
And let us listen to HIM.

Anonymous said...

Doctrine of the month? You are lost.

This debate is 2000 years old and people have been trying to twist Jesus' words (that were recorded by Paul's pen) ever since.

I am tired of Jesus being portrayed by people who think they have it all figured out as a disappointed, weak, beggar.

There was no knob on the outside of Lazarus' tomb either. That didn't stop Jesus.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 5:50,

Jesus told the guys that if two of them agreed on anything they asked for, that it would be done.

Do you think that applies to us, today? Have you ever agreed with someone and not gotten what you asked for?

If that verse applies to us, how do you square that with Paul's statement to the Romans that we do not know what we ought to pray for?

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

I do not know who Paul Young is (I'll look him up in a moment)but what you have said previous to that paragraph is pretty straight forward. It is surprising though, that you get such rejection for outlining the basics of salvation. Interesting!

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson said...

ok...found him. I didn't realize he was the guy that wrote the shack. A lady gave me the book some time back and I read it one night. It was moving, but treated God like any emotional person might treat God....sort of made God in their own image.

It went on my stack of "one reads"

Blessings,
Chris

Dienekes said...

Byroniac:
I was going to say something snarky back, then I saw that you recanted your snarkiness, and so I recant my snarkiness-of-the-heart as well. I appreciate your openness and candor in all your comments.

Bob Cleveland:
Valid points, I think, about context. Amen. But we must also beware constraining things to their context without warrant to do so. I mean, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" wasn't just applicable to the specific group to which Jesus was speaking. A universal truth spoken in a specific context is still universally true.

Chris Ryan:
You have lit a fire under me to investigate these New Perspective thinkers more seriously. It was on my list; now it's high on my list. I have seen at only a cursory level what you say you have seen in depth; namely, that the theory of corporate election seems to fit the texts you indicated. Thanks for your thoughts.

Tim Marsh:
Great point as well about Calvin's cultural and personal lens. We all view things through our lenses. Realistic awareness of this is a virtue, and we need to consider this about those whom we read and respect as well.

Thanks to all for what has largely been a debate without spear-chucking.

gereja said...

All,

Regarding Atonement in relation to Calvinism's Election, it would be fruitful to read ALSO, after self-study of accumulated Bible texts, the former Baptist professor Robert Shank's ELECT IN THE SON. As far as I know that books has NEVER been answered EXEGETICALLY by any Calvinist. I have seen ridicules and put downs but NO SERIOUS DETAILED REVIEWS either.

Lu Mo Nyet

Byroniac said...

Dienekes,

I don't know if it helps or not, but back when I was an Arminian (OK, not technically so, but according to SBC beliefs), I wanted everyone to be one, too. I get defensive about it sometimes, which is usually a good sign I should listen and not speak. I could even be wrong on Calvinism (after all, in my own opinion at least, I was wrong on soteriology before). Best thing to be is what my friend told me, a three-pointer: death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Rex Ray said...

Calvin, Greg, Bob, Byroniac, and others, after your reasoning that salvation is given by God to whom he chooses, I’ve changed my mind and agree that I didn’t have to want to be saved and I didn’t have to ask Jesus to save me because because.

April Fool!

I don’t understand the miracle of being saved. I believe unless the Gospel is heard, man cannot be saved. I believe if a man turns a deaf ear to the Gospel he will not be saved.

Did God make him have a deaf ear because God didn’t choose him? Jesus said a kingdom divided cannot stand. Do you think God is fighting himself in keeping people from being saved after He punished his Son in hell for that person’s sins? And now he made the man turn a deaf ear because He didn’t choose him?

Also, just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

HAVE ANY OF YOU CONSIDERED GETTING OFF YOUR COMPUTERS WHERE YOU ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER AS SO-CALLED "FELLOW CHRISTIANS"? MAYBE YOU COULD SPEND YOUR TIME REACHING OTHERS FOR GOD INSTEAD OF BLOGGING DAY IN AND DAY OUT. IF NOTHING ELSE, DO YOU HAVE JOBS/FAMILIES/FRIENDS/HOBBIES?

Rex Ray said...

What are you doing here? :)

Anonymous said...

LAUGHING AT YOU

Bob Cleveland said...

Dienekes.

"Beware"? You betcha.

"Fear and trembling" beware, in my book.

Rex Ray said...

Thanks,
I’ve always wanted to be a comedian.
Maybe there’s still hope for me.

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray,

Don't you know that unless you get your CAPS LOCK key stuck right before you start typing messages, that Anonymous types like that won't take you seriously?

Remember: always SCREAM even if it's not necessary.

Then again, perhaps that person only really desired a monologue, and not a dialogue...

Anonymous said...

i'M cOnFuSeD.

Thy Peace said...

Netiquette: The Art of Online Etiquette

- Don't shout. That is, typing in all capital letters.

- Don't mumble. That is, typing in all small case letters.

Anonymous said...

"Calvin's election" hehe That's funny.

All the greek has caused you to miss the word election that came straight from God via Paul.

Or maybe you think Erasmus wrote that?

Or maybe you wanted to say "God's election" but you couldn't bring yourself to say it.

gereja said...

CALVINISTS CLAIM THAT PEOPLE ARE SAVED IN ORDER TO BELIEVE:

The text of Jn3:16 put the CONDITION followed by the CONSEQUENCE: "whosovever believeth [condition], shall be saved [consequence]." Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [condition] and you shall be saved [consequence] . . ." (Acts16:31.

See how calvinists reverse the order in the text: The Westminster Confession of Faith states: “This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man; who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.”

Loraine Boettner says, “A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.”

Arthur W. Pink says, “A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated.”

R. C. Sproul says, “We do not believe in order to be born again; we are born again in order that we may believe.”

Note the implications of these statements: 1) faith is not necessary to be saved at all, which is completely contrary to Scripture; 2) salvation is thus settled by the decree from eternity and carried out by irresistible grace; 3) and faith, according to the theory, comes as a result of salvation. This is incredible!

I guess for some it is OK to change Scripture by a thousand qualifications but TULIP must remain absolutely unchangeable.

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

You are treating their quotes like you do scripture Lo.

Horribly.

1) faith is not necessary to be saved at all, which is completely contrary to Scripture;

None of them said faith is not necessary Lo. Not one. You are making stuff up like you do with the Holy Text. They are saying that you don't sit in the corner and grunt and scream as hard as you can until you can vomit up enough faith to be saved. They are merely reflecting what scripture says. That is that you must have faith to be saved, but even faith is something God gives. Do you give yourself the glory for conjuring up enough faith to be saved Lo? I personally think you do.

2) salvation is thus settled by the decree from eternity and carried out by irresistible grace;

How do you misunderstand "before the foundation of the world" Lo? Ask any 8 year old what "before the foundation of the world" means and they can tell you. Any. Probably a handful of 6 year olds can do it too.

3) and faith, according to the theory, comes as a result of salvation. This is incredible!

Finally, you said something worth engaging seriously sir.

It is, in fact, remarkably incredible that He would see fit to give any of us this gift.

You see Lo, you want to focus on how anyone can dare think that God won't save everyone. Or how anyone can believe that God would choose some for salvation and not everyone.

At the same time, I'm wondering why God would choose to save anyone! Much less countless numbers from every tribe, tongue, and people. WOW!

By the way, since you have a knack for contorting what Jesus, Paul, and various theologians say, show me how you tear up Acts 13:48.

"And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."

Just curious. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. Calvinist,

you are worshipping Calvin's intellect and your intellect when you abandon Jesus Christ as the center of your understanding of Scripture.

Lo is right about one thing: Calvinists interpret scripture through their own Calvinistic philosophy. Now THAT is perverted.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 8:01:

Baloney.

That is simply not true, any more than subscribers to any other set of theological principles do the same thing.

And "perverted" is flat-out untrue.

gereja said...

READ WHAT IS IN THE TEXT, DON'T READ ANYTHING UNTO THE TEXT OF ACTS 13:48

Calvinists' interpretation of this verse is influenced by catholic scholar St. Jerome, who revised the old Latin rendering destinati or ordinati to praeordinati in order to make the coming to faith and salvation the product of a perdestinatory eternal decree. Of course Calvin is the great promotor of the decretum absolutum.”

CALVINISTS ON ACTS 13:48
The New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition, “…and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” You know who is behind this? Dr. James R. White, a Five Point Calvinist, who does not believe that Jesus died for all; he “…is a critical consultant for the Lockman Foundation on the New American Standard Bible Update.”

The 1599 Geneva Bible has the following note at Acts 13:48:
“Therefore either all were not appointed to everlasting life, or either all believed, but because all did not believe, it follows that certain ones were ordained: and therefore God did not only foreknow, but also foreordained, that neither faith nor the effects of faith should be the cause of his ordaining, or appointment, but his ordaining the cause of faith.”
Note that the cause of faith is the ordaining. Another Calvinist twist that augments the one that says we are born again that we may believe.

New Geneva Study Bible notes on the verse under discussion handles the comments in the Five Point tradition, referring the reader to an article on “Election and Reprobation.” And so the tradition after the manner of Jerome continues.

Calvin on this verse: “…when he saith that they believed, (but) not all in general, but those who were ordained unto life. And we need not doubt but that Luke calleth those tetagmenouj, who were chosen by the free adoption of God. For it is a ridiculous cavil to refer this unto the affection of those which believed, as if those received the gospel whose minds were well-disposed. For this ordaining must be understood of the eternal counsel of God alone. Neither doth Luke say that they were ordained unto faith, but unto life; because the Lord doth predestinate his unto the inheritance of eternal life.”
Luke's use of tetagmenoi
“And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed (tetaktai,) for you to do’ (Acts 22:10).” In Acts 22:10 the form may be middle or passive; but passage under discussion is probably passive; in Acts 28:23 the voice is middle. “And having arranged (taxamenoi) a day with him (autō, instrumental usage), many came to him in the lodging… The general consensus is that this form is a middle voice participle, not passive. And quite naturally so; here we have an arrangement or mutual agreement between parties. Likewise in Mat 28:16, we have a similar arrangement, which reads: “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus arranged (evtaxato) with them."

In 1 Cor 16:15 a cognate term is in the active voice: “…the household of Stephanas…appointed (etaxan) themselves to ministry to the saints.” The issue is that it is not out of character to engage in self-appointment or self-activity, except in extreme cases of sovereignty.

In Acts 20:13 we have another periphrastic form, the same term (diatetagmenos) except prefixed with a preposition (dia). So the perfect tense + the imperfect form of the verb to be (ēn), which reads: “And we went ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, from there intending to take Paul on board; for so he was inclined (diatetagmenos ēn), intending himself to go afoot… He was inclined is translated as a past tense pluperfect; inclined (diatetagmenos) is a middle voice construction.

Cumulative usage shows us that tetagmenos and cognates, constructed in a form used for both middle and passive, may very well be translated as either passive or middle.

Thus in Acts 13:48 it is evident that the middle cannot be ignored, although I handle it as passive. But whether it is middle or passive with respect to the Divine decree is of no essence. A translation either way has nothing whatsoever to do with a decision predetermined by God from eternity! Thus the text as it stands in the original is free from Jeromian error.

R. J. Knowling, author of The Acts of the Apostles in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, shows the possibility of a middle sense: “…there is no countenance here for the absolutum decretum of the Calvinists, since ver. 46 had already shown that the Jews had acted through their own choice. The words are really nothing more than a corollary of St. Paul’s anagkaion [necessary; urgent, pressing; v.46]: the Jews as a nation had been ordained to life eternal—they had rejected this election—but those who believed amongst the Gentiles were equally ordained by God to eternal life, and it was in accordance with His divine appointment that the Apostles had turned to them. Some take the word as if middle, not passive: ‘as many as had set themselves unto eternal life.’

ON ACTS 13:48
A key point in the understanding verse 48 is the circumstances of the immediate context in verse 46, which reads in part: “…since you rejected (apōtheisthe) it and you [subject] judged (krinete) yourselves (heautous, object) not worthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles… Note that the Jews rejected the Word: The middle voice shows that they did so by acting in a way that pertained to themselves; in the active voice they were the objects of their own action—“you judged (active) yourselves….” Accordingly, God did not reprobate them; they rejected, they judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.

So the eternal decree had nothing to do with the outcome here. Neither are the circumstances of verse 48 contingent upon the eternal decree. The decree, as the Calvinists tell it, exists in concept, but not in fact. “And the Gentiles hearing these things were rejoicing (echairon) and glorifying (edoxazon) the word of the Lord, and believed (episteusan) — as many as (hosoi) were inclined (hēsan tetagmenoi) to (eis) eternal life... Gentiles: The subject of the verbs rejoicing, glorifying, and believed. Rejoicing…glorifying…and believed: Note that the verbs, rejoicing, glorifying, and believed, are all in the active voice; the subjects are acting. This cannot be brought into harmony with the eternal decree and its irresistibility. But these Gentiles are in harmony with God, rejoicing, not rejecting. And in this atmosphere of God’s presence, they believed. Thus they were inclined to that eternal life, with respect to which the Jews judged themselves unworthy.
and believed: This verb is a part of the successive action of the Gentiles—rejoicing, glorifying, and believed; also this verbal string is connected by the continuative kai (and)—rejoicing kai glorifying…kai believed. Believed is not the verbal action of the clause as claimed by Robertson. Accordingly, Gentiles is the antecedent of all these verbs, not the relative clause.

The Calvinists handle this statement to mean that because of an appointment to eternal life beforehand these persons believed. But the Bible's order is: one believes in order to be saved, and not because he is saved. And so “they believed—as many as (hosoi) were inclined (ēsan tetagmenoi) to (eis) eternal life (zōēn aiōnion).”

Thus, the absolute decree is not the result of eternal life, but believing results in having eternal life. Thus, believing, not the eternal decree, results in eternal life.

ēsan tetagmenoi: Here the imperfect tense verb and perfect participle form a periphrastic construction. Accordingly, it is translated as a pluperfect, which shows completed action in past time. Chamberlain states: “The periphrastic construction is the commonest usage of the complementary participle in the New Testament.” The complementary construction is used to bring together the supplemental aspects that lead to the verbal action, episteusan = the inclination to eternal life stemmed from the work of the Holy Spirit in the concomitant aspects of salvation, godly sorrow unto faith, etc. Thus the pluperfect participle shows the concomitant aspects of the Spirit’s work unto salvation as completed action, referring to the past as well as the existing result—believed.
Baptist Greek Scholar A. T. Robertson says on this verse in his Word Pictures: “Why these Gentiles here ranged themselves on God's side as opposed to the Jews Luke does not tell us. This verse does not solve the vexed problem of divine sovereignty and human free agency. There is NO EVIDENCE [HERE, emphasis mine] that Luke had in mind an absolutum decretum of personal salvation.”
Belief must be based on the text of Scripture instead of man-made theologies (e.g., TULIP). TULIP IS NOT the basis and source of faith. It could definitely HINDER you from seeing doctrine IN THE TEXT.

Lu MO Nyet

Anonymous said...

There is too much in Scripture that makes it impossible to take five-point Calvinism seriously.

Plus, the Calvinist view of God does not fall in line with the Judaic traditional view of God.

Calvin has created his own god.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't like my "shouting" last night. Don't take it personally.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous Apr 2, 7:55 PM,
You asked about Acts 13: 48.

I believe the Living Bible explains it quite well:

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and rejoiced in Paul’s message, and as many as wanted eternal life, believed.”

I know this is true in my life that I wanted to be saved before Jesus saved me.

How about you?

Anonymous said...

May all of us who are saved live our lives as such. It appears that for a few here spoken words do not match actions.

Anonymous said...

Lo - I read your first line when you said "Calvinists' interpretation of this verse..."

and abruptly stopped.

I didn't want a bunch of cutting and pasting from the internet about that verse from Calvin or anyone else, I just wanted to know how you would contort the simple words ..."as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."

I got my answer without reading your reply.

Rex - That's why I don't read a paraphrased bible. I think even Lo might agree with me here.

I will say this though. Of sourse you and I wanted to be saved, the difference is why did we want it?

I say it's because God opened my heart (Lydia) or God knocked me off my feet (Paul).

And since I was before at enmity with God, not seeking God, and since it's impossible to please God in the flesh, it had to be ALL Him.

Stupid Anon who adds nothing to the conversation except "baloney" one line statements (thanks for that word Bob - good summation) you might be interested to know that I was an Arminian (excepting the eternal security issue) for 30 years just like you without knowing anything about Calvin or Calvinism. And I have very few college and seminary hours.

My theology came from studying the Bible and not being able to reconcile it with what I thought I believed or with what I had been told to believe.

Being locked in a room with a Bible can change a person. Especially if they can overcome all their traditional thinking because of what they were TOLD by someone else for so long.

AW Pink's "The Sovereignty of God" helped too. :)

God bless your studies.

Anonymous said...

Best to read the Bible thru the lens of the Holy Spirit.

Calvin's 'we the elect are superior in the eyes of god' is so lame. He was a 'proud' man.

Anonymous said...

Best to read the bible...

You could have stopped right there.

You are really hung up on Calvin. Why are you so intimidated by him? He's dead!!!

Calvin penned some great theology and he did some dastardly deeds...just like me, and listen to this, just like you.

You deny a biblical concept all because Calvin has his name associated with it. Predestination - you do know that word is in the bible, right?

Forget Calvin. Consider the source (that would be the Apostle Paul as he recorded those inspired words) and maybe you will be free from your tradition.

It's really not as bad as you must think to actually give God all the glory. Why you must have some, I don't know.

gereja said...

Anon,

This is what the Acts 13:48 is saying (it does not matter what I say); What really matter is what the text teaches. It does not matter what you read into the text. It is what IS TRULY in the text that matters. To some reading Acts 13:48 is to read TULIP into the word tagma (wrongly translated by predestination).

A key point in the understanding verse 48 is the circumstances of the immediate context in verse 46, which reads in part: “…since you rejected (apōtheisthe) it and you [subject] judged (krinete) yourselves (heautous, object) not worthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles… Note that the Jews rejected the Word: The middle voice shows that they did so by acting in a way that pertained to themselves; in the active voice they were the objects of their own action—“you judged (active) yourselves….” Accordingly, God did not reprobate them; they rejected, they judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.

So the eternal decree had nothing to do with the outcome here. Neither are the circumstances of verse 48 contingent upon the eternal decree. The decree, as the Calvinists tell it, exists in concept, but not in fact. “And the Gentiles hearing these things were rejoicing (echairon) and glorifying (edoxazon) the word of the Lord, and believed (episteusan) — as many as (hosoi) were inclined (hēsan tetagmenoi) to (eis) eternal life... Gentiles: The subject of the verbs rejoicing, glorifying, and believed. Rejoicing…glorifying…and believed: Note that the verbs, rejoicing, glorifying, and believed, are all in the active voice; the subjects are acting. This cannot be brought into harmony with the eternal decree and its irresistibility. But these Gentiles are in harmony with God, rejoicing, not rejecting. And in this atmosphere of God’s presence, they believed. Thus they were inclined to that eternal life, with respect to which the Jews judged themselves unworthy.
and believed: This verb is a part of the successive action of the Gentiles—rejoicing, glorifying, and believed; also this verbal string is connected by the continuative kai (and)—rejoicing kai glorifying…kai believed. Believed is not the verbal action of the clause as claimed by Robertson. Accordingly, Gentiles is the antecedent of all these verbs, not the relative clause.

The Calvinists handle this statement to mean that because of an appointment to eternal life beforehand these persons believed. But the Bible's order is: one believes in order to be saved, and not because he is saved. And so “they believed—as many as (hosoi) were inclined (ēsan tetagmenoi) to (eis) eternal life (zōēn aiōnion).”

Thus, the absolute decree is not the result of eternal life, but believing results in having eternal life. Thus, believing, not the eternal decree, results in eternal life.

ēsan tetagmenoi: Here the imperfect tense verb and perfect participle form a periphrastic construction. Accordingly, it is translated as a pluperfect, which shows completed action in past time. Chamberlain states: “The periphrastic construction is the commonest usage of the complementary participle in the New Testament.” The complementary construction is used to bring together the supplemental aspects that lead to the verbal action, episteusan = the inclination to eternal life stemmed from the work of the Holy Spirit in the concomitant aspects of salvation, godly sorrow unto faith, etc. Thus the pluperfect participle shows the concomitant aspects of the Spirit’s work unto salvation as completed action, referring to the past as well as the existing result—believed.
Baptist Greek Scholar A. T. Robertson says on this verse in his Word Pictures: “Why these Gentiles here ranged themselves on God's side as opposed to the Jews Luke does not tell us. This verse does not solve the vexed problem of divine sovereignty and human free agency. There is NO EVIDENCE [HERE, emphasis mine] that Luke had in mind an absolutum decretum of personal salvation.”
Belief must be based on the text of Scripture instead of man-made theologies (e.g., TULIP). TULIP IS NOT the basis and source of faith. It could definitely HINDER you from seeing doctrine IN THE TEXT.

Lu MO Nyet

Anonymous said...

Lu, have you read and studied the Summa Theologica of Aquinas?

gereja said...

Anon,

I've read parts of Aquinas' Summa but have not read all of them.

Lu Mo Nyet

Anonymous said...

Lu - Couldn't disagree more with your diatribe.

And I didn't even read it.

As I scanned it though, I will say this.

You really see the importance of keeping scripture in context...

except when it comes to John 3:16.

Do you keep 2 Peter 3:9 in context? Who was speaking, who was he talking to, what was the topic, etc...Or do you just believe that God's will is not met dramatically more often than it is met?

In closing, as I have tried to figure out your angle in all of this and why you so kick against the biblical teaching of predestination, I have realized this tidbit.

Assume for a second that I was weak in my faith and you had the ability to sway my theology. And let's say that I bought everything you were selling regarding election.

If I go back and read some of your views, I wouldn't be able to keep from telling myself that I serve a weak God.

I serve a disappointed God.

I serve a God who is not sovereign.

I serve a God who wills something to happen but His creation keeps it from happening.

Frankly, if big purple letters appeared in the sky that said "Lu is right!", I wouldn't want to serve the God you have represented.

Therefore, I'm glad I'm right. :)

Hey, it's been fun, but after your last word I won't reply with anything substantive. I'm pretty sure you are not changing, and I'm certain I'm not.

Later.

Anonymous said...

Dear LATER,

What you don't read tells you a lot.

That makes sense.

Since you don't read, 'only scan', you must be the smartest guy in the world.

The word "predestination" aint in the Bible. So much for that.
But since you don't read, just scan, you didn't realize that.

Just lettin you know.

SOONER

Byroniac said...

Anon 10:53 PM

My, you're a real stickler for accuracy. So, all of us Calvinists should take note, the word "Predestination" is not in the KJV (not sure personally about other translations). That still leaves words like "predestinate" and "predestinated" and also, "foreknew." But yes, "predestination" just is not there (not as a word, anyway, but then again, neither is the Trinity).

word verification: galaspi

gereja said...

Byroniac,

As you know there are 5 different words in the NT from which people deduced predestination:


1. Proorizo means to predesign, Rom 8:28-29; Eph 1:5,11.

2. Protithemi means to predetermine, Rom 3:25; Eph 1:9.

3. Prothesis means a predetermined plan, Rom 8:28, 9:11; Eph 1:1, 3:11; 2 Tim 1:9.

4. Proginosko means to foreordain, 1 Pet 1:20; Rom 8:29, 11:2.

5. Prognosis means foreknowledge or predetermined purpose, Acts 2:23; 1 Pet 1:2.

Lu Mo Nyet

Byroniac said...

Lu, I defer to your superior Greek knowledge. Thanks.

Byroniac said...

I forgot to mention I do not know Greek.

Anonymous said...

Lu - Thanks for your final reply and it was realtively short which made it easy to read. Thanks for that.

It is kind of funny that your ally there says that the word is not in the bible and then you follow by giving 5 different examples of it's form in the bible. -hehe-

The debate has moved from what does predestination mean to predestination is not in the Bible.

Now that's clearly a sign that the debate should move on.

I guess I shouldn't assume that everyone knows that the Bible wasn't written in English. Sorry about that "English-only Anon".

Blessings in your future efforts Lu, whatever they might be.

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