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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

ROSES! for me?

Update: The sub-title for my blog is taken from Pastor Timothy who used this to describe me on his blog link to this blog. I’m not a Calvinist, as he points out in the discussion below, and while a Baptist I’m not Southern Baptist. I do however agree, for the most part, with the beliefs put forth in the description for the ROSES acronym described below. ;-)

A quote from "The Future of Southern Baptists as Evangelicals"
by Steve W. Lemke
Provost, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
for the Maintaining Baptist Distinctives Conference
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
April 2005

Pages 14-15

“What is the difference between hyper-Calvinism and the more typical baptistic Calvinism? Timothy George, President of Beeson Seminary who is himself a Calvinist, has provided a helpful clue in contrasting the "TULIP" acronym of Synod of Dort hyper-Calvinism (although this popular acronym does not fully communicate the affirmation of that Synod) with a "ROSES" acronym of a softer version of Calvinism that is closer to what most Baptists believe. TULIP, of course, stands for total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. ROSES stands for radical depravity, overcoming grace, sovereign election, eternal life, and singular redemption. Each of these phrases moves away from the hard Calvinism represented in the TULIP. Compared with total depravity, radical depravity agrees that we can do nothing to save ourselves, but affirms that humans are not totally evil because we retain the image of God despite our fallenness. Compared with irresistible grace, overcoming grace (or effectual calling) affirms that God accomplishes salvation, but differs in that rather than salvation being a mechanical and deterministic process, it allows for human responsiveness to God’s persistent wooing. In contrast to the double predestinarianism of unconditional election, sovereign election allows for a genuine human accountability to respond to God. The phrase "perseverance of the saints" might suggest that although we are saved by grace, we are kept by our good works. The phrase "Once saved, always saved" could suggest that we could claim Christ as Savior without making Him Lord of our lives. George prefers eternal life or eternal security to convey the scriptural truth of the assurance of the believer. Finally, unlike limited atonement, singular redemption communicates that Jesus’ death was sufficient to save everyone but is efficient only for those who repent and believe.

I think that most Baptists come out to be about two and a half point Calvinists (as do I), although hyper-Calvinists would probably not like the way we count the points. We usually affirm total depravity, although often not in the same sense that Dortian Calvinists intend. While affirming the sinfulness of all mankind, most Baptists usually see some role for human response or "point of addressibility", along the lines of Romans 1 and 2. Unconditional election is largely affirmed by Baptists, again with some adjustments. While Baptists believe that salvation is wholly from God, they also believe that in the economy of God’s salvation He has chosen for human response to be prerequisite to actualizing salvation. Most Baptists view limited atonement as the least scriptural of the five affirmations, and this doctrine is rejected by most Baptists, except in a merely functional sense that Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all, but actualized only by the elect. Irresistible grace is also flatly denied by most Baptists, except for the affirmation that salvation is through grace alone. All Southern Baptists, however, affirm perseverance of the saints. While Calvinistic perspectives have a long history in Baptist life and Southern Baptists have always tolerated five-point calvinism as a legitimate position within Baptist life, I do not believe that the majority of the Southern Baptist Convention will ever embrace or require five point Calvinism. If most Baptists really are between two and three point Calvinists, there are countervailing forces in the SBC which constitute a limit factor on Calvinism in the convention.”



Blogger Zeke said...

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for the Maintaining Baptist Distinctives Conference

"Maintaining Baptist Distinctives Conference"???

Am I the only one that thinks this sounds weird?

11/03/2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Yes, you are the only weird one...wait that wasn't the question. No, you are not the only one that thinks that is weird. But you must remember...we are Southern Baptist...enough said.

I talked with a couple guys in a bookstore yesterday about Southern Baptist, they thought it was funny that I was so Southern Baptist. I told them that if this denomination went Catholic, I would still be SBC. They liked that though, that I was committed to something.

My reasoning is that if you can find me another denomination that is completely and perfectly sound, I'll leave this blessed orginization.

About the Calvinism discussion.

I think this Lemke sets up a misnomer concerning we 'TULIPers'. A hyper-calvinist has NEVER been ascribed as one that held all five points. This label of hyper-calvinist being given to five pointers only arose when baptist came along and didn't like all of the points. Therefore, so as to be still called calvinist, they would call those that were truly calvinist (all five points) hyper calvinist. If they were calvinist who only held to three points, then surely those that held to five would be hyper. (I wonder than what those of my persuasion who hold to seven would be?)

Let me attempt to address each point specifically.

The difference between Total Depravity and Radical Corruption is one that we 'hypercalvinist' would not agree to. Not because we disagree with Radical Corruption, but because we agree completely; therefore, there is no difference. The T in the tulip is exactly the same pedal in the rose.

The Irresistable Grace/Overcoming Grace (effectual calling) would likewise be no difference at all. Simply because God's grace is irresistable (in that it cannot ultimately be refuse) by no means signifies that the process is not a 'wooeing' or an overcoming grace. It is always an effectual grace.

In the difference between 'Double Predestarian' Unconditional Election and Sovereign Election, I do not really understand his quibble. Unconditional Election does teach that there isa human responsibility to respond to God involved.

Concerning Perserverance of the Saints, Calvinist have always described it better as Preservation of the Saints. We would be in agreement.

And the Limited Atonement distinction is a no-distinction. We have always said that CHrist's blood was sufficient for all, but effecient for only the elect.

All in all I think that his critique of TULIP and developement of ROSES are based upon fighting against a straw man.

11/03/2005 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Zeke I'm not a Southern Baptist but I admire this effort. I hope you will give this paper a read. If more denominations were willing to address these issues as openly I'm quite sure the irony in the title would become evident. ;-)

Adam I'll split hairs with you another day but I think that was the point here, it's splitting hairs.

11/03/2005 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Zeke said...

Kc, Sofyst, a reading the Calvinist/Arminian debates (and sure, the Calvinist/Hypercalvinist debates) are useful to study in that they explore an ultimately unanswerable question in the work of salvation: how much is us, and how much is him?

The best 'resolution' to this mystery is found in a cute little speculation about the gates of heaven: on the outside, they read "For the Father is not willing that any should be lost." On the inside, they read "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."

I actually really really don't want to debate this, but Adam asked what I thought about it and KC encouraged me to read up on it so I thought I'd chime in. I'm cool with the mystery. I don't know how we can be otherwise, actually. I think part of loving and trusting God is being willing to do live with not knowing; to fully search and engage without presuming to fully understand.

11/03/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Zeke actually it was the conference and this “distinctive” approach to resolving doctrinal dispute that I admire. Calvinism is not the only venue at their various conferences. They address Emergent, Missions (especially) and many other current and or otherwise critical issues and doctrines. This time honored tradition of “much disputing” has a very good theological and scriptural foundation. Here is where I think we can all learn from the Southern Baptist.

The conference offers proponents an opportunity to present their case to the Church at large. The only authority the conference has is to govern itself and no other individual or corporate body of believers. While those in attendance may elect to collectively take a position on certain issues they absolutely cannot determine doctrine or policy for anyone or any Church. The authority of Christ is not diminished in any way and the Holy Spirit is not hindered in dealing with any individual or Church body. This method provides a means for a true ecumenical body of believers.

Now contrast this to many other denominations. At best a board dictates policy and procedure and doctrines are predefined. Anyone not in line with party policy stands in jeopardy of excommunication. Personal growth is measured by the knowledge of Catechisms, nothing more, and doctrinal disputes can only occur from without, not within.

11/03/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Simply put, this method even allows those Oustside The Camp" to be considered a part of the war effort. (Zeke I thought you would appreciate the link) ;-)

11/03/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Ok. I could really get into a long, detailed discussion here...but I'm going to resist the urge for now.

All I know is the teaching of "propitiation" in the Bible totally negates the Calvanistic teaching of limited atonement. I John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation, and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world." That's really the only teaching mentioned here that I have a big problem with.

Even though I'm not a Southern Baptist, my beliefs would pretty accurately line up under ROSES.

11/03/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ms. Kristi I’m so happy to have you weigh in on this discussion. I would like to ask you how your denomination would resolve a doctrinal dispute? Zeke I’d like to know how yours does too please.

Our small association of Churches rarely deals with theological issues of this magnitude but I’ll admit that the issues they’ve dealt with in the past were handled poorly.

11/03/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Well, I'm independent Baptist. So, it's not like the denomination as a whole resolves disputes...we're independent. But within our churches, when something like this comes up, we usually have a discussion, under the leadership of the Pastor. He addresses the issue with Scripture after Scripture, after Scripture, and lets the Bible speak for itself. Then we have a question and answer time, getting different viewpoints on what the Bible may be saying. Then Pastor will sum up the thoughts, give his opinion, and where he stands, then he puts it in our hands. It's up to the individual to choose what they believe about it. I guess the key with us is, we look at LOTS of Bible passages, and dissect them, trying to get as close to the meaning God has for us as we can. And we let Scripture be the interpreter of other Scripture when something is unclear.

11/03/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Kristi. I kind’a knew we were cut from the same cloth so to speak (Missionary Baptist here). That’s the same way we deal with it and I don’t think it’s a bad method but it requires a similar discussion/debate with every new pastor who has a differing opinion.

This method the SB uses of debating those issues in conference seems much more edifying to the association at large while having the added benefit of reigning in those more apt to become existential in their teaching.

11/03/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Very true. I agree. I believe it also helps the people know exactly where the leadership stands.

11/03/2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

Hello Everyone,
Even though I'm taking a hiatus from most discussions, I could not pass this one up.

First off, I don't like the term hyper-Calvinist applied to those who are Five Point Calvinists. A hyper-calvinist is more along the lines of someone who says: "hey,no need to evangelize... if they are God's elect, He will save them without our efforts." That would be a hyper-calvnist, one who would have no resposibility at all.

Secondly, Kristi, your reading of 1 John 2:2 is a bit off for several reasons. What does it mean to die for the entire world? Not every single one without exception, but members from every tribe... this concept of the world was revolutionary in the day that it was written. The idea is that Jesus died for the sins for people all over the world, not just the Jews. It is not saying that atonment is not particular, but that the gospel was going beyond the borders of Israel, to the Gentile too. This, again, was revolutionary to those in Christ's day. Remember His parents were astonished at was Simeon told them in the temple because their Son would go and be a light to the Gentiles.

This one passage does not eliminate limited atonement as we understand it.

A good way to understand it is like Loraine Boettner puts it... A farmer prizes his field. But no one supposes that he cares equally for every plant that grows there. He loves the wheat and hates the tares. He only loves that which will produce fruit. The rest he burns. But he still loves his entire, or the whole field.

God does the same in the world. He loves the world. He made it and created it. But He does not love all those in the world. Romans 9:12 As it is writeen, "Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated."

So there is at least one in the world that He hated. And then you add in old Judas Iscariot, there were two. Jesus called Herod a fox and equated him to being evil, there are three. So He doesn't love all unconditionally. He does show kindness and common grace to them. He called Judas His friend. In HIs providential Hand, He provided for Esau and even blessed Him. But His special grace He witheld. "Does not the pooter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"

Both bring Him glory. One is a trophy of grace, the other is a trophy of His wrath. He is glorified by both.

As for responsibility... yes, we all have the responsibility to believe in Christ for salvation. But we do not have the ability. Our hearts must be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that no man can boast. The point is: who is responsible for what in salvation? We are responsbible but incapable. Therefore God gets ALL the glory. Man can boast about nothing at all, for even if we do believe and live obediently after that, then we have been unprofitable servants, doing only what was required of us...

Further more... with tongue in cheek at this point, I must actually confess that I am a Six Point Calvinist. Which means that if you don't believe in all five points, you're not a Calvinist. :)


11/03/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

That should be "potter" not pooter.


11/03/2005 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor first I thought it read better with “pooter” and now we know that a hyper-Calvinist is really a six pointer, not a five! (hehe) BTW I knew this would tempt you if you saw it. (grin)

Seriously I agree with you and Adam both that it’s not a fair label and likewise on the sixth point as well. We’re not really Calvinist but gladly share in those portions of the doctrines we’re persuaded in as well as the Gospel we both hold dear. I do consider these doctrinal differences important yet not a cause for division. I will say that the deepest division doesn’t seem to be so much doctrinal as it does metaphysical. The perception held by both concerning belief seems the greatest cause for the argument. Where one holds belief to be an act and therefore must be attributed to God the other holds that belief is not an act but rather acceptance and appointed by God as prerequisite.

If only you would all do as I do and say what I say! (hehe)

11/03/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

Yes, I'm not all that hard to read, except by me! You know me too well already and I rejoice that you want me to comment. :)

I'm not sure I understand your comment:
"Where one holds belief to be an act and therefore must be attributed to God the other holds that belief is not an act but rather acceptance and appointed by God as prerequisite."

I would like you to explain a bit more before I comment.

11/03/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

I love you pastor tim.

I was about to post exactly the same thing. Calvin's own interpretation can be summarized thus:

"[Some, in their interpretation of this text,] have said that Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect... [Even though I agree with this proposition in itself,] I deny that it is suitable to this passage; for the design of John was no other than to make this benefit common to the whole Church."

-Calvin's Commentaries

11/03/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor while there are numerous fine points (I called this hair splitting with Adam), I find the greatest difference originates in how one perceives what it means to believe. Most Calvinist I talk with propose that man is “incapable” of believing as it is considered a work of God while most who are not Calvinist insist that it is “incumbent” on a man to believe in order to receive the gift. All scripture is then interpreted from these respective perspectives and no agreement in interpretation is possible because neither can satisfy the perception of the other concerning belief. Even the most excellent of exegetical arguments eventually deteriorate to a discussion of the metaphysics of faith.

Rf2r2 welcome. ;-)

11/03/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

Greetings kc :)

I know you directed this at tim, but, being a calvinist myself, I'll attempt to respond to your comment.

kc said...
Most Calvinist I talk with propose that man is “incapable” of believing as it is considered a work of God while most who are not Calvinist insist that it is “incumbent” on a man to believe in order to receive the gift.

I submit that these are not mutually exclusive views. As a calvinist I hold them both to be true. On the one hand regenration by the holy spirit must occur within a dead soul to quicken them to life or they are incapable of believing. Therefore god must bring us to life before we can know anything special about him, i.e. the redeeming nature of his son.

On the other hand, it is absurd to think that god will call 'his own' what does not confess him in word and deed; the regenerative work of the spirit will result in belief within the sinner. It cannot be otherwise. The point of calvinism is that this whole process of salvation must begin and end with god. His election, his regeneration, his conversion, his justification, his sanctification, and his glorification of us from beginning to end is about him! We joyfully serve the eternal tyrant and worship his show of grace on us, his undeserving enemy.

11/03/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Does God lay in Zion a stone of offense a stumbling stone to those who "refuse" to believe and at the same time say that they are not refusing to believe, but that He won't let them believe?

How does Jesus say Oh Jerusalem I would like to have gathered you under my wing like a mother to her chicks, but you would not and then say they would not because I would not let them?

11/03/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

KC, we shall split hairs later.

Kristi, very well then I am completely willing to say that Christ was the 'propitiation' for the entire world. I then will interpret world as you do (everyone). Therefore, why again are we not universalists?

If Christ is the propiation (as in the cover of sin, the atonement of the sin) then does that not mean that the entire world's sin has been covered and atoned for?

I really cannot understand why people would simply posit one simple verse and think that all of the reformed doctrine would fall based upon this.

And what is more they fail to take their thinking to the logical conclusion. If Christ covered the sins of everyone, why does He send anyone to Hell? They have their sins paid for...

Sorry, I'm someone ranting. Not necessarily directed at you. But I do encourage you to think about what you are positing. IF Christ is the propitiation of everyone, then sending anyone to Hell is a great injustice on the part of God.

11/03/2005 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Rf2r2 I appreciate your reply and your position. We would agree that soul salvation is by the grace of God yet we would disagree that he imposes the faith, through which it is accomplished, on us.

“regenration by the holy spirit must occur within a dead soul to quicken them to life or they are incapable of believing”

This illustrates my point regarding the inability to find agreement on this doctrine. As a non-Calvinist I maintain there is no regeneration, no life and no hope without the Truth, only within. Indeed His Spirit works in our heart and minds to reveal to us the Truth yet even at that moment we are still condemned because we have not believed.

11/03/2005 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

Are you insisting that the difference between us is that I believe

we are regenerated so that we may believe

and you believe

we believe so that we may be regenerated


11/03/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

I am only insisting that the perception held by both of us concerning belief seems the greatest cause for the argument.

11/03/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I really didn't want to get into this. But since two of you have directly questioned the verse I used, I will answer.

First, my understanding of the word "propitiation" is a "complete payment." Yes, Jesus was the complete payment for the sins of the whole world. Jesus is God's solution to man's problem of sin.

Everyone has this problem of sin. The payment has been made, and the solution is offered to everybody. But man has a responsibility--to believe. Not everyone accepts God's solution. Does this make God unjust in sending people to hell? NO!! It just shows how it is totally man's fault and not God's at all for going to hell. He had an opportunity. His sins WERE paid for, but he didn't accept.

It's like the illustration in the Old Testament with Moses and the fiery serpents. Everyone had a problem. The snakes were biting, and it was fatal. God provided a solution--the brass serpent on the pole. But the people had to LOOK. They had a responsibility. Now if everyone in the whole camp had eached looked to the serpent, no one would have died. But some refused. They had the opportunity. Was God unjust in letting them die? I think not.

Just like that, we all have the opportunity to look to Jesus for salvation, but some refuse, insisting they have a better way through their own good works. God is not unjust in sending these to hell.

Also, just so you don't think I'm only using one verse, people in Noah's day had a problem, (flood). God had a solution (ark), and man had a responsibility (get on the ark in faith). It was not God's fault they drowned. Yes, the ark was sufficient for all, but all did not get on.

Jesus' blood was not just for a limited few. It was for all. But all do not accept this complete payment. Therefore, they are condemned to hell, with no injustice on God's part. I hope I make myself clear.

11/03/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kristi, I will respond to you upon my site.


p.s. for all who are interested. I am going to be moving my site to this address. I am debating on moving to typepad or another service. But the address will always be sofyst.net
Please change your links if you do not mind...as I will not have sofyst.blogspot.com updated normally...

11/03/2005 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life (John 3:14-15).

Clearly, we need to create a doctrine and add it to Calvinism to explain this verse. I propose the doctrine of Divine Pointinnogginism, whereby the Father points our head in the direction of Jesus that we might see him and believe.

11/03/2005 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam as soon as you're settled in at your new place I will make the switch on my link. ;-)

11/03/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I think I am pretty well moved over. I have it set up so that I can just change services again if I need to. But the address will always be sofyst.net

11/03/2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam after reading the post here again I want to apologize for my comment about splitting hairs and to explain. I in no way intended that to silence you or prevent you from making any comment you wanted or needed to make. I only intended to explain my lack of response to your original comment and to assure you I wasn’t ignoring what you said but rather I would withhold my own comments for one of our, what I hope will be many, future discussions. I can see that without this insight having read my own comment I would have thought I was somehow asking for your silence on the subject. Many, many apologies for my poor choice of words and I can only assure you that was never my intent.

11/04/2005 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

The first thing we know when developing theology is that we do not negate a doctrine or errect a doctrine on the basis of one verse. That is bad theology and leads to all kinds of heresies and schisms. The preponderance of the evidence for the doctrine of limited atonement, or definite atonement is well established (Jesus laying down His life for His sheep, John 10:11, 14-18, John 10:24-29; Jesus sent into the world to save HIS people, John 6:35-40, Jesus praying for His people and not the world, John 17:1-11, 20, 24-26, etc.).

And yes, we fully recognize that the outward appeal of the gospel is made to all who hear it. We're not saying that it should not go to all. But it is only made effectual to the elect. Those whom God chose before the foundations of the world to be holy, blameless and spotless. He did not choose everyone, but that was His descision, not ours. We are only responding to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives in conjunction with the word. Yes, it is man's responsibility to believe in Christ and be saved, but man does not have the ability because of total depravity, which means that every aspect of his being is tainted by sin. The heart is not seeking God at all, until regeneration takes place. That regeneration takes place only when the Holy Spirit moves, His action, not ours. Yes, we believe, but even that faith is a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Definite atonement is set for the elect, and 1 John 2:2 does not negate that. The question is: who is the world. You keep wanting to define it as we use it today. But we cannot do that. What was John's understanding of the world? What did that mean to the first century Jew?

Well, I have a sermon to finish... I hope this helps.

11/04/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

^ what he said... :)

11/04/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor the debate has moved to www.sofyst .net (we’re trying out Adam’s new digs) but I would like to address your comment here.

We agree that doctrine can neither be established nor denied based on simply one verse and I can certainly appreciate the reasoning in the Calvinist doctrines. I would however question any effort to prove that God gives no choice in who will and won’t accept the gift of soul salvation and any knowledge of those God does or does not offer the gift.

BTW I am not only happy to have you comment here, I am honored as well. ;-)

Adam prepare thyself for the battle! ;o

11/04/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

I went to Sofyst's place, but couldn't find the debate. Too complicated I guess.

I think the reason we believe God's choice is THE only choice is because of verses like this one:

John 1:12-12 But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of god, to those who believe in HIs name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Those born again, are born again from above, not because of their own decisional making ability. Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to see heaven, he must become born again. This is something that we have no control over at all, even if we have decided to follow Jesus, we will turn back, we will turn back... Unless we are born again, or born from above.

BTW, the historical evidence for reformation and revival shows that true Reformation and revival take place with Calvinism flourishes, not Finnyism and arminianism. Just thought I would throw that at you. :) I believe that is so because in in Calvinism, which we believe is true Biblical theology, God gets all the glory, and man is just happy to be a recipient of HIs grace.

11/04/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor thanks for the response. In the verse you offered from John I find the prerequisite I mentioned in the fist six words; that being to receive Him. This reception is in no way a work of man, only an acknowledgment of the trust we rightly bestow in Him. The spirit birth is totally dependant on this trust. I don’t even think we would argue over who will receive Him, only over the necessity to do so.

Now to quibble (grin). Being a DTS grad I know you will LOVE my argument that the reformation began with Jesus (hehe).

Again thanks for the debate. ;-)

11/04/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

DTS? Gross!

Just kidding. I was just there yesterday buying a book. I had a very good conversation with the bookstore guys...

Criswell is literally right across the street from DTS, we go there all the time.

The conversation on my site is under the heading of Once and For All...I posted since then, but you can still view it there.

11/04/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Pastor Timothy,

With all respect, I disagree. The Bible does not teach that God has chosen who will be saved and who won't. Of course God KNOWS, because He is omniscient, but He did not choose. If you say God chose who would be saved, then the reciprical is also true, that He chose who wouldn't be saved. But that contradicts the Scripture in II Peter which says "God is not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance."

Even the very passages you pointed out do not effectively prove your point. For in the very John 10 passage, the verse just before you started listing, verse 10 says, "I am the door, by me if ANY MAN enter in, he shall be saved..." It doesn't say if one of the elect enter in... Later on in the chapter, when Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice..." He's talking about those who have entered in the door. They are saved now, so therefore they are His sheep. There is not a certain group of people that are "His sheep" before they are saved.

Even the well-know John 3:16 would contradict what you are saying. "WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Why would God extend an invitation to all, if all could not be saved?

Why would God have given us the Great Commission if all could not be saved? He said to go to EVERY CREATURE? Why? so, maybe we would run into one of the "elect" sometime? I don't think so. To give EVERYONE a chance to hear the message, and therefore an opportunity to be saved.

You also say that our heart cannot seek God. So then why would God say in Jeremiah, "You will find me when you seek for Me with all your heart"?

If unregenerate man cannot believe, why would Paul tell the Philippian jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved?" Shouldn't he have said, "Holy Spirit, give this man faith so he will be saved."??? No, believing is a response of man. Man can believe on his own. It is a response, just as man can hate, love, envy, hope all on his own. Does the Holy Spirit do those things for us to? I don't think so.

Ephesians 2:8 and 9 I know could be read 2 different ways. But to be consistent with Scripture, you would have to come out deciding that "the gift of God" spoken of is salvation, not faith. See Romans 6:23--"The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It doesn't get any clearer than that.

11/04/2005 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Pastor, I really think you should read Kristi's and my conversation before you respond.

11/04/2005 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...


11/04/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

I guess we will disagree. But you are throwing up the same old Bible verses without looking at the context of the verses around them, especially John 3:16. The entire context is that one must be born again, and man cannot choose for that to happen. Yes, the open invitation of the gospel is to all man, but it is only effectual for those God does choose.

Please read Romans 9, Ephesians 1, 1 Peter 1, and all the other passages concerning the doctrine of election, and the one by Jesus saying that we do not choose Him, He chose us...

It's called the doctrine of election, and He does choose those who will be saved, and leaves the rest to their own demise. Yes, it's called double predestination, and many hate the doctrine, but it is what the Bible implies. If God does not choose, and move, then those whom He does not choose go to spend eternity in hell. But He is still just, because all deserved Hell, and in His good graces, He chose to save some at all.

Again, read Romans 9, in light of our discussion.

Better yet, get R.C. Sproul's book Chosen By God and give it a read.

Sofyst, I tried the link and it took me to a bad url. Sorry.

11/04/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

Just a few passages that speak to election:

General statements showing that God has an elect people, that He predestined them to salvation, and thus to eternal life. (Deut. 10:14-15, Psalm 33:12, Psalm 65:4, Psalm 106:5, Haggai 2:23, Matthew 11:27, Matthew 22:14, Matthew 24:22, 24, 31; Luke 18:7, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 8:33, Romans 11:28, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Titus 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1-2, 1 Peter 2:8-9, Rev. 17:14.)

Before the foundation of the world, God chose particular individuals unto salvation. His selection was not based upon any foreseen response or act performed by those chosen. Faith and good works are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. (Mark 13:20, 1 Thess. 1:4, 2 Thess. 2:13, Eph. 1:4, Rev. 13:8, 17:8)

Election is not salvation but is unto salvation. The Elect are not saved until they are regenerated by the Spirit. Just as the president-elect does not become the president of the United States until he is inaugurated, those chose unto salvation are not saved until they are regenerated by the Spirit and justified by faith in Christ. (Romans 11:7; 2 Timothy 2:10).

Election is based on the sovereign, distinguishing mercy of god. It was not man’s will but god’s will that determined which sinners would be shown mercy and saved. (Exodus 33:19, Deut. 7:6-7, Matthew 20:15, Romans 9:10-24, Romans 11:4-6, Romans 11:33-36, Ephesians 1:5).

The sovereignty of God is at the heart of the doctrine of election. God is not only sovereign over those who will and will not be chosen, but over all things, both great and small. We know the maxim: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But not with God. He has absolute power over all things, and there is nothing that is not under His control. (1 Chronicles . 29:10-12, Job 42:1-2, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 14:24, 27, Jeremiah 32:17, Daniel 4:35).


11/04/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks for the reference Pastor. For those who are interested in a historical perspective of this centuries old debate here is a link containing a fairly exhaustive summary of the historical context and comparative differences between what we now call Calvinism and Arminianism.

11/04/2005 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...


Please excuse me, but I seem to be feeling the whole "I am of Paul" or "I am of Apollos" syndrome here!

"They shall know the truth, and the truth shall set them free." I may not know Calvin, Luther, Wesley, or others, but I know the same truth that was handed down to them centuries ago!

11/05/2005 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ron I think that analogy fits for the most part but I also believe it's a blessing to be able to discuss these issues together in a spirit of love. Would you like to debate that???? ;-)

11/06/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Funny, Kc!

Pastor Timothy, thank you for your response. I am going to have to take some time, and study those Scripture references you gave me, and really ponder with an open mind excactly what the Bible is teaching. So, I will possible post something on my site when I reach any sort of a conclusion. Thanks for taking the time to write out all those references.

11/06/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

The god of the TULIP camp seems to be a real prick.

11/06/2005 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey I will be totally honest and say that the first time I heard the TULIP I was revolted. Then I began to meet and discuss it with those who adhere to the Calvinist doctrines and I am convinced their understanding and love of God and their understanding and appreciation of His grace is perfectly in line with scripture. While I don’t agree with their interpretation in many passages that relate to who and how God has imputed His grace and mercy and to the responsibility of man, I do find as a whole their devotion to Him is exemplary. ;-)

11/07/2005 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

What choice do they have? According to them, God is believing and being devoted through them. They're sanctified sock-puppets.


11/07/2005 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorsey I’m tempted to rebut but to be honest I’m not familiar enough with how they deal with the “war of the wills” after soul salvation.

11/08/2005 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

You know, I think one of the largest misconceptions of reformed theology is that it denies choice. This could not be further from the truth. Calvinism merely asserts the bondage of the will. I make choices everyday; red or white shirt, boxers or briefs, coke or tea, etc. What I don't do everyday is make choices that surprise god. I have never worn the shirt god was not expecting me to wear. I have never prayed the prayer his spirit had not kindly led me to pray. I have 'prayed' coporately(?) before (ie. Father God, we just, we just... love YOU father god, and we just pray Lord.. etc.) but I would hardly call that prayer. My point is, I believe certain things about god which are incontravertibly inconsistent with the notion of a 'free will'. God who knows all, can do all, and creates all, is not to be moved by my pathetic choices. What choice could I have ever made without Christ holding me and reality together to begin with (Colossians 1). I cannot help but believe that he really is in control, and irreproachably and insurmountably so.

11/09/2005 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger RF2R2 said...

By the way, I like the word 'sock-puppet'. It makes me happy.

11/09/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brandon, Dorsey, have you looked in on Kristi’s post? At present we’ve coined a term called “freed will” you might find interesting.

11/09/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

That's me!!! ... and what a fitting label for me. Can I borrow this quote from you to post on my blog in the next week?

12/05/2005 01:28:00 PM  

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