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Sunday, May 14, 2006

In reply…Reformed or Roman?

Adam has offered a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the Protestant Pub that he seems to consider is in support of the philosophy adopted by those that adhere to the principles of Lordship Salvation. While it is difficult, to say the least, for me to ascertain specifically what Bonhoeffer's intent is from this quote, Adam contends that the "costly grace" that Bonhoeffer speaks of is grace obtained through meritorious works, or sacraments, and equates these works to faith. This position would seem to me to be far more in line with Roman thinking than with Reformed theology.

My contention here is not with Reformed Theology but with the extended form of Determinist philosophy adopted by those within the Lordship Salvation movement. Whether intentional or not, this form of Determinism places human logic and reason above the scripture in order to arrive at a doctrine which teaches that if a man is the recipient of God's grace then he will necessarily submit to God's will and that grace indeed is only attained through submission to the will of God. This doctrine ignores the fact that God is no respecter of persons and that grace is not bestowed on a man because of his righteousness or meritorious works, but only because of God’s sovereign choice to do so. The clear scriptural doctrines on submission are completely ignored in order to avoid contending with the fact that God has imposed on man the necessity of choice in this matter. The very thought of God imposing on man any form of choice at all rails in the face of their Determinist philosophy, not against Reformed Theology. Nevertheless the scriptural calls for submission insist that we present ourselves as a living sacrifice.

Our life can only be transformed if we submit to God and only a believer can submit. Scripture does not indicate that transformation to be a foregone conclusion. Romans 12 states this can only occur through the renewing of our mind (Vs. 2) after having submitted our body for sacrifice (Vs. 1). The necessity for daily submission to Christ is overlooked when we expect the transformation to be automatic by virtue of the spirit birth. Grace and works are two distinct and separate issues that are only confused by this radical form of Determinism.

The Determinist would rather believe that submission is a foregone conclusion that will be evidenced in the life of a believer and this ideology has resulted in a backlash within the Church in which true believers fail to build on the solid foundation of faith in Christ Jesus simply because they are kept unaware of their own responsibility to submit to God. The popular misconception that our life will be transformed by virtue of our conversion is the cause for many today to turn from their assembly. Determinism defines the Church as a moral immigration service where all that enter in must first have their fruit inspected in order to be certain that there are none “illegal” and yet even with all these moral safeguards (righteous works) in place it seems to the Lordship advocate that these illegal persons obviously get in anyway. This, they say, is evidenced by their lack of purity, which by necessity of Determinism is the indication that these persons were never elect and should never have been accepted into the Church. This thinking only serves to relieve the Church of the responsibility of discipline, the believer of the responsibility of submission and the unbeliever of the responsibility to choose to believe in the name of Jesus Christ.

Is God really less sovereign because He imposes these choices on His own creation?

Labels: ,

37 Comments:

Blogger pecheur said...

"Determinist"

I have been accused of calling my Calvinst brethren (chosen by the grace of God, AMEN-to heck with the rest of all the unelect) "determinist" and even "fatalist".

But you. I am shocked at such name calling. (that's suppose to be funny)

5/14/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I just call Adam my very beloved brother in Christ and sometimes refer to him as my scriptural attorney. He loves lables and picked that one for him self. He keeps trying to get me to pick one for myself but so far I only claim to be a believer. ;-)

5/14/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

With "beloved"ness as that, who needs malevolence?

No, just being funny.

Wishing you well

See ya

5/14/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

haha Pech its true. I suppose few might take the time to look beyond our arguments but I really think the world of Adam and he knows it well. ;-)

5/14/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I do not think Bonhoeffer was terribly sound in doctrine.

I agree with you, Kc.

God Bless

Matthew

5/14/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

"While it is difficult, to say the least, for me to ascertain specifically what Bonhoeffer's intent is from this quote, Adam contends that the "costly grace" that Bonhoeffer speaks of is grace obtained through meritorious works, or sacraments, and equates these works to faith. This position would seem to me to be far more in line with Roman thinking than with Reformed theology."

We receive grace through things we do. This is agreed upon by all. We receive the grace of God (justification) through something we do (believe).

If we likewise consider that grace is only getting what we don't deserve, then there is no reason to limit this lable of 'grace' to justification alone. We don't deserve anything. We are putrid. We don't deserve the blessings of God. Therefore, when God does bless us, we are being graced.

Now, if God blesses us through something we do, just as He did with justification and faith, than that which is being blessed through is a means of grace.

For just as we would not receive justification if that vehicle of faith wasn't there, so we wouldn't receive certain blessings if certain vehicles are there.

We speak of this all the time. We say, 'Oh, you missed a blessing', when we speak to someone that missed a particular service. Or we consider it a blessing to go out and help feed the poor at a soup kitchen or what have you.

These actions of ours are means through which we are blessed. If we didn't do these actions, the blessings would not be given.

"My contention here is not with Reformed Theology but with the extended form of Determinist philosophy adopted by those within the Lordship Salvation movement. Whether intentional or not, this form of Determinism places human logic and reason above the scripture in order to arrive at a doctrine which teaches that if a man is the recipient of God's grace then he will necessarily submit to God's will and that grace indeed is only attained through submission to the will of God."

God is logical, God wrote the bible, therefore that which is logical is above the Scriptures.

Kc, you yourself believe that grace is only attained through submission to God's will. Surely you would think it is God's will for a man to believe. So belief is God's will. And most definately you believe that the grace of justification is only given through belief. Therefore, you believe that grace (justification) is only attained through submission (belief) to the will of God (that man should believe).

Unless of course you think that it is God's will not for man to believe, or perhaps that the grace of justification can be attained through some other means. Perhaps a person can be completely out of the will of God and yet still attain the grace of justification...

"This doctrine ignores the fact that God is no respecter of persons and that grace is not bestowed on a man because of his righteousness or meritorious works, but only because of God’s sovereign choice to do so."

This is important. I put this response on my blog. If grace is only bestowed upon a man because of God's choice, then we cannot say that we are saved because we believe. We would only be able to say that we are saved through our belief, and then say it is because of God's choice.

If we say that we are saved because we believe, then we truly have been rewarded for doing something meritorious. We believed, and then God gave us the reward or wage for our belief.

But this is not what we believe. We are not given any reason to boast. If that was true (that we are saved because we believe), then we would have reason to boast. I could say, I believed, Joe didn't believe, God saved me because I believed, Joe wasn't saved, therefore I have done something worthy of God's grace.

"The clear scriptural doctrines on submission are completely ignored in order to avoid contending with the fact that God has imposed on man the necessity of choice in this matter. The very thought of God imposing on man any form of choice at all rails in the face of their Determinist philosophy, not against Reformed Theology. Nevertheless the scriptural calls for submission insist that we present ourselves as a living sacrifice."

I do not understand this point. Simply because we are called to submit, that doesn't mean we have a choice in the matter. Me telling my dog to fly doesn't mean he can fly. God telling us to submit doesn't mean we can always submit.

I think that is the point you were attempting to make. It is a common charge against determinism. Why would God tell us to do something we cannot do, it is said. My response is simply why not? There is nothing inherent within a command that speaks anything about the ability of the one commanded.

"Our life can only be transformed if we submit to God and only a believer can submit. Scripture does not indicate that transformation to be a foregone conclusion. Romans 12 states this can only occur through the renewing of our mind (Vs. 2) after having submitted our body for sacrifice (Vs. 1). The necessity for daily submission to Christ is overlooked when we expect the transformation to be automatic by virtue of the spirit birth. Grace and works are two distinct and separate issues that are only confused by this radical form of Determinism."

I do not know if you have assumed that I, a determinist, advocate that transformation is automatic by virtue of the spirit birth. I readily admit that it is a process. I just maintain that it is a necessary process.

And I believe rightly that a life can only be transformed (grace) if we submit to God (if the means of grace is present).

If you say that the transformation of our life is not a grace, then you would have to say that we deserve it, and I would simply ask, 'what have we done to deserve it?'

We must submit to God to be graced (renewed) through our submission.
We must believe in God to be graced (justified) through our belief.
We must obey God to be graced (blessed) through the sacraments.

We are not renewed or justified or blessed because of our submission or our belief or the sacraments. Those things did not merit the graces of God. They are simply necessary means for the grace to be conveyed.

"The Determinist would rather believe that submission is a foregone conclusion that will be evidenced in the life of a believer and this ideology has resulted in a backlash within the Church in which true believers fail to build on the solid foundation of faith in Christ Jesus simply because they are kept unaware of their own responsibility to submit to God."

I hope you do not think every determinist denies the responsibility of man. I have never denied the responsibility of man to obey God. And you cannot say that every determinist believes that submission is a foregone conclusion that will be evidenced in the life of the believer. That is a misrepresentation.

Submission is not the foregone conclusion that will be evidenced in the life of the believer, it is rather the evidence of the foregone conclusion of believing. There is a difference.

You seem to suggest that I am teaching that a person must submit entirely at the point of justification, and then live there life with the fruit of such submission. That is not what I am teaching. I am teaching that a person must submit (yes) at the point of their justification, and if this submission is genuine, if Jesus really is their LORD, then they will live their life with the fruit of such genuine conversion. They will have further submission occur.

"The popular misconception that our life will be transformed by virtue of our conversion is the cause for many today to turn from their assembly. Determinism defines the Church as a moral immigration service where all that enter in must first have their fruit inspected in order to be certain that there are none “illegal” and yet even with all these moral safeguards (righteous works) in place it seems to the Lordship advocate that these illegal persons obviously get in anyway. This, they say, is evidenced by their lack of purity, which by necessity of Determinism is the indication that these persons were never elect and should never have been accepted into the Church. This thinking only serves to relieve the Church of the responsibility of discipline, the believer of the responsibility of submission and the unbeliever of the responsibility to choose to believe in the name of Jesus Christ."

Our life will be transformed, Kc. You have to believe that as well. If you don't believe there is any difference in the preconverted person and the postconverted person, then I think we have more disagreement than my determinism. The very idea that we have within us a new resident is sign enough that some manner of transformation has occured. After we believe we are transformed. Our life is no longer the same, we are not who we use to be.

As far as your mischaracterization that Determinism posits some type of fruit inspected requirement before 'getting in', I think that is unfair. I, specifically, am merely teaching that you cannot have faith without works to follow. If someone comes to me and says they have faith, but they don't have any of the fruit, I am simply asking them to show me their faith. How do I know it is real? How do I know that their belief in God is no different than a demon's belief in God? I would not commune with a demon, or fellowship with a demon, simply because they say they have belief in God and Christ. I would not call a demon brother. But the only way that I can know, the only tool I have been given, is to look at what their belief has produced.

Jam 2:18-20 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. (19) You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe--and they shudder. (20) Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?

"Is God really less sovereign because He imposes these choices on His own creation?"

Kc, if a choice is 'imposed' upon a creature, it is not a free choice now is it? :D

And the word I have to type in to verify this comment is only one letter too many of saying the blessed food of God. It is gumbyo...I am salivating.

5/14/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, if works are a test of true faith, should a person be put out of fellowship for an absence of positive good works?

Let us say a professing Christian tithes his income and goes to church, but has never been involved in any kind of Christian ministry or evangelism, has a generally impatient and unpleasent character, but has never been involved in any kind of serious immorality.

Is it at all possible that this person's conduct might merit his excommunication from fellowship despite his lack of involvement in any definite immoral action?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/15/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew, Adam thanks for your understanding.

Adam I'm sorry I don't have time at the moment for a full apology but I will offer it soon. I know this is a real twist but I must tell you that we will be arguing between Sacramental and Reformed Theology with me being Pro-Reformed!!!

We receive grace through faith and power by faith. Faith is not to toil and toil or works is what you propose here. I will rely heavily on Hebrews 11 to illustrate the concept of power by faith and for grace through faith I will probably use too many verses but the kicker of course is Hebrews 11:6.

This is a great study Adam and I really appreciate this opportunity. May God bless us all in our understanding.

5/15/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

God is logical, God wrote the bible, therefore that which is logical is above the Scriptures.

Adam, if God places His word above His name, do you honestly believe that He is going to make His word subject to human logic?

I know that every human has a free will, and has the right to interpret the word of God as they see fit. But with that right, comes the responsibility to interpret it correctly.

5/15/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

The idea that we're blessed by doing is fine, but you're equating that blessing with grace. Not the same.

And you lost me when you limited God to logic.

5/15/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Seeker said...

Kc,
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to post your next "sermon" on the following passage, and entitle it "Apostasy - A conscious, continued rejection of the truth after knowing it, prior to embracing it, and from which there is no recovery."
I will be sitting front row, center.
:-}

Hebrews 10:19-39

19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY " And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE."
31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,
33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.
34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

5/15/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

At this point, I would highly recommend Zane Hodges' commentary on Hebrews in the Bible Knowledge Commentary (ed. Walvoord and Zuck).

He argues that apostasy is a genuine possbility for Christians, which results in loss of heavenly privilege, but not loss of eternal life.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/15/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Nunzia said...

another great post. a lot to think of here!

God bless you!

5/15/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Matthew, I would never say a person is to be put out of fellowship for absence of good works. I didn't even know we were speaking about 'putting out' of fellowship or not. I thought we were merely talking about whether grace comes at a cost or not.

Kc, I thought you didn't like labels? And I never thought the day would come when you would be arguing reformed and I not...I think hell just froze over. And I have never posited that faith is either to toil or to work. When something is a work, it is done with an inherent payment attached to it. If you work for someone, you get wages. If you just do the 'job' and yet do not require any manner of payment, you are not working, you are just lending your services. In the same way, we can believe, and yet not have this be a 'work' in that it is not meritorious. We do believe, yet our belief is not meritorious, and hence it is not a 'work'. If it was a 'work' we would expect to be rewarded for it. The same for the means of grace. They are not 'works' in that they are not meritorious. They do not receive grace because they are done, but rather grace is received through them. God does not bestow grace and blessings upon the believer because the believe eats the bread, but rather He bestows it upon the believer through the eating of the bread. The eating of the bread did not merit the grace, but it was necessary for the grace to be bestowed. Just as we are not justified because we believe, but the justification is given through our belief. I mean afterall, how would you be blessed by just sitting there and doing nothing. You must eat the flesh to experience the closeness of partaking of the LORD's body. Must you not?

Gordon, I would never say logic is human. If logic is human. That would mean that it was a human device. Which would mean God doesn't use it. Or God is not logical. Meaning God is illogical. Meaning that God could both be God and not God at the same time. This would be no problem for Him. Or perhaps God could both be good and be evil. And I don't remember reading within the Word where God put His Word above His name. I had assumed His name was the highest of all, holier than anything else.

Dorsey, we are graced when we receive what we don't deserve. We don't deserve justification, but we receive it nonetheless. Hence we are graced by receiving the justification. In the exact same way, we don't deserve the blessings of God, but we receive them nonetheless. Hence we are graced by receiving the blessings of God. We are blessed by doing and through our doing. Just as we are justified by believing and through our belief.

Matthew again, you really need to find another theologian besides Hodges. Your love affair with him is worse than most Calvinist with John Calvin. I have never even really read Calvin, and yet I am Calvinist. You being infatuated with Hodges would most definately make you a Hodginist.

5/15/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I love you guys. Karen I want to borrow your "highlighter" (grin).

I would like to do a lengthy preface before commenting but I think most here know me well enough to know that I don't consider agreement in understanding necessary for our fellowship. I am confident that each of us has no goal other than the truth and the whole truth has yet to be revealed. As far as I'm concerned we can disagree on everything up to the fact that God is I AM and that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. If we fail to agree that the scripture is completely true then we will have little to discuss, but if we do then scripture is the only valid argument in any discussion with me regardless of how seemingly logical your arguments might be. I have stated before that logic fails because of the lack of knowledge.

Adam I’m not surprised that we wind up where we do on these issues. While I don’t accept the TULIP I may actually be more Calvinist than you! (hehe) Some labels are great. Believer, son of God, brother…all I like very much. ;-)

Before we enter into the debate over theology I’d like to press the philosophical issues. I sincerely believe God is omniscient making only His logic flawless. This further testifies to the validity of His word in spite of our understanding. It is given with all knowledge, but not all knowledge is given. With that in view WE should always look to His word and "lean not to your own understanding".

What I am reading is that you consider grace and blessings interchangeable and you have assigned a "reason" for each of these. Only God knows the reason for grace, mercy and blessings and that knowledge is only partially revealed in the scripture. Whatever reason we assign to an act of God beyond those defined by scripture is purely conjecture on our part. We do as God commands, not because we understand Him, but because we trust Him. That trust is not a blind faith, but a childlike faith that obeys without understanding.

Given the logic behind the philosophy of determinism it is virtually useless to pray for another as what is and will be has already been determined and then comes the scripture. It assures us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much and we find that ye have not because ye ask not. Given the wealth of instruction to pray for specific things under specific circumstances with the full expectation of altering the situation, if we then charge God by virtue of what we perceive as His determinate will we not only accuse Him unjustly but we reject His instruction as unruly children for no other reason than we trust in our own understanding and not in Him and His word. It seems you equate sovereignty with control as if being all-powerful means to be all controlling and being all knowing is to have determined all.

My question is this; does your logic and philosophy take precedence over the scripture?

5/15/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, yeah, I am in the Zane Hodges Free Grace Cult.

Actually, I disagree with Hodges over the Rapture (he is Pre-Trib, I am Post-Trib) and he probably favours Baptist ecclesiology.

I favour John Nelson Darby over ecclesiology and Robert Gundry on eschatology.

Adam, the reason I asked you about church discipline was that you view good works as evidence of true conversion, I think.

So, if somebody lacked such evidence, would it not be right on your view to have no fellowship with them? Surely it would be a matter of the purity of God's assembly.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

5/15/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

The purity of God's assembly.

Could someone define that phrase for me? Just how pure is pure? It appears to me that the only pure assembly is no assembly at all, except for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

5/15/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse, pure by virtue of the imputation of Christ righteousness. Those who fail to believe in Him don't have this so we can't consider them part of the body but rather in need of Christ righteousness.

5/15/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Adam, historically, logic has been a human device. You yourself are using logic to arrive at the conclusion that you hold to in this. Study Hebrews 11 concerning the definition of faith and you will see that God's ways cannot be confined to logic at all. God's wisdom cannot be understood by logic.

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm 138:2

5/15/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Kc, I understand the concept just as you have explained it. But what seems to be emerging here is the idea that we can judge those who confess Christ according to their merits. That's hogwash.

Didn't Christ's parable say that the master commanded the servants to let the tares grow up alongside the wheat lest the wheat be damaged? They would be distinguished at harvest time by the Lord of the harvest, not by the other stalks of wheat.

5/16/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, I'd love it if you were more Calvinist than I. That way you could be the brunt of the Calvinist jokes. But I actually think I get picked upon more because of my determinism than because of my Calvinism. Most are allright with Calvinism, not all can swallow the idea that God doesn't even have freewill (of which you know I believe). :)

I agree completely that we should lean upon our own understanding...err...I mean, upon the Scriptures. ;)

I do not consider grace and blessings interchangeable. A blessing is always a grace, but a grace is not always a blessing. The way I am defining grace is that it is anything you receive that you don't deserve. A blessing is just something that blesses you. A paycheck can bless you, but it is not grace. You deserve your paycheck, you worked for it. I think that it would help our conversation along if you were to define what you mean by grace. I am using it in the general idea of whatever we don't deserve, I am curious as to why you are so against this definition. Or what it is within your mind that you think 'grace' is that would forbid blessings from being considered a grace.

I have a simple question regarding prayer. Where are we commanded to pray with the purpose of 'altering the situation'? We are commanded to pray. Yes. We are commanded to pray that certain things would happen. Yes. But I was unaware of anywhere where we were commanded to pray so that we would change what was going to happen.

Jesus tells us to pray, 'Our Father in heaven...give us our daily bread'. But He does not say to pray this so that you will receive it. Or if you don't pray this you won't receive it. He doesn't say, 'You are not going to get your daily bread, but if you pray this, then the future will change, and you will actually get your daily bread when you were originally not going to.'

The way I have always understood prayer is that it is a sign of devotion. We fall upon our faces and cry out to our LORD. We worship Him by confessing that we are nothing, and that without Him we can do nothing. We tell Him what we want, knowing that He alone can provide for us. Prayer is a worshipful act or submission and humility.

But I was unaware (or I never assumed) that it was a means by which we control the future. I didn't know it was a power the Christian welded by which He petitioned the mighty deity to change the minds of the fate's.

And I do equate sovereignty with control. A sovereign of a land has complete control over the land. If he hasn't complete control, then he shares control. Hence he shares sovereignty. But I hope you don't grab ahold of 'control' and assume this means the control a puppet-master has over a puppet. That is control, yes. But it is not the only way 'control' can be used. The president has control over the army, but he is not the one firing the weapons.

I hope to God my logic and philosophy does not take precedence over the Scriptures. Hopefully the conclusions that I have regarding God and God's actions are derived from Scripture, and explained by my logic. When I read that God does not change, and that God created all, I then swim within the depths of logic to understand eternity and its absence of time. Or when I read that Jesus is God, and the Spirit is God and the Father is God, but there is only one God, I use my logic and philosophy to attempt to understand this; I say, there is three persons within this one being, God.

Matthew, we'll have to discuss your post-trib ideas sometime. I lean in that direction myself. And what do you mean by baptist ecclesiology. If you are referring to the God-forsaken self-exaultation of decons to positions they were never meant to be, then we may be in agreement. ;)

And no, I would not recommend forsaking fellowship with someone who lacks 'good works'. The only reason I have found within Scripture to excuse someone from the fellowship of the church is for unrepentant bad works. Paul commands the Corinthian church to turn the unrepentant brother over to Satan, but we never find Jesus or Paul commanding the church to do so for those taht are 'stagnate' in their faith.

Gordon, strange, the HCSB reads such:

Psa 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your constant love and faithfulness. You have exalted Your name and Your promise above everything else.

The NASB says,

2I will bow down (A)toward Your holy temple
And (B)give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have (C)magnified Your word according to all Your name.

The ESV,

2I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.[a]

I think this is just another example of ole King Jimmy making another booboo.

Gordon, which conclusion, specifically, do you think that I have arrived at using logic which is inconsistent with the Scripture's testimony. Please help me here, I don't want to err in this manner. Also, could you be specific where in Hebrews eleven it says God's ways cannot be confined to logic, or His wisdom understood by it. I would readily admit that God's ways cannot be confined to logic, but this doesn't mean they are illogical. You can say that God's ways are logical, without limiting those ways. It is logic that says a cannot be both a and not-a. Logic says that God cannot both create Adam and not create Adam at the same time. This is not a limitation on God, it is just the way reality works. Unless you think that God could both create Adam and not create Adam in the same way at the same time. Do you? And simply because we could never even dream of discovering the bottom of God's wisdom, or grasping the full extent of it, using logic, this doesn't mean that we cannot use this logic to understand a portion. Why would God give us reasoning capabilities, if He never meant for us to exercise them? If our reason can tell us absolutely nothing about God, His ways, or His wisdom, and by virtue reality (as God is so closely related to reality), then what the heck good is our reasoning? Would you compare it to our imagination? Perhaps God gave us a mind to dream of pink unicorns and flying elephants and to attempt not at all to understand the world around us...

5/16/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Why am I so long-winded?

5/16/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Because God ordained you to be so?

5/16/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

The moment I see the words "Lordship Salvation" is the moment my eyes glaze over... I can no longer debate the topic...
Blessings
Timothy

5/16/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Seems like a very good conversation, and I'm itching to get involved, but I just don't have the time right now!

Just wanted to drop in real quick and say Hi!

5/16/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Dorse that is the idea put forth by Lordship Salvation (LS) proponents that is being adopted by many conservative Evangelicals.

Adam I agree it is the determinist philosophy that brings grief. I really don’t agree with the TULIP but Calvinism does allow for the carnal Christian. It only contends that a true Christian will become obedient at some point prior to death but I find the scripture to give numerous examples where this is not the case. LS adherents assume that if God determines to save us and salvation is unto good works then good works it shall be otherwise there is no salvation. It’s quite logical, 2 +2 = 4, but unscriptural, eternal life is the gift of God and obedience is not requisite to the gift nor is it assured by it. Furthermore the good works as yet go undefined but are not works at all but rather “not” works or things that “a Christian” would never do. Again the scripture proves this in error but this does not circumvent the LS adherent from denying the grace of God wherever sin is present. This to is unscriptural as we find that where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

Adam what if we consider sovereignty as authority and power rather than control. With this possibility in mind could you then see that we are to approach the throne of grace boldly that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need? This grace from God is not earned through pious works then it is no more grace, but it is found in Jesus Christ through faith.

Pastor you know I understand.

Kristi join in when you can. (and hi back ~waving~ (hehe).)

5/16/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Jesus talks about "free indeed." Determinism paints Jesus as the King of Kings and of bait-and-switch marketers. If determinism is true, then we're in the Matrix. None of this matters.

That part sounds gnostic to me.

5/16/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Adam, Gordon, which conclusion, specifically, do you think that I have arrived at using logic which is inconsistent with the Scripture's testimony.

The conclusion where you stated that logic is above the Word of God.

As for Hebrews 11, the first verse describes faith as being the evidence and substance of things that we cannot see. I realize that this is speaking primarily of physical sight, but could it not also include those things which cannot be proven?

Verse 3 states that it is by faith we understand that the world was formed by the Word of God. This conclusion only becomes logical to us when we first believe that God is, and that He created the worlds.

The problem with logic (and I am not advocating abandoning it) is that it is subjective to the scope of human knowledge and understanding. These are limitations that are naturally placed upon it. God obviously is bigger than this. (See, I am using logic) Also, whether we are conscious of it or not, our logic is usually biased by our presuppositions.

In regard to the verse in Psalms, even the translations you quoted at least equate the Word of God with the name of God. I just think the statement that logic was above the Scripture was a bit over the top.

5/16/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I like what Dorsey just said about the bait and switch. The determinist presents Christ saying this: "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." when He secretly means this: "You will come unto me, all you who have been chosen before the foundation of the world, and you will be perfected."

There are many of these offers, but if the determinist is right, they are offers that are not real. They are not genuine. How could we believe this of GOD?

5/16/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

BTW KC, you need to check out the Mrs. blog... :)
http://down4anap.blogspot.com/
Timothy

5/16/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Real quick...I'll respond to everyone else later.

But Gordon, read me again. I never stated that logic was above the Word of God. I only stated that that which is logical was above the Word of God.

I said that God is logical, and God is above the Word of God, therefore that which is logical is above the Word of God.

Understand the difference?

5/16/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

"Just so you'll know", I am reading and enjoying this great conversation.


Also.....I just have to put this in....:
I believe we poor created fallen human beings can never figure God out much less know Him fully with reason and logic, His ways are higher than our ways.

So reason and logic would have to conclude that someone who's ways are higher than someone elses can always know by reason why someone with lower ways does what that someone does. At the same time reason & logic would have to conclude that someone who ways are lower than someone elses could never know by reason why someone with higher ways does what that someone does.









Does that sound reasonable? hehehe

5/16/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sorry Kris. I just don't understand why you do what you do. (grin)

Love ya brother. ;-)

(Rose great to have you guys back) ;-)

5/16/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, please define what you mean by 'control' which would stand against authority or power.

And I am no advocating here that the grace of God is earned through pious works. I have never advocated that. I have only said that it comes through pious works. The pious works are only the means of the grace, they are not meritirious resulting in the grace.

5/16/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Adam, that which is logical is arrived at by logic. Am I correct? God doesn't use logic because He is omniscient. Therefore logic is a human discipline. Even if logic was divine, your statement would imply that the Word of God could be less than logical. That is an illogical statement.

5/17/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Herobill said...

KC, your next post seems to have a bad link (the one that says 71 comments!)

5/18/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

'Adam, that which is logical is arrived at by logic. Am I correct?'

You are partly correct. It is logical to say that 2 + 2 = 4. And you can derive this truth by using logic. However, you needn't do so. One can observe that when you place two biscuits (how is that for random) beside two biscuits you get four biscuits. This would not be deriving this truth by using logic, it would simply be an observation.

Well I dunno. Gordon, real fast, define logic. ;)

5/19/2006 05:53:00 PM  

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