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TIME names "New Calvinism" 3rd Most Powerful Idea Changing the World
TIME Magazine ^ | March 12, 2009 | David Van Biema

Posted on 02/28/2010 8:30:39 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege

John Calvin's 16th century reply to medieval Catholicism's buy-your-way-out-of-purgatory excesses is Evangelicalism's latest success story, complete with an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination's logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.

Calvinism, cousin to the Reformation's other pillar, Lutheranism, is a bit less dour than its critics claim: it offers a rock-steady deity who orchestrates absolutely everything, including illness (or home foreclosure!), by a logic we may not understand but don't have to second-guess. Our satisfaction — and our purpose — is fulfilled simply by "glorifying" him. In the 1700s, Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards invested Calvinism with a rapturous near mysticism. Yet it was soon overtaken in the U.S. by movements like Methodism that were more impressed with human will. Calvinist-descended liberal bodies like the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) discovered other emphases, while Evangelicalism's loss of appetite for rigid doctrine — and the triumph of that friendly, fuzzy Jesus — seemed to relegate hard-core Reformed preaching (Reformed operates as a loose synonym for Calvinist) to a few crotchety Southern churches.

No more. Neo-Calvinist ministers and authors don't operate quite on a Rick Warren scale. But, notes Ted Olsen, a managing editor at Christianity Today, "everyone knows where the energy and the passion are in the Evangelical world" — with the pioneering new-Calvinist John Piper of Minneapolis, Seattle's pugnacious Mark Driscoll and Albert Mohler, head of the Southern Seminary of the huge Southern Baptist Convention. The Calvinist-flavored ESV Study Bible sold out its first printing, and Reformed blogs like Between Two Worlds are among cyber-Christendom's hottest links.

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: backto1500; calvin; calvinism; calvinist; christians; epicfail; evangelicals; influence; johncalvin; nontruths; predestination; protestant; reformation; reformedtheology; time; topten; tulip
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To: xzins; Dr. Eckleburg; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan

“If, as Jeremiah says, the heart is “deceitful above all things”, then this good soil happened at some point after their conception and before their conversion.”

It seems to me that God works to prepare the soil of most men, while men typically resist. And that happens from birth until we either convert, die, or God gives us over to our evil nature.

” 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” - Matt 5

If we are to imitate God, we must love those who hate us, and give good gifts to our enemies, and not just our friends.

This passage indicates God’s love, not just for the elect, but for those who hate him. That is why I find it so odd that some would say God hates the non-elect. We are called to love all, because of God’s example, so how could God not love all the world? Even though it hates him, God loves...and is patient, and merciful, and giving. Until he decides it has gone far enough, and he judges man.

Think of the example of the vineyard (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%205&version=ESV), where God gives it everything - and still it rejects him. In the end, he judges - but not until he has first proven his love many times over.

So it is with man. God gives us love, and mercy, and withholds judgement - not forever, but certainly until we have proven our evil beyond any question.

Consider Hosea 2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&version=ESV). It should make us weak with guilt at our hard hearts, and overwhelm us with God’s mercy!


701 posted on 03/07/2010 7:09:23 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: Elsie
I'm not involved in the main debate. I pinged you to a sidebar because I believe you are also engaging the same correspondent on a different thread. It was a "heads up" ping.
702 posted on 03/07/2010 8:39:49 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mr Rogers; HarleyD; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg; raynearhood; xzins; RnMomof7; ...
Here is a question for you. Paul wrote:

19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. - 1 Cor 9

Who did Paul think he was, that he “might save some”?

Here is an entire sermon on the subject:

“BY ALL MEANS, SAVE SOME” NO. 1170 A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, APRIL 26, 1874, BY C. H. SPURGEON

The short of the sermon is that Paul knew very well who does ALL of the saving, and Paul was not afraid to use this language because he knew his readers/listeners would understand exactly where he was coming from. The attention remains on God and we are used by God as His instrumentalities for HIM to save men. God could have saved in a thousand different ways, but He chose to use men to preach the Good News (faith by hearing). Paul is grateful and pleased that God had chosen him to witness this through him.

703 posted on 03/07/2010 8:41:38 PM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Mr Rogers
[All quotes from What Can The Dead in Sin Do? Submitted by Ben Henshaw on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 9:27am] Nowhere in Scripture is such a strict parallel drawn. To be dead in sins means that we are cut off from the relationship with God that is necessary for spiritual life.

What's the difference? I have no problem looking at it this way.

Our sin separates us from a holy God and causes spiritual death. This is both actual and potential. The sinner is presently “dead” because, in the absence of faith, he is not enjoying life giving union with Christ. The sinner is potentially dead because if he continues in this state he will be forever cut off from the presence of the Lord in Hell (2 Thess. 1:9). [9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”-ESV]

I am fine with this, and I do not see any meaningful distinction between this and the Calvinist position. This just adds another category for no apparent reasons.

But this leads to absurdities and demonstrates that pressing this parallel between those who are spiritually dead and physically dead is unwise and without Scriptural support. If the analogy is accurate then spiritually dead people should not be able to do anything more than corpses can do, which is plainly absurd. A single example will suffice.

This is the paragraph that first tells me the author is not serious. He is inventing a straw man in claiming this parallel and then blaming Calvinists for his OWN implications and extensions. Calvinists do not speak of spiritually dead not being able to "do anything", whatever that means. And I don't know what the author means by "anything more". If he means earn salvation then he is right that this is the Calvinist belief, i.e. that physical corpses cannot earn their salvations any more than spiritually dead people can. If he means something else then I don't know what he is talking about.

The Bible plainly teaches that those who are dead in sin resist the Holy Spirit. Now have you ever seen a corpse resist something? Of course not. So if we adopt the implications of the Calvinistic definition of “dead in sin” then we must deny that anyone who is dead in sin can resist the Holy Spirit or reject the gospel (Acts 7:51; 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 John 4:10; Rom. 10:21). [ 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.—ESV][10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.—ESV] ......

The author misinterprets all of these passages, and then falsely tries to pin this "do anything more than a corpse" rule on Calvinists, which HE invented. Of course being dead in sin means resisting all that is good, and all that God stands for and teaches. For the lost there is no other ability or course of action to take. Therefore, this is a false argument.

“You’re pushing it too far” says the Calvinist. Really?

No, we would not say this is pushing it too far since it has zero relation to Calvinism. These arguments only push a fictitious belief system that the author has invented for the purpose of attacking.

We are either as spiritually useless as a physical corpse or we need to abandon the parallel.

Please tell me this author is not trying to say that sinning according to nature is being spiritually useful?!?! :) YIKES!

704 posted on 03/07/2010 11:58:13 PM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Mr Rogers; kosta50; ShadowAce; raynearhood
“to love” is a verb. Verbs involve action. Agape is the noun, agapan is the verb, according to my books.

OK, but if you believe that God's love for us (and Jesus' love for the Father) involves action on His part then you agree with me. :)

705 posted on 03/08/2010 12:28:24 AM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: MarkBsnr
FK: ... God's word is inspired, infallible and perfect for its intended use. ...

What is its intended use for a) the Reformed elect, and b) the Reformed reprobate? Is there a difference for the two identified groups? I believe that there is substantial difference between the groups; therefore there is substantial difference between the intent of the Gospels between the two groups, correct?

Yes, I agree. The Bible is God's love letter to His children, and it draws them to belief and sanctifies them after belief. To the reprobate, much of it is nonsense. The Bible was not written to the reprobate.

FK: ... I don't think I said it that strongly. I believe that temporal happiness can certainly be enhanced by living a comparatively moral life.

Perhaps the emphasis is mine. At any rate, can you indicate that the Reformed reprobate live enhanced happier lives by a) reading the Gospels or b) by living comparatively moral lives? Do you have any evidence?

Anecdotally, there is a reported conversation between missionary E. Stanley Jones and Gandhi in which Gandhi said: “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today,”.

You asked for a theological basis so I'll use the Ten Commandments as an example. I think that it can be assumed that one is far more likely to lead a happier life if he follows them, even if he is not a believer. Sure, non-believers have a hole in their hearts making them less fulfilled individuals than believers, but I'm talking about among non-believers. It must just be true that some are happier than others during life.

FK: For example, do you believe that on average morally depraved individuals are generally happier people than those who lead moral lives?

I do not.

OK, then what are we arguing about? :) This is all I'm saying. The origin of morality itself is God, so it is also in the scriptures and we (and the reprobate) get it from there. God also gives everyone some level of it at conception.

FK: The grace that the elect receive does not take the form of a "docu-dump" of knowledge.

What form does it take? Many of the Reformed posting on here are sure of their salvation, which surely includes certain knowledge.

As I said, the eyes and ears being opened. Knowledge comes later such that, for instance, one can be sure of his salvation. Many opened eyes and ears perceive such Biblical truths (knowledge) right there in scripture.

Let me see if I have this straight. The Reformed Holy Spirit touches the predestined individual. Then the individual must hear the Gospel. Then he will believe. Then he will be saved.

In the normal course, yes.

If that is correct, if anything in this chain is broken, the individual will not be saved.

Well, it's really a "package deal". IOW, in the normal course it's impossible for some but not all of these things to happen after the initial regeneration (touching by the HS).

FK: It can't be taunting since neither party has any idea if the listener is reprobate or not.

Are you saying that the listener may be elect at some point in the future, but current listeners in the status of elect know?

No, one who is elect has that status from before he is born, but he is not eligible to know he is elect until he becomes a believer. Now, of the elect all of them spend some part of their lives as non-believers. During that time they are unsaved, but still elect. They are still elect because their belief and salvation is already a foregone conclusion, it's just a matter of it actually occurring within time. So, I'm saying it can't be taunting because I and the other person have no idea whether I am witnessing to an unsaved person who will later believe (elect) or an unsaved person who will never believe (reprobate).

We are taught not to throw pearls before swine, and that the seed that falls on rocky ground is wasted. Thus, a mechanical exercise for the most part.

Yes, but I take that to refer to "forcing" oneself on a clearly unwilling participant. If someone tells me to go away, but I keep witnessing to him anyway right then, then I think I am in the wrong. However, if the person is willing to listen to me, then I think it is obedient to God to witness to him regardless if he turns out to be reprobate or not. I can't know that at the time, so the error must be in favor of the potential for the person.

I find that this message of disposal of humanity to be completely alien to my reading of the Gospels, which is of a God of infinite love, and who sent His Son to die in cruel pain so that we would not have suffer in cruel pain forevermore.

I don't see how it is any different from the God you believe in since you admit He is omnipotent and could save everyone with a snap of His fingers, but chooses not to. He wouldn't even have to violate the free will problem that concerns you. He could have chosen to give everyone full information and truly left it up to people to decide. In that case virtually everyone would have chosen Heaven freely, but He did not set it up that way. Why is that not cruel but the Reformed God is? Under either system the exact same number of people wind up in hell, right? How can you say one is cruel and one is not?

706 posted on 03/08/2010 1:38:28 AM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; xzins; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; MHGinTN; TXnMA; Mr Rogers; ...
Dear AG, thank you for you explanation. I was away from the FR for a day or so (I have a life) which resulted in a self-congratulatory feeding frenzy of less then charitable character, a basketful of stuff I haven't even and a chance to read completely yet.

Responding to a dozen different posters, even just reading their posts can take a whole day, and most of them are not really prone to Laconic brevity. So, my apologies for getting back to you with considerable delay.

I do know that you and betty boop are FR's veterans who "champion atheistic and agnostic arguments" and that you two have written a book about it.

I am not sure exactly why you mention this, or what that is supposed to mean, except that you have been on the FR a long time, not that these forums necessarily change anything. I wonder what your counterparts think about your book, but if it is supposed to be a self-congratulatory testament to one's free time and effort then I am sure it is a prized possession in your library.

betty boop, marron, Texas Songwriter, P-Marlowe, spirited irish and others have brought many wonderful insights to the debate over the years. And I am honored to be joined with them in the great debate. Their arguments are eloquent, informed, piercing, logical, faithful.

Humility never struck me as a particular characteristic of people who call themselves "Christians," so self-congratulatory pats on the back are not surprising, and never lacking, it seems, in (self)flattery. Some of them are, it seems, particularly good at it.

Now, in adiditon to your credits you also write: I have observed that the presupposition most atheist/agnostic seek to achieve in their arguments is their belief that God is a hypothesis

Treating something as a hypothesis is not a "belief," AG. It is an approach to a question with conceivable but uncertain outcomes.

And from there, they usually admit only whatever evidence is acceptable to a metaphysical naturalist with the ultimate goal being to convince a Christian that God is a delusion

No doubt, there are zealots on both sides of the religious divie who seem to share an intence intolerance of anything other than their own perceived truth, and apparently even a wish for the elimination of all dissenting opinions. It volumes of their character and the nature of humanity in general, than of atheists in particular.

I give no ground whatsoever to atheists or agnostics' presupposition by simply declaring my testimony: God is not a hypothesis. He lives. His Name is I AM. I've known Him for a half century and counting.

You, and your personal and anecdotal experience, are not a proof of God's existence, AG.

The claim that One I have known so long and so well is a hypothesis is absurd on the face.

On what "face?" That something is a hypothesis is in large part dependent on the level and type of proof one is interested in. Again, your argument appears to be that your subjective experience must be true, and that somehow 'proves' to you that God (whom you can't even define) is not a hypothetical concept. We have been through this solipsistic argument before.

Thereafter, I simply convey the words of God which speak for themselves.

They are words of God to you because you are willing to believe they are. That doesn't mean they are. To the Jews, the NT words which you believe are God's words, are no different than names in a telephone directory because they refuse to believe them. The Muslims, likewise, choose to believe in the Koran as the word of God, but you and the Jews don't.

Just because one group decides what consititutes the words of God doesn't mean they are. We have been through this obvious and self-evident argument and yet it seems to have no effect, which doesn't surprise me given the mindset that uses the subjective personal experience as the ultimate litmus test of what is true and what is not.

If my correspondent has "ears to hear" he will. And if he doesn't, he won't believe anyway

That is sophism based on nothing concrete; it can be applied to any argument because that way you don't have to prove anything.

Even when I am convinced the words of God will not register with my correspondent, I nevertheless must convey them and my testimony for the sake of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are engaged in the great debate. After all, they may find something useful in their own testimony.

But of course you do, which means you are not really debating with the correspondent, but sharing self-congratulatory views with the those who will approve.

If you can't defend your beliefs with your own words, why do you bother to even engage? Just curious.

707 posted on 03/08/2010 2:14:14 AM PST by kosta50 (The world is the way it is even if YOU don't understand it)
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To: Alamo-Girl

thank you for it; but it was a busy weekend.


708 posted on 03/08/2010 5:13:24 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: kosta50
If you can't defend your beliefs with your own words, why do you bother to even engage?

I will have to remember that.

709 posted on 03/08/2010 5:14:45 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: kosta50; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; MHGinTN

kosta: In other words you believe it’s true because it’s in the book and the book is true because you believe it is!

Mankind has always lived by revelation. Revelation from the living personal God, from the spirit realm, and from other men.

Take the accusation smugly flung by you at betty boop, and other Christians in an apparent attempt at showing them to be believers in superstitious nonsense. Underlying your so-called ‘empirically’ provable accusation is the revelatory nonsense made up by moral imbeciles, most notably, Feuerbach.

Feuerbach was an idiot. It was he who declared that God is an invention of superstitious, ignorant men after he had rearranged Hegel’s pantheistic dialectic.

Hegel was a master magician, a student of Hermeticism, alchemy, Theosophy, and other such esoteric teachings. In short, mysticism is the spiritual foundation of Hegels’ dialectic, just as it is the foundation of Marx’s materialist dialectic. And just as it is the foundation of so-called ‘evolutionism,’ whether of the Darwinian, neo-Darwinian, punctuated equilibrium, or panspermia variant.

In short, the accusation you tossed at betty, et al, is itself the revelation of a man-—a lying idiot at that. And you ‘faithfully’ believe it, and believe it absolutely. Using your own words: “... you believe it’s true because Feuerbach the swindler said it and Feuerbach is true because you believe he is!”


710 posted on 03/08/2010 6:21:47 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: spirited irish

EXCELLENT POINTS, of course.

Though the Thunder from Mt Sinai

to some . . . .

would evidently be the sound of one hand clapping because the receptors are out to lunch.


711 posted on 03/08/2010 7:09:46 AM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: spirited irish; kosta50; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Quix; MHGinTN
Feuerbach was an idiot. It was he who declared that God is an invention of superstitious, ignorant men after he had rearranged Hegel’s pantheistic dialectic.

Hegel was a master magician, a student of Hermeticism, alchemy, Theosophy, and other such esoteric teachings. In short, mysticism is the spiritual foundation of Hegels’ dialectic, just as it is the foundation of Marx’s materialist dialectic. And just as it is the foundation of so-called ‘evolutionism,’ whether of the Darwinian, neo-Darwinian, punctuated equilibrium, or panspermia variant.

AMEN! Righteous!

Theosophy rules the modern mind, whether it acknowledges that fact or not. And yet it is the same error perpetuated over eons -- self-worship and not God-worship.

"We fight against mysticism and tyranny!" -- "300"

712 posted on 03/08/2010 9:51:42 AM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

INDEED.


713 posted on 03/08/2010 10:14:36 AM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: kosta50; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; spirited irish; MHGinTN; Godzilla
Thank you for your reply, dear kosta50!

We've been over your arguments many times already.

All I will repeat here is by illustration.

In all likelihood, you do not know my brother. But I do. I've known him as long as I have drawn breath and I'm 63 years old.

You may say his existence is hypothetical. But I know him personally, so your claim is absurd.

You may demand "proof" of his existence. He and I would both laugh at such a demand.

You may deny that he has said the things I aver that he has said. But I know his voice, I know he said them. So your denial means nothing to us.

In sum, concerning any debate with a Freeper who champions atheistic or agnostic claims, I will not "put myself in his shoes." Instead, I will repeat my testimony once again:

God is not a hypothesis. He lives. His Name is I AM. I've known Him for a half century and counting.

And as usual I will offer words of God for those who have "ears to hear."

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. – John 10:3-5

For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

To God be the glory, not man, never man.

714 posted on 03/08/2010 10:20:44 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: spirited irish; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; betty boop
Thank you oh so very much for your wonderful insights, dear sister in Christ!
715 posted on 03/08/2010 10:21:46 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; spirited irish; MHGinTN; Godzilla
In all likelihood, you do not know my brother. But I do... You may say his existence is hypothetical. But I know him personally, so your claim is absurd...

Thank you too, AG. To say you have a brother is not an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence under oridnary circumstances. Ordinarily, when a person says he or she has a sibling is not a hypothetical statement.

716 posted on 03/08/2010 11:06:05 AM PST by kosta50 (The world is the way it is even if YOU don't understand it)
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To: kosta50; ShadowAce; raynearhood
FK: We have the two greatest Commandments, to love God and to love one's neighbor. How can we respond to these commandments without doing anything?

Yes, but FK we need things, God doesn't, by definition. We need love, God doesn't. What would God do to the himself as an act of self love? And we all recognize that self-love is not love. Ergo, God seems to have fulfilled his purpose by creating us so he would have someone to love and someone to love him. I realize this is radical and "OMG" sort of thing, but if you think about it, what good is having all the love in you if you can't give it?

I will freely admit that I have no idea of the mechanics of the love that happens within the Trinity, just THAT it happens (because we are told it exists in scripture). But for an act that demonstrates intra-Trinitarian love I will take a GUESS, and offer the procession of the Holy Spirit (filioque or not :).

I also wouldn't imagine that it could be compared to human love because you are right, God doesn't NEED anything. This would appear to address your issue, i.e., it cannot fulfill God's purpose by creating us so he would have someone to love and someone to love him BECAUSE He doesn't NEED us to love or love Him. We do know that He WANTS these things though. He wanted to have adopted children to be His people and give Him glory, etc., so here we are.

I think my supposition that God's loving is not comparable to our own is further indicated by the fact that no where are we told that God is better or better off because He created us. IOW, God was perfect in all ways, lacking nothing, before He created. Therefore, I don't think we can say that God having (or BEING) love is missing something until He created an external object for that love.

Finally, I would disagree that self-love is not love. The Commandment is to love your neighbor as you love YOURSELF. That tells me that self-love can be very appropriate, albeit it can also be destructive. Since the latter could not apply to God, it would seem that God and self-love would not be inappropriate together at all.

717 posted on 03/08/2010 11:52:11 AM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Mr Rogers; Dr. Eckleburg; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper
“The unbeliever cannot hear the word, (1Cr 2:14) “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned”.”

“Odd, isn’t it, that Cornelius received an angel of the Lord with a message before he was saved. He was even commended. And a centurion was commended for his “great faith” - even odder, since faith is a gift, and not something the centurion could have had... “

Sarcasm aside, there is no mention of Cornelius’ “great faith” in the scriptures. What you do find in the story is God’s leading him to salvation with no mention of his exercising faith. It was all of God.

Acts 10:20, “Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” Acts 11:13-15, “And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” Acts 15:7, “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.”

“And in Acts 2, were they cut to the quick before or after they believed and were baptized?”

Vs. 37, “ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

The Holy Spirit convicted them of sin before they believed and were baptized. That is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. They were dead in trespasses and sin and quickened, brought to life, and recognized their condition.

Jhn 16:7-8, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”

“The unbeliever is separated from God, dead spiritually, just as Jesus was dead physically, and the exceeding great power that raised Jesus from the dead also quickens the unbeliever so that they can exercise the faith to be saved that was included in the abounding grace of God”

“Actually, that is wrong. Unless and until God abandons us, we are never described as so dead we cannot repent. Remember the Prodigal Son? He was dead, but he repented without his father’s kidnapping him.”

When one reads the context of the parable of the Prodigal son they will find the subject is the father’s searching for the son. It is the father’s love, not the son’s change of heart that is being taught.

Luke 15: 1-2, “All the tax collectors and sinners came to listen to Jesus. But the Pharisees and the scribes complained, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Vs. 3-7, Concerns a shepherd searching for a lost sheep, not the condition of the sheep Vs. 8-10, Concerns a woman searching for a lost silver coin, not the condition of the coin. Vs. 11-20, Concerns a father looking for his lost son, not the condition of the son.

“There actually aren’t all that many passages talking about us as ‘dead’ prior to conversion. Most passages talk about us being lost, or slaves, or rebels, or disobedient, or sinners.”

The passage in Eph. 5:14, “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” uses the Ezek. 37:4-14 prophecy to demonstrate forcibly the idea that unbelievers are spiritually dead and only the breath of God can bring them back to life.

Jesus refers to that same passage in defending himself against the attack of the Jews concerning the Sabbath.

John 5:24-25, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

“And there isn’t a single verse where God says he regenerates those whose names are on his list, and gives them faith. That seems kind of odd, if that is God’s plan of salvation.”

Eph. 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

Jn. 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Col 2:13, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Jas. 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

Jn. 3:3-6, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Tit. 3:5-6, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”

Eph. 2:1, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

Rom. 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

718 posted on 03/08/2010 12:10:45 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: kosta50; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; Quix; Dr. Eckleburg

kosta: Ordinarily, when a person says he or she has a sibling is not a hypothetical statement

Spirited: Ordinarily, when someone makes a claim such as the one made by kosta, the automatic assumption is that the claim is the written manifestation of a thought process originating in the mind.

However, whenever an agnostic/atheist/materialist either speaks or writes something we must assume that ‘a discarnate entity’ hovering somewhere in the unseen realm near to the machine-body called kosta has ‘oozed’ a meme onto the material brain of robot-kosta, then ‘caused’ the robot to open its’ mouth in order that memetic utterances can be heard.

What else are we to think but a variation of the above since if materialism is paradoxically true, then kosta is both soulless and mindless?

“As a man believes so he is” can be otherwise stated as “ideas have consquences.” The consequences of abusing your free will in order to reject the living God is the loss of your soul and mind.


719 posted on 03/08/2010 12:41:30 PM PST by spirited irish
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To: P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; xzins; wagglebee
As Lord Protector of the Fraternal Order of the Knights of the Eternal Time Table, I have unconditionally elected thee to the High Council Honorary Title of "Keeper of the Forest".

I am honored and humbled, sir. I graciously accept of my own free will and pledge to guard the Council's Forest with the utmost surety and confidence in my unconditional election. Long live the Order, whosoever they are (since there is no list).

I only hope you can take better care of the Forest than our Keeper of the Institutes did with the personally autographed copy of the Institutes.

Perhaps it has been misplaced within the Forest not near the non list. I shall commence a search immediately, sparing no expense up to the amount of my own beer can cash-ins. It SHALL be found!

Neener Neener Neener.

720 posted on 03/08/2010 12:44:50 PM PST by Forest Keeper (UEHKOTFTTHC)
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To: blue-duncan

INDEED.

And quite well put, imho.

Thx.


721 posted on 03/08/2010 1:05:04 PM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: spirited irish

Undoubtedly QUITE SO. QUITE SO.

At least from all the available evidence.


722 posted on 03/08/2010 1:06:20 PM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: spirited irish

AMEN! AMEN! QUITE SO! QUITE SO!


723 posted on 03/08/2010 1:11:54 PM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: P-Marlowe; Forest Keeper; xzins

Sir, sir, sir,

I think we have a problem with the “Keeper of the Forest”.

A state trooper pulls a car over on a lonely back road and approaches the Keeper of the Forest. “Sir, is there a reason that you’re weaving all over the road?”

The Keeper of the Forest replied, “Oh officer, thank goodness you’re here!! I almost had an accident! I looked up and there was a tree right in front of me. I swerved to the left and there was another tree in front of me. I swerved to the right and there was another tree in front of me!”

Reaching through the side window to the rear view mirror, the officer replied, “Sir...that’s your air freshener.”

Now I think unless we have an ADA hiring problem here we need some one who can tell the trees from the forest.

I loaned the Institues to xzins who was going to make a few corrections and explanatory comments.


724 posted on 03/08/2010 1:18:59 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: Alamo-Girl

Isn’t it telling that one who chooses to deny can sweep aside the Universe existing, with all the exquisite fine tuning and complexity, as ‘not extraordinary evidence’.


725 posted on 03/08/2010 1:21:09 PM PST by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: Mr Rogers; HarleyD; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; raynearhood; xzins; RnMomof7; the_conscience
Ahhh...so Jesus meant “Whosoever is elect WILL believe and WILL be saved.” Or maybe he meant, “Those I love will believe and will be saved.” But that isn’t what he said.

Yes, that is what He meant, interpreted through the totality of scripture. If every single sentence He uttered HAD to be completely self-contained for all meaning, as you seem to argue, then the Bible would be 500,000 pages long. By Divine design the Bible was intended to be interpreted from within itself. Take your last example. You are right that it does not say "Those I love will believe and will be saved.” Do you therefore believe He meant that only those God hated will believe and be saved BECAUSE it doesn't say those He loved? Of course not. You can't say a verse lacks incorporated meaning because it doesn't present specific words. It MIGHT have incorporated meaning if supported by clear statement or reasonable inference from other scripture.

This is frankly why I think you do not know what to do (I think you said) with the predestination verses. They WOULD make perfect sense if taken in light of the rest of God's perfect and Holy word. God's sovereignty and sovereign choices are throughout scripture. The idea that God abdicated His sovereignty in making decisions personally in the case of humans deciding their own salvations is actually a glaring exception to the rest of scripture. Where else does God leave things to chance (whosoever will/won't)?

Actually, I have answered some reasons why some believe and others don’t. The prostitutes, for example, were aware of their need, while the Pharisees thought they already were righteous.

OK, and naturally I would ask how or why the prostitutes were aware and the Pharisees were not. Was it by chance?

But what he NEVER says is that it is because their names weren’t on his ‘Happy List of the Elect’ from before creation...or because he hates them and wants them to burn in hell for his glory.

But that is exactly what the predestination verses say (e.g. Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10). And we have this which I think addresses your statement directly:

Rom. 9:14-24 : 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
726 posted on 03/08/2010 2:50:07 PM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Sorry, meant to ping you to 726.


727 posted on 03/08/2010 2:53:28 PM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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To: Forest Keeper; HarleyD; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; raynearhood; xzins; RnMomof7; the_conscience

“If every single sentence He uttered HAD to be completely self-contained for all meaning, as you seem to argue, then the Bible would be 500,000 pages long.”

I would be content with a SINGLE verse that explicitly teaches Calvinism!

It isn’t JUST John 3:16, it is hundreds of verses about believing and being saved. Without a SINGLE verse saying “If your name is on my list”!

Predestination is used 6 times in the New Testament. SIX TIMES! And not once is it used as a list of names that will be saved.

Elect is used a whopping 23 times! (In the AV, 16 times as elect and 7 as chosen.)

29 verses total, with NONE of them describing a list of names who are loved and irresistibly saved.

If that is the Gospel, why didn’t someone write something about it? Yes, God’s sovereignty is mentioned throughout scripture - and if his sovereign will is to save WHOSOEVER BELIEVES, that is still his sovereign will. Only in bizarro world does sovereignty = make every decision.

“But that is exactly what the predestination verses say (e.g. Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10).”

Not hardly. Romans 8 says those he foreknew, he predestined, called, etc. Foreknow does NOT equal predestined.

Ephesians 1 says nothing about a list of names, but “ 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”

Indeed, the entire passage, running on thru chapter 2, is about us incorporate in Christ - corporate election, not individual salvation decisions. What did God choose? that in him we should be blameless and holy - the Gospel, not individual salvation decisions.

” 13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

How did God choose us? By name? Or “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth”? Where is the ‘name on a list’?

Romans 9 is part of Romans 9-11, which is answering the question, “Does Israel’s rejection of Christ mean they are no longer the chosen ones of God?” And the answer is, “For a time they are not, but God will bring them back in the end”.

Romans 9 is not about God making some individuals believe or not, but his setting aside Israel (corporate election, again) in favor of Gentiles. The chapter summary (so to speak, since there were no chapters as written) is this:

“That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone...For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

And it doesn’t impact individuals, since “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”.

Paul discusses the Gospel in Chapters 1-8. Romans 9-11 discuss how it was possible for the chosen people to miss Jesus, and what will be their corporate fate. 12 on discusses living as a Christian.

Not only do Calvinists turn hundreds of verses about believing inside out so they can cling to bad interpretation of 30 verses, but they refuse to read Romans as a whole.

The Gospel is simple. God repeats it hundreds of times in the New Testament alone. It takes genius to turn corporate election into individual salvation, and then twist the remaining scriptures by the hundreds to match 30 screwed up readings.


728 posted on 03/08/2010 3:28:16 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: blue-duncan; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper

BD “Sarcasm aside, there is no mention of Cornelius’ “great faith” in the scriptures. What you do find in the story is God’s leading him to salvation with no mention of his exercising faith. It was all of God. “

Hmm...Acts 10: “ 1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.”

Did Cornelius receive commendation from God prior to his conversion, and did he interact with God prior to receiving the Holy Spirit?

BD “The Holy Spirit convicted them of sin before they believed and were baptized. That is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. They were dead in trespasses and sin and quickened, brought to life, and recognized their condition. “

No, this is the Holy Spirit convicting. To be born again requires the Holy Spirit in you, which is the promise in Acts 2. God convicts. Those who repent and believe are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and become new creations. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...” Receiving and believing precede becoming the child of God - being born ‘from above’.

“When one reads the context of the parable of the Prodigal son they will find the subject is the father’s searching for the son. It is the father’s love, not the son’s change of heart that is being taught.”

I recommend John MacArthur’s sermons (a set of two) on the Prodigal Son. Like Calvin, MacArthur does better teaching verse by verse than he does when he tries to teach systematically! It is the father’s love WHEN the son repents and returns. The father doesn’t go to the rebellious son and bring him irresistibly home.

I wrote: “And there isn’t a single verse where God says he regenerates those whose names are on his list, and gives them faith. That seems kind of odd, if that is God’s plan of salvation.”

BD lists the following in response...my comments in []:

Eph. 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

[Discussed in my response in my post above. Ephesians 1-2 is about us IN CHRIST. Corporate election.]

Jn. 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

[As I pointed out earlier, those who believe are then born...not those who are born then believe. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”]

Col 2:13, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

[Yes, those who have been forgiven are born again, and live...what does this have to do with election by name to salvation vs corporate election?]

Jas. 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

[Again - no idea how this involves individual salvation by a list of names. God chose to save whosoever believes - that is his will, as repeatedly spoken in scripture. It is God’s will to do so, not our plan that we compelled God to accept.]

Jn. 3:3-6, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

[Yes, and as John has already pointed out: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...” And as John 3 goes on to point out, whoever believes shall live, and whoever refuses to shall be condemned.]

Tit. 3:5-6, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”

[Exactly. No one is saying we earn salvation by our good deeds, but by receiving the gift of salvation made by God to all who believe.]

Eph. 2:1, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

[Yes. And who is it he gives life to? Whoever believes. It never says, as I pointed out in the beginning, that he gives life so that someone can believe.]

Rom. 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

[Yes, God foreknows everyone and everything. Predestination is what those in Christ will become - conformed to the image of Jesus.]


729 posted on 03/08/2010 3:52:09 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: blue-duncan; xzins; Forest Keeper
I loaned the Institues to xzins who was going to make a few corrections and explanatory comments.

Hmmm. That would make xzins the "Keeper of the Institutes".

I guess that would make you the "Loaner of the Sacred Screed"

730 posted on 03/08/2010 4:02:41 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: blue-duncan; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper

Found this...it may help explain corporate election to those interested (or not).

“Both the traditional view and the corporate election view are allowed in SEA, for both conceive of election and predestination as conditional on faith in Christ. This material comes from Zondervan’s NIV Life in the Spirit Study Bible. The description of the doctrines of election and predestination is followed by some comments quoted from the study Bible’s notes on 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29 to show how the corporate election perspective might view the place of foreknowledge in election, also quite different from the traditional Arminian view, though completely consonant with Arminian theology, figured as it is within a conditional view of election and predestination.

Election. God’s choice of those who believe in Christ is an important teaching of the apostle Paul (see Ro 8:29-33; 9:6-26; 11:5, 7, 28; Col 3:12; 1 Th 1:4; 2 Th 2:13; Tit 1:1). Election (Gk eklego) refers to God choosing in Christ a people whom he destines to be holy and blameless in his sight (cf. 2 Th 2:13). Paul sees this election as expressing God’s initiative as the God of infinite love in giving us as finite creation every spiritual blessing through the redemptive work of his Son (1:3-5). Paul’s teaching about election involves the following truths:

(1) Election is Christocentric, i.e., election of humans occurs only in union with Jesus Christ. “He chose us in him” (Eph. 1:4; see 1:1, note). Jesus himself is first of all the elect of God. Concerning Jesus, God states, “Here is my servant whom I have chosen” (Mt 12:18; cf. Isa 42:1, 6; 1 Pet 2:4). Christ, as the elect, is the foundation of our election. Only in union with Christ do we become members of the elect (Eph 1:4, 6-7, 9-10, 12-13). No one is elect apart from union with Christ through faith.

(2) Election is “in him…through his blood” (Eph 1:7). God purposed before creation (Eph. 1:4) to form a people through Christ’s redemptive death on the cross. Thus election is grounded on Christ’s sacrificial death to save us from our sins (Ac 20:28; Ro 3:24-26).

(3) Election in Christ is primarily corporate, i.e., an election of a people (Eph 1:4-5, 7, 9). The elect are called “the body of Christ” (4:12), “my church” (Mt 16:18), “a people belonging to God” (1 Pe 2:9), and the “bride” of Christ (Rev 19:7). Therefore, election is corporate and embraces individual persons only as they identify and associate themselves with the body of Christ, the true church (Eph 1:22-23; see Robert Shank, Elect in the Son, [Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers]). This was true already of Israel in the OT (see Dt 29:18-21, note; 2Ki 21:14, note; see article on God’s Covenant with the Israelites, p. 298).

(4) The election to salvation and holiness of the body of Christ is always certain. But the certainty of election for individuals remains conditional on their personal living faith in Jesus Christ and perseverance in union with him. Paul demonstrates this as follows. (a) God’s eternal purpose for the church is that we should “be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4). This refers both to forgiveness of sins (1:7) and to the church’s purity as the bride of Christ. God’s elect people are being led by the Holy Spirit toward sanctification and holiness (see Ro 8:14; Gal. 5:16-25). The apostle repeatedly emphasizes this paramount purpose of God (see Eph 2:10; 3:14-19; 4:1-3, 13-24; 5:1-18). (b) Fulfillment of this purpose for the corporate church is certain: Christ will “present her to himself as a radiant church…holy and blameless” (Eph 5:27). (c) Fulfillment of this purpose for individuals in the church is conditional. Christ will present us “holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4) only if we continue in the faith. Paul states this clearly: Christ will “present you holy in his sight without blemish…if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (Col 1:22-23).

(5) Election to salvation in Christ is offered to all (Jn 3:16-17; 1Ti 2:4-6; Tit 2:11; Heb 2:9) but becomes actual for particular persons contingent on their repentance and faith as they accept God’s gift of salvation in Christ (Eph 2:8; 3:17; cf. Ac 20:21; Ro 1:16; 4:16). At the point of faith, the believer is incorporated into Christ’s elect body (the church) by the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12:13), thereby becoming one of the elect. Thus, there is both God’s initiative and our response in election (see Ro 8:29, note; 2 Pet 1:1-11).

Predestination. Predestination (Gk prooizo) means “to decide beforehand” and applies to God’s purposes comprehended in election. Election is God’s choice “in Christ” of a people (the true church) for himself. Predestination comprehends what will happen to God’s people (all genuine believers in Christ).

(1) God predestines his elect to be: (a) called (Rom. 8:30); (b) justified (Ro 3:24, 8:30); (c) glorified (Ro 8:30); (d) conformed to the likeness of his Son (Ro 8:29); (e) holy and blameless (Eph 1:4); (f) adopted as God’s children (1:5); (g) redeemed (1:7); (h) recipients of an inheritance (1:14); (i) for the praise of his glory (Eph 1:2; 1 Pe 2:9); (j) recipients of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; Gal 3:14); and (k) created to do good works (Eph 2:10).

(2) Predestination, like election, refers to the corporate body of Christ (i.e., the true spiritual church), and comprehends individuals only in association with that body through a living faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5, 7, 13; cf. Ac 2:38-41; 16:31).

Summary. Concerning election and predestination, we might use the analogy of a great ship on its way to heaven. The ship (the church) is chosen by God to be his very own vessel. Christ is the Captain and Pilot of this ship. All who desire to be a part of this elect ship and its Captain can do so through a living faith in Christ, by which they come on board the ship. As long as they are on the ship, in company with the ship’s Captain, they are among the elect. If they choose to abandon the ship and Captain, they cease to be part of the elect. Election is always only in union with the Captain and his ship. Predestination tells us about the ship’s destination and what God has prepared for those remaining on it. God invites everyone to come aboard the elect ship through faith in Jesus Christ. [Life in the Spirit Study Bible, pp. 1854-1855]

Life in the Spirit Study Bible note on 1 Peter 1:2 —

the foreknowledge of God We are “chosen” to be God’s people according to his foreknowledge, i.e., according to God’s own comprehensive knowledge of his plan of redemption in Christ for the church, even before creation and human history began (see Rom. 8:29 note). Foreknowledge is virtually a synonym of God’s sovereign and far-seeing purpose to redeem according to his eternal love. The “chosen” are the company of true believers, chosen in harmony with God’s determined plan to redeem the church by the blood of Jesus Christ through the Spirit’s sanctifying work (see article on Election and Predestination, p. 1845). All believers must participate in their election by their response of faith and by being eager to make their calling and election sure (see 2 Pe 1:5, 10, notes).

Life in the Spirit Study Bible note on Romans 8:29 —

those God foreknew “Foreknew” in this verse is equivalent to “foreloved” and is used in the sense of “to set loving regard on,” “to choose to bestow love on from eternity” (cf. Ex 2:25; Ps 1:6’ Hos 13:5; Mt 7:23; 1 Cor 8:3; Gal 4:9; 1 Jn 3:1).

(1) Foreknowledge means that God purposed from eternity to love and redeem the human race through Christ (5:8; Jn 3:16). The recipient of God’s foreknowledge or forelove is stated in plural and refers to the church. That is, God’s forelove is primarily for the corporate body of Christ (Eph 1:4; 2:4; 1 Jn 4:19) and includes individuals only as they identify themselves with this corporate body through abiding faith in and union with Christ (Jn 15:1-6; see article on Election and Predestination, p. 1854)

(2) The corporate body of Christ will attain to glorification (v. 30). Individual believers will fall short of glorification if they separate themselves from that foreloved body and fail to maintain their faith in Christ (vv. 12-14, 17; Col 1:21-23).”

http://evangelicalarminians.org/A-Concise-Summary-of-the-Corporate-View-of-Election-and-Predestination


This aligns with tribal society, FWIW. One good side effect of a tour in Afghanistan was a better appreciation about how tribal societies view life. The Old Testament was primarily written from a tribal viewpoint, which can be odd to an individualistic society or nation-states. It certainly helps in understanding Joshua, for example.


731 posted on 03/08/2010 4:30:42 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: Mr Rogers; Dr. Eckleburg; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper

“Did Cornelius receive commendation from God prior to his conversion, and did he interact with God prior to receiving the Holy Spirit?”

No, he communicated with an angel in a vision. But your comment was “And a centurion was commended for his “great faith” - even odder, since faith is a gift, and not something the centurion could have had... “ There is nothing in the story of Cornelius about faith nor is there any mention or indication that Cornelius exercised faith before he heard the gospel, in fact, he had to wait until the gospel was being preached.

“The father doesn’t go to the rebellious son and bring him irresistibly home”

That’s not what he parable is about. The parable is about the father’s concern for the lost son. That is the argument that Jesus was using against the Jews who were ridiculing him for dining with sinners. In another setting he said the well do not need doctors only the sick. Here it is he came to seek and to save the lost. The parable is not about the son; it is about the father, just as it is about the shepherd and the woman.


732 posted on 03/08/2010 4:48:31 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: P-Marlowe; xzins; Forest Keeper

“That would make xzins the “Keeper of the Institutes””

Well, to be Calvinistically accurate, xzins would be the “Borrower of the Institutes” or a more common term a “Bookkeeper” since he has not returned them (typical of ministers). My last pastor took off with most of my library. I’m left with a couple of old Classic comic books and some Readers Digest Condensed Books. Fortunately he didn’t see my Cliff Notes versions of the Anti-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.


733 posted on 03/08/2010 4:59:55 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper

BD: “No, he communicated with an angel in a vision. But your comment was “And a centurion was commended for his “great faith” - even odder, since faith is a gift, and not something the centurion could have had... “ There is nothing in the story of Cornelius about faith nor is there any mention or indication that Cornelius exercised faith before he heard the gospel, in fact, he had to wait until the gospel was being preached.”

1 - Cornelius: “ 1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.”

If an angel came and told me my prayers and alms had ascended as a memorial to God, I suppose I would consider it a commendation of sorts. It sure was a strange way of telling Cornelius he was DEAD in his sins, and repulsive to God!

2 - Centurion. Should have been clearer, I guess.

“He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.”

Read verse 9 - that is what I was referring to. Jesus was amazed at the GREAT FAITH of the Centurion.

BD: “The parable is about the father’s concern for the lost son.”

True enough, but what does the parable say? “ 17”When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.”

Later the father refers to him as having been dead - so it seems ‘dead’ meant ‘alienated’, not incapable of repentance.

At a minimum, you ought to be able to grant that this passage:

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

COULD mean our sins had alienated us from God, and made us creatures God could have justly destroyed instead of granting us repentance. It MIGHT not refer to a corpse unable to respond to God’s grace. I don’t ask you to agree with me, just to admit that I’m not defying scripture by allowing that possibility!

And, of course, my interpretation means all those verses commanding men to repent and believe can be taken at face value, rather than requiring them to mean something else!


734 posted on 03/08/2010 6:53:56 PM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: kosta50; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; spirited irish; MHGinTN; Godzilla
Emphasis mine:

To say you have a brother is not an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence under oridnary circumstances.

It is so obvious that there was a Creator, those who refuse to retain that knowledge of Him are without excuse.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: - Romans 1:18-20

And worse, God Himself will give them over to a reprobate mind.

And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. - Romans 1:28-32

God's Name is I AM.

735 posted on 03/08/2010 9:19:13 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

SOBERINGLY

ABSOLUTELY INDEED.


736 posted on 03/08/2010 9:22:05 PM PST by Quix (THOSE who worked to land us here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: spirited irish; betty boop
Thank you oh so very much for for sharing your insights, dear sister in Christ!

Truly, under metaphysical naturalism the mind is merely an epiphenomenon of the physical brain. An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon which cannot cause anything to happen.


737 posted on 03/08/2010 9:25:01 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: MHGinTN
Indeed, dear brother in Christ! Thank you so very much for sharing your insights!
738 posted on 03/08/2010 9:30:43 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Quix
Thank you for your encouragements, dear brother in Christ!
739 posted on 03/08/2010 9:31:18 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; spirited irish; MHGinTN; Godzilla
Emphasis mine: [kosta said] To say you have a brother is not an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence under oridnary circumstances.

Which you follow with "It is so obvious that there was [sic] a Creator..." ?!?

This is probably one of your most bizarre responses that I can remember. This has absolutely nothing to do with my statement you quote and even underscore. What does that have to do with you saying you have a brother and me saying that it is not an extraordinary claim???

Also, there is nothing "obvious" that there "was" [Freudian slip?] a Creator. It is a hypothetical assumption.

740 posted on 03/08/2010 9:45:40 PM PST by kosta50 (The world is the way it is even if YOU don't understand it)
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To: kosta50; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; spirited irish; MHGinTN; Godzilla
Thank you for your reply, dear kosta50!

You evidently do not consider my claim of a brother to be extraordinary requiring evidence, but you evidently do consider my claim of God to be extraordinary requiring evidence.

It is obvious to me that God the Creator is not obvious to you. Therefore, the passages from Romans 1 above apply.

The Creation of the present heaven and earth happened, therefore I used the past tense.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. - Genesis 1:1

These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, - Genesis 2:4

The Creation of the new heaven and new earth is yet to come.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. - Revelation 21:1-8

As an interesting side note concerning the second death mentioned above:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die [literally, muwth muwth or “death death”]. – Genesis 2:17

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28

God's Name is I AM.

741 posted on 03/08/2010 10:04:28 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: blue-duncan; Mr Rogers; RnMomof7; P-Marlowe; xzins; the_conscience; HarleyD; Forest Keeper
Amen. Great Scripture underscoring the truth of God's free grace and men's total dependence on it.

The Holy Spirit convicted them of sin before they believed and were baptized. That is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. They were dead in trespasses and sin and quickened, brought to life, and recognized their condition.

Amen!

"He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." -- Psalm 147:10-11


742 posted on 03/08/2010 10:46:20 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Alamo-Girl
At this point I could go into my long spiel about information theory (Shannon, successful communications) and molecular biology (Rosen, relational biology) - but it would probably end in crickets, as usual.

lol. I'd probably understand the crickets quicker than what you're talking about here, but I'm learning. 8~)

743 posted on 03/08/2010 10:53:23 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Mr Rogers; Forest Keeper; HarleyD; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; raynearhood; xzins; RnMomof7; ...
Or maybe he (Jesus) meant, “Those I love will believe and will be saved.”

But of course, that's EXACTLY what He said.

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." -- John 15:16


"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) " -- Ephesians 2:4-5


"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. " -- 1 John 4:10

Christians have a right to know their election by God from before the foundation of the world. Pity some men work so hard to deny them that assurance. You're playing for the wrong team, Mr. R.
744 posted on 03/08/2010 11:08:43 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: xzins; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; RnMomof7; HarleyD
If, as Jeremiah says, the heart is "deceitful above all things", then this good soil happened at some point after their conception and before their conversion.

The good soil "happened" according to the will of God from before the foundation of the world, "before men could do anything good or evil." What God has ordained will come to pass.

There is good soil. There is rocky soil. And there is shallow, sandy soil. The word of God takes root only in the good soil. And these soils differ because God "made them to differ."

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?" -- 1 Corinthians 4:7

God knows which soil He is going to nourish. He knows whose stony heart He is going to replace with a heart of flesh. He "knows" because this is what He wants. And God always always gets what He wants, ultimately.

"Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." -- Matthew 15:13

745 posted on 03/08/2010 11:57:19 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: blue-duncan; P-Marlowe; xzins
I think we have a problem with the “Keeper of the Forest”. ...... Now I think unless we have an ADA hiring problem here we need some one who can tell the trees from the forest.

Twas naught but a trifling, good sir. In my zeal to procure the lost Institutes I endeavored to raise funds immediately forth with by creating as many returnable beer cans as possible. Knowing that my cardboard air freshener had been created from one of the very trees in my charge I saw it as being one with my Forest. Of course I say "MY" Forest only with the deepest affection, knowing that I am but an honorary steward. So you can see it was my dedication it was, that caused me to so risk life and limb for the return of the blessed Institutes. By grace I now see:

I loaned the Institutes to xzins who was going to make a few corrections and explanatory comments.

Praise and all manner of thanksgiving be to above, for my last words were "It SHALL be found!". So it shall be written, so it shall be done! I am your servant and pray I have found your favor good sir. The Institutes and the Forest are now all safe.

I beg you not to contest my unconditional election, for I have already sent my new swag tag to the engraver and it is too late for refund.

746 posted on 03/09/2010 12:52:00 AM PST by Forest Keeper (UEHKOTFTTHC)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Anyone that “tulip” doesn’t resonate with may have a serious problem. Lotta people out there with strong delusions about the Lord God and what He’s like...


747 posted on 03/09/2010 1:27:51 AM PST by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

bttt


748 posted on 03/09/2010 1:32:53 AM PST by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

bttt


749 posted on 03/09/2010 2:27:14 AM PST by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: Mr Rogers; HarleyD; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; raynearhood; xzins; RnMomof7; the_conscience; ...
I would be content with a SINGLE verse that explicitly teaches Calvinism! It isn’t JUST John 3:16, it is hundreds of verses about believing and being saved. Without a SINGLE verse saying “If your name is on my list”!

I and others have given you some, and I just read a post to you from BD a few minutes ago in which he gave you several more. So you cannot say you have not been given verses that teach Calvinism. You have been given them, on many occasions. All you can say is that you have a different interpretation of those verses. Therefore, for YOU there are no verses. That doesn't mean they aren't there, it just means they aren't there for YOU.

Predestination is used 6 times in the New Testament. SIX TIMES! And not once is it used as a list of names that will be saved.

That is six times more than the word Trinity is used, so I'm not sure what that is intended to show. And of course a list of names is referred to. Just from Romans 8 we have THOSE God foreknew and THOSE God predestined and THOSE God conformed to the likeness of his Son and THOSE God called and THOSE God justified and THOSE God glorified. ALL of these concern "THE LIST".

Yes, God’s sovereignty is mentioned throughout scripture - and if his sovereign will is to save WHOSOEVER BELIEVES, that is still his sovereign will. Only in bizarro world does sovereignty = make every decision.

In this case then bizarro world is in fact the Biblical world. :) I asked the simple question of where in the Bible does God leave things to chance, such that your salvation model would have some Biblical company in support. That should be easy to answer if "sovereignty = make every decision" is bizarro world.

Romans 8 says those he foreknew, he predestined, called, etc. Foreknow does NOT equal predestined.

I agree, but they are related. I think the following is an excellent analysis of this issue from Got Questions?: (all emphasis added)

Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God “predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” According to this verse, the basis of our being predestined is not something that we do or will do, but is based solely on the will of God for His own pleasure. As Romans 9:15-16 says, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.” Similarly, Romans 9:11 declares regarding Jacob and Esau, “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls.” Then again in Ephesians 1:11 we see that people are “chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” From these and many others passages, we see that Scripture consistently teaches that predestination or election is not based upon something that we do or will do. God predestined people based on His own sovereign will to redeem for Himself people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. God predetermined or predestined this from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) based solely on His sovereign will and not because of anything that He knew the people would do.

But what about Romans 8:29 where it says that those “He foreknew, He also predestined”? Doesn’t that seem to say that predestination is based upon the foreknowledge of God? Of course, the answer is yes, it does teach that predestination is based on the foreknowledge of God. But what does the word foreknowledge mean? Does it mean “based upon God’s knowledge of the future,” meaning God simply looks down through the future and sees who will believe the gospel message and then predestines or elects them? If that were the case, it would contradict the verses above from Romans and Ephesians that make it very clear election is not based on anything man does or will do.

Fortunately, God does not leave us to wonder about this issue. In John 10:26, Jesus said, “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.” The reason some people believe is that they belong to God. They were chosen for salvation, not based on the fact that they would one day believe, but because God chose them for “adoption as sons in Christ Jesus” before they ever existed. The reason one person believes and another person does not is that one person has been adopted by God and the other has not. The truth is that the word foreknew in Romans 8:29 is not speaking of God's knowing the future. The word foreknowledge is never used in terms of knowing about future events, times or actions (God’s omniscience). What it does describe is a predetermined relationship in the knowledge of God whereby God brings the salvation relationship into existence by decreeing it into existence ahead of time. ...............

The following quote by John Murray is excellent in dealing with this issue: "Even if it were granted that ‘foreknew’ means the foresight of faith, the biblical doctrine of sovereign election is not thereby eliminated or disproven. For it is certainly true that God foresees faith; He foresees all that comes to pass. The question would then simply be: whence proceeds this faith, which God foresees? And the only biblical answer is that the faith which God foresees is the faith He himself creates (cf. John 3:3-8; 6:44, 45, 65; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Peter 1:2). Hence His eternal foresight of faith is preconditioned by His decree to generate this faith in those whom He foresees as believing."

Again, here are all the verses you have been asking for. Taken in the context of the totality of scripture they really do fit in nicely together. I have made Murray's argument before concerning predestination, although he did it better. Foreknowledge and predestination cannot reduce God to a simple scribe because in addition to the actions of humans, He would also be recording His own sovereign actions based on His own sovereign decisions made BEFORE the human actions. The Arminian view thus creates an unnecessary paradox. God cannot be a detached observer and involved participant at the same time. But under the Calvinist view everything fits and works together.

Indeed, the entire passage [Eph. 1:3 et seq.], running on thru chapter 2, is about us incorporate in Christ - corporate election, not individual salvation decisions. What did God choose? that in him we should be blameless and holy - the Gospel, not individual salvation decisions.

I see no warrant to jump to that conclusion. That builds in things that just aren't there. He means "us as individual believers as opposed to individuals who do not believe". Corporate election by category REQUIRES the results to be determined by chance, as well as demonstrates a God who couldn't care less which of His creation approaches Him. The God of the Bible does not work that way.

” 13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” How did God choose us? By name? Or “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth”? Where is the ‘name on a list’?

Yes, He chose us by name. Do you deny that God knew us by name before He created us? The last clause refers back to being saved, NOT to how God chose US to be saved.

Romans 9 is not about God making some individuals believe or not, but his setting aside Israel (corporate election, again) in favor of Gentiles.

Romans 9 tells of splitting Israel apart into individuals who are descendant of Jacob and individuals who are descendant of Esau. All of those individuals are descendant of Abraham and Issac, but not all individuals are children of the promise. Indeed Paul goes on to talk about individual Gentiles being grafted into Israel by faith. Corporate Israel is not by natural birth, but individually by faith.

The Gospel is simple. God repeats it hundreds of times in the New Testament alone. It takes genius to turn corporate election into individual salvation, and then twist the remaining scriptures by the hundreds to match 30 screwed up readings.

But we can explain all of your verses, plus the "30". They all fit together. Under your system there appears to be no coherent explanation for the 30. Doesn't that cause you any concern?

750 posted on 03/09/2010 2:37:41 AM PST by Forest Keeper ((It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.))
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