[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Glory by Force / Forced Glorification

by Antonio da Rosa

Calvinist's believe that God will be glorified by creating people just to damn them, and this for His glory. These quotes from John Calvin himself should suffice:

“... he arranges all things by his sovereign counsel in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction...God ... arranges and disposes of them at his pleasure... all events take place by his sovereign appointment” (Institutes III, xxiii, 6)

“Paul teaches us that the ruin of the wicked is not only foreseen by the Lord, but also ordained by his counsel and his will... not only the destruction of the wicked is foreknown, but that the wicked themselves have been created for this very end -- that they may perish” (Commentaries Romans 9:18)

Can we find satisfactory purposefulness in sending those to hell whom cannot hear, nor respond, nor believe the gospel; those for whom the Son of God didn't even die for? What great good and honorable purpose could necessitate such cruelty? God needs to exact such retribution in order to display His glory? Must God resort unto coercion, force, and imposition to receive glory? What kind of tyrannical God would this be? This sounds like something Saddam Hussein would do!

God needs no such thing, and to suggest that He does these things is to propose that God is darkness and evil. The only kind of glory that comes from these types of practices is infamy. Does God require such a reputation? Is He so insecure that He needs to call out a people for Himself by force, sovereign imposition, and irresistable coercion? Is He so unstable that He must damn people from the womb to receive His glory?

What is the purpose for this manner of “glory”? How will His actively damning millions bring Him legitemate and honorable glory? Who will ascribe to Him the glory for such procedures? What holy reason could be advanced for such unheard of heartlessness?

When I tried to explain to my son what glorifying God meant I told Him this:

Let's say you had something of value, Jacob. Something that you worked on very hard. Lets say an art project. And you really wanted to bring attention to it. This art project was worthy of attention, it was a masterpiece, that you had worked diligently on, and with all your might. To bring glory to it you would:

place signs showing where the art was
personally direct people to it
and illuminate it with the clearest, brightest, and whitest light.

The glory would come as those who heeded the promptings came to ascribe to the art those things that are true of it to begin with.

How can God be said to be REALLY glorified if the glory comes from those who are MADE to glorify Him, whether they were sovereignly imposed to choose Him and coerced to worship Him or created to reject Him?

Antonio da Rosa
Lakeside, CA

44 Comments:

  • Hi Antonio,
    One time a friend said this to me:
    It's like this, John: God is right now holding a gun to your head saying, "You will follow me of your own free will, or else, you will just follow me, because I have the gun."

    That is not my view of the gospel.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2:20:00 PM  

  • Good thoughts, Antonio.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:09:00 PM  

  • Woah, I had no idea that Calvanists had it THAT BAD. There's false doctrine, and then there's blasphemy. Not that one is better than the other.

    By Blogger Redeemed, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 4:48:00 PM  

  • Come on Antonio, you know God needs a way to display His justice, and the reprobate work nicely, from a methodological theological perspective; after all as Augustine believed, as J.N.D. Kelly highlights:

    "Little wonder that on his view the whole of humanity constitutes ‘a kind of mass (massa=”lump”) of sin’, or ‘a universal mass of perdition’, being destined to everlasting damnation were it not for the grace of Christ."

    I mean how else do you expect God's justice and mercy and redemption to be displayed unless we have the elect and the reprobate--get with the program, Antonio ;) ;)!!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:14:00 PM  

  • Very well put, Antonio!

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:18:00 PM  

  • BTW, my first comment here is oozing with sarcasm--but isn't this the "canned" Calvinist response, Antonio?

    Election is a very sticky issue, from my POV, how do you deal with Ephesians 1, and "election" language, Antonio? Do you see this as "corporate election"?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:30:00 PM  

  • John and Matthew and Redeemed, thanks for your participation!

    Hey Bobby, I am glad you are in the blogosphere.

    I would agree with the Calvinist that God "needs a way to display his justice".

    I think this has been done by by Christ's death on the cross. God displayed His justice in the death of Christ and was completely propitiated.

    1 Peter 3:18
    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,


    Rom 3:24-26
    Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    Imagine a sign above some high security detention facility:

    "Welcome to Los Colinas, the GLORY of President Bush and America. All inmates chosen from before birth to be here!"

    Bobby, it may be a "canned" response, but it doesn't answer to my objections leveled against it in this post or in my last one.

    To answer your question about "election" I believe in it! I have a doctrine of election and predestination. They do not have to do with soteriology, but with blessings, roles, responsibilites, and functions. I do not believe that election nor predestination have to do with simple eternal salvation.

    For a great discussion on these principles, and word studies on all the relevent words, see

    God's Strategy in Human History
    by Paul Marston and Roger Forster

    Amazon Web Page for Book

    I do not believe in any kind of election unto eternal life, so that would include corporate election. We are chosen in the sphere of Christ for blessings.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:52:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the link, Antonio.

    I hope you post on being chosen in the sphere of Christ for blessings.

    I hope you clarify something.

    How does it reassure us? I ask because it seems like in Ephesians Paul is extoling the love of God, and it has always seemed to me that that is best done through the typical understanding of the idea.

    But I'm all ears, brother:)

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 6:19:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I looked up your link. It looks like Marston is an Arminian, and sympathetic to Open Theism, and the usage of "Middle Knowledge" in his understanding of the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's freedom.

    To be fair I have not read the book, but if indeed those cariactures, above, are accurrate--then I will have huge problems with his "exegesis" of the text.

    This would really serve to illustrate my point, that indeed there is no such thing as a sterile intepretation of scripture--nothing is understood in a theological vaccuum. In other words, Antonio, the Free-Grace position has a certain historical/philosophical framework informing its exegetical decisions as much as Calvinism does or any other theological construct.

    I read Bob Wilkin's debate transcript he had with Bock over the relationship between justification and sanctification, today. Bob seems to have a disdain for and a very limited view (because of his apparent belief that he is just doing straightforward exegesis of the text of scripture) of the history of interpretation. Antonio, I have very little patience for this attitude. It's arrogant, from my perspective, it assumes that we have "progressed" beyond our brothers and sisters in Christ of yester-year. It assumes that there is no continuity between Christ's ascension and institution of the church and the continuum of His rule and reign of which we are a part of today. It assumes that the Holy Spirit hasn't been working and informing and elucidating the words of Christ in the Past (Jn 14--16), only in the Present. I hope Wilkin's attitude is a mis-read on my part, and that in fact this doesn't characterize the movement (Free-Grace)as a whole.

    Do I think it's impossible to access scriptures message? No! Do I think the body of Christ is represented within various interpretive traditions (denominations)? Yes! Consequently I believe instead of promoting a sectarianism, as Free-Grace does, we should be willing to dialogue with various traditions (not at the expense of the essentials, i.e. Jesus' divinity/humanity; bodily resurrection; faith in Christ alone, etc.).

    To label Calvinism as a spawn of the Devil--IMO, goes way too far, Antonio. I strongly disagree with Calvinism's approach and the resulting consequences of their theology--but I believe they are my brothers and sisters. Like the Galatians they need to be corrected, not cut off, as you do with them. Do you think you're going to win any of them to Christ, with this kind of rhetoric--YOU WON'T (generalization)! In fact, while not a Calvinist myself, I am least likely to be open to the tenants of Free-Grace theology, because of the methodological sectarianism I have seen demonstrated by some of your writings; and those of Wilkin as well.

    I consider you a brother in Christ, Antonio, and I appreciate your fervor for the truth--but I'm having a hard time with your constant "BASHING" of the Calvinist (not that they don't do it too, but that's no justification), or anyone else (I mean theological position) who disagrees with the FG position.

    Just some transparent thoughts on my part . . .

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:39:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    If you consider the truth of the gospel as sectarian, then so be it.

    I do not hold your views that gospel preaching can be relative and still be salvific.

    The Reformed Lordship advocate understands that the message that he preaches is a different message than I preach.

    I also understand that I proclaim a different gospel message than does the Lordship proponent.

    We can see that they are different, but those who are in the middle can not.

    If by my defense of what I am convinced is the one true gospel seems sectarian to you, so be it. I would rather preach what I know to be truth rather than sugar-coat my position in order to maintain the unity that you all desire.

    1 Cor 1:10
    Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment
    NKJV

    Paul exhorts the Corinthians to:

    1) Speak the same thing
    2) Be no divisions
    3) Be of the same mind
    4) Be of the same judgment

    I will not disregard essential truth for coffee and doughnut fellowship. I will not trade in the true gospel so that I can conform to someone's idea of Christian brotherly utopia.

    Bobby, I find Calvinism unscriptural and deadly. If I can help jar anyone considering Calvinism from joining the "fraternity", I have done my job. The Reformed Lordship advocates are entrenched in their position and all the proper and pertinent exegesis in the world will not budge the lot of them from their standing.

    The logical conclusions of Calvinism are evil and absurd as my last two posts have sought to show.

    Bobby, if you believe that they are your brothers than you will approach them in the way you suggest.

    I am not convinced that many of them may not be my brothers; at they very least they preach and teach a false gospel.

    Titus 1:9-14
    holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers... whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not... Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to... commandments of men who turn from the truth

    I am not interested primarily in making friends as I am in preaching essential salvific truth and essential grace Christian living. Fidelity in and defense of truth is not a popular pastime. Most people in the middle wish to either turn a blind eye or compromise.

    Sacrificing Doctrine on the Altar of Unity / Free Grace Blog

    I will not minister alongside anyone who propounds the Lordship Salvation "gospel".

    Our fellowships aren't to be a game. This isn't a date night, or ice cream social. In fellowship we are to encourage one another and build each other up in truth and love. The gospel and Christian life teachings of Lordship Salvation is not of the truth and leads to disaster on so many different levels.

    Our fellowship in the assembly is a solemn and serious occasion; false doctrine, especially that of the soteriological persuasion must not be tolerated.

    Why are we so passive? Are there not thousands of "fellowships" that others of like mind can join? There are the country clubs, masonic lodges, and ear-tickling assemblies. Why must I consider someone a brother who I am convinced believes a false gospel?

    How many churches have been fatally disrupted and broken apart with the entrance of Calvinistic doctrine?

    Purity and oneness of mind is essential.

    Now I will be brought to task with the objection that we shouldn't part ways on "worship styles", and other seeming "non-essentials".

    On the seeming "non-essentials", if someone has a difference of opinion on them, he ought to entertain the church position, or if it affects him greatly, he should find a more appropriate fellowship.

    I will not turn a blind eye when Lordship Salvation doctrine is an instrument in Satan's hand to destroy both believers and unbelievers (in different senses, of course).

    I can be friends with just about anyone. This doesn't mean I have to consider someone else a brother and fellowship with him when I beleive that he is preaching a false gospel.

    Truth matters, Bobby. It is by belief in the truth that one both appropriates eternal life and lives the Christian life.

    Let us speak the same thing, be of one mind and of one judgment. Otherwise, we are either to remain silent on that which we disagree with the church position/majority or leave to find a more appropriate fellowship.

    I am not going to sacrifice doctrine for coffee and doughnut fellowship. I will not trade in truth for social interaction and good form.

    I do not have to countenance false teaching in order that a superficial country-club-esque fellowship and unity may be perpetuated.

    You seem to be charging me and Bob Wilkin with sin. If you are, just go ahead and spell it out for me in so many words. I will listen to you and prayerfully consider your indictment.

    Convince me or Bob Wilkin of sin. You seem to already have a bad taste in your mouth for Free Grace theology. You prefer the lens of your historical theology.

    Point out my sin or Bob Wilkin's. I personally know Bob and I could not think of a more genuine, loving, upright, and spiritual man than he.

    But as it stands, Bobby, you seem to want to convert me to your middle-position and hold me to blame for my strong convictions and my teaching that comes from them.

    Bobby, you write:
    ----------
    I strongly disagree with Calvinism's approach and the resulting consequences of their theology
    ----------
    John 8:44-45
    the devil...does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

    Only wrong theology has bad consequences. Wrong theology is false theology. Theological infidelity comes from the father of lies.

    Bobby, I am standing for what I am convinced is truth and against what I believe is deadly error.

    The road that leads to life is narrow and constrained and few enter by it, Bobby. Many Christians who preach the grace message of Christ, unfortunately look at the world through rose-colored lenses and believe that everything is alright.

    It is not alright. Truth matters and I will stand up for it.

    Salvific truth matters and I will stand up for it and defend it from attacks from all the false prophets, the wolves in sheep's clothing, wanting to destroy.

    I believe the grace gospel is truth and that the Reformed and Arminian Lordship gospels are false and do not save.

    You would not go that far, that is why you want to stay in the middle.

    I consider you a brother too, Bobby. I wish you could see that since I believe that Reformed and Arminian Lordship Salvation gospels are false that I cannot consider anyone who believes them a brother. Sure, many of them could be saved, for Calvinism in many cases seeks converts solely from within Christendom. But am I to consider such a one a brother who believes the Lordship gospel now and teaches, preaches, and evanglizes with it now?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:15:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Even if you hold to the foreknowledge idea of predestination then you will still have to answer this question.

    If you believe that God knows who will come to faith to Him and who will not, then why did He create those who will not come to Him

    I'm not sure of your position on foreknowledge, but if God foreknows who will not choose Him and creates them anyway, He is creating people destined for hell. Even with free-will it was part of his plan to create people destined for hell.

    Just thinking it through, this really is a tough issue even Calvin admitted to that.

    Doug

    P.S. We also have to remember that in Calvinism the reason people cannot hear, or respond is because they don't want to.

    P.P.S Hope you're doing well it's been a while since I've stopped by.

    By Blogger Doug E., at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:15:00 PM  

  • Doug,

    maybe you don't understand. I do not believe that election NOR predestination has anything to do with who receives eternal life or not.

    Both are Christian doctrines affecting those who are in the Body of Christ.

    Let me try to answer your question with an illustration. Recently I got a bug in me. I really desired to do something to show God my appreciation for what He has done, for what He is doing, and for what He yet intends to do in my life.

    I cannot pay back God for what He has done. But in gratitude, I think of ways, think of things I could do that would please God in response to His grace toward me.

    After reading to my daughter one night out of a children's Bible the story of Jesus multiplying fish and bread in order to feed a multitude, we decided that we ought to make some bags for some of the homeless with some food, socks, and gospel tracts.

    The next day, we filled some sacks with goodies, and I typed up a gospel tract and put some other Christian literature in there.

    I made 6 sacks.

    I fully knew that some may be too prideful to accept my free gift. Was that going to stop the love that me and my daughter had for the homeless that God had issued to our hearts?

    I don't think so. We went out in love, fully knowing that some may not accept our gracious offer of food, water, socks, and other sustenance. Did the knowledge that our gifts may be rejected stop the love we had for those who needed it?

    No.

    Still, after being rejected by some, we still sought to persuade them to take the necessary items.

    The knowledge that some may reject love does not discourage the one who wants to truly love.

    God did not want to force anyone to reason with Him. So God fully knew who would accept and reject Him. That doesn't stop the one who loves. Man is responsible for what he does in accordance with the wooing of God. God created man as a gift to man, and His mercy is available to all, he left the chips to lie where they would fall.

    God's plans and purposes are not thwarted by man's rejection of Him. God is glorious and righteous, and good, and holy apart from man's ascription to Him of such qualities. If God created the world and foreknew that only one would receive His mercy through faith in Christ, He would have still sent Christ, for that is what love does. Love is an act, not of emotion, but of the will, that seeks the best of it's object, in spite of the objects position and disposition.

    Life is not a game that God programmed with pre-determined results. God wished to have a people called by His name and wished to have brethren for His Son Jesus Christ.

    God, in spite of His fore-knowledge that people would reject Him, still created those who had the ability to either reject or accept His mercy. That is love. Same as offering a gift of sustenance to a homeless person who may or may not accept it. Did it stop me and my 5 year old daughter from offering? No. Love CONSTRAINED us to persuade, to offer, to assist, in SPITE of our knowledge that some would reject.

    Parents procreate and raise children all the time who have potentials to great deliquencies, murders, troubles. Yet they want to procreate in order to love their children and raise, correct, guide, and woo them.

    God has real give and take relationships with men and women. He draws, woos, blesses, and calls. He answers prayers, is moved to act by piety and prayer. He is personal with His creation.

    God created out of love and a desire to love the objects of His creation. It is the responsiblity and fault of his creation if they choose to reject Him.

    Calvinism does not afford this explanation, however. God created some men for glory and the majority for damnation. The responsiblity ultimately lies with God, "where we must look for no cause other than His will".

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:36:00 PM  

  • And Bobby, you will have "huge" problems with his exegesis of the text because of your presuppositions and your held Augustinian theology?

    You may yet be persuaded as to another view, but you seem to want to regard or disregard teaching based upon your held theology rather than the open-minded examination of someone else's exposition.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 9:41:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "You seem to be charging me and Bob Wilkin with sin. If you are, just go ahead and spell it out for me in so many words. I will listen to you and prayerfully consider your indictment."

    I said, relative to Bob Wilkin's hermeneutical attitude:

    "I read Bob Wilkin's debate transcript he had with Bock over the relationship between justification and sanctification, today. Bob seems to have a disdain for and a very limited view (because of his apparent belief that he is just doing straightforward exegesis of the text of scripture) of the history of interpretation. Antonio, I have very little patience for this attitude. It's arrogant, from my perspective, it assumes that we have "progressed" beyond our brothers and sisters in Christ of yester-year. It assumes that there is no continuity between Christ's ascension and institution of the church and the continuum of His rule and reign of which we are a part of today. It assumes that the Holy Spirit hasn't been working and informing and elucidating the words of Christ in the Past (Jn 14--16), only in the Present. I hope Wilkin's attitude is a mis-read on my part, and that in fact this doesn't characterize the movement (Free-Grace)as a whole."

    Antonio how you got that I was asserting that you or Wilkin are in sin here, is beyond me. I'm attacking the hermeneutical attitude driving his apparent position; i.e. no need for history.

    Antonio said:

    "The road that leads to life is narrow and constrained and few enter by it, Bobby. Many Christians who preach the grace message of Christ, unfortunately look at the world through rose-colored lenses and believe that everything is alright."

    I guess you haven't read any of my posts then, Antonio (over at my site). I definitely believe there is a problem in the church today--primarily biblical ineptitude Christians (people don't read their Bibles).

    Antonio said:

    "I believe the grace gospel is truth and that the Reformed and Arminian Lordship gospels are false and do not save."

    I believe, and have said this on a prior post:

    "Thus, while Luther struggled against such a theology, Calvin reintroduces “Romanesque” soteriology under the guise of “orthopraxy,” i.e. equivocates the “effect” of salvation (e.g. good works) with the “cause” of salvation (e.g. faith alone in Christ’s works) so as to blur the two as indistinguishable—at least at a functional level. Now am I questioning Calvin’s commitment to faith alone? No! What I’m questioning is his articulation and the functional outworking of his view of salvation. He places the Christian back on the “pilgrims path” (see John Bunyan’s, “Pilgrims Progress,” for an allegory that exemplifies Calvin’s theology). The very path Luther rightfully disdained, and of which he knew so much about in his journey within the confines of the Augustinian monestary."

    In other words LS advocates are "confused"; not "damned" because of their confusion. If indeed they assert that they believe works and obedience are necessary prerequisites for salvation--and place their trust in that for salvation, then they would be damned, indeed. But if, as my quote above discusses, their theological construct betrays and undercuts their profession of faith alone in Christ (not conditional)this alone from perspective does not damn them! Anyways, I'll quit trying to convert you, now.

    Antonio, do you believe the history of interpretation is a legitimate plank in the process of establishing your hermeneutical platform?

    Antonio asked:

    ". . .But am I to consider such a one a brother who believes the Lordship gospel now and teaches, preaches, and evanglizes with it now?"

    First, see my discussion on their confusion above.

    Second, would you have considered Peter your brother in Galatians 2 when he was advocating the Judaism that occasioned the writing of that epistle in the first place?

    Antonio said of me:

    "You would not go that far, that is why you want to stay in the middle."

    Indeed the via media is the way for me, Antonio! Don't you think the LS and FG positions are advocating extreme poles--and that there might be something to say for following a more moderate position--a position that allows for some tension; instead of this incessant need to have systematic coherence in my particular soteriological construct?

    Night, bro . . .

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:18:00 PM  

  • Man, Antonio, I was going to try and get some sleep . . . but you won't let me ;)!

    Antonio said of me:

    "And Bobby, you will have "huge" problems with his exegesis of the text because of your presuppositions and your held Augustinian theology?"

    And you, I'm assuming Antonio, do "presuppositionless" exegesis. I just think Augustine does provide a faithful interpretation of Paul relative to the idea of "original sin", don't you? Most evangelicals, historically, have held to the concept of original sin, and I'm sure you do to! Not because Augustine articulated it, but because it's clearly in scripture (Romans).

    Don't tell me that you don't read scripture through Zane Hodges and other FG exegetes--be honest Antonio.

    You hold to the idea of trinity, right Antonio? According to "unitarians" this is because we have imposed a rationalist (driven by a particular presupposition) understanding upon the text of scripture.

    My point . . . we all have presuppositions we bring to the text, you too. The struggle is becoming aware of this and admitting it. Once we do we are better equipped to approach the text of scripture, and NOT read into the text whats not there. That's why I think having historical perspective is so important, Antonio. You seem to disagree--which troubles me--but that's your decision.

    Just because I don't come to your conclusions, doesn't mean I don't approach the text "open-minded". Maybe I'm more open-minded, exegetically, because of the reasons I discussed in the former paragraph--maybe not!

    Now I'm going to sleep . . . night!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:28:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Thanks for your response. I actually agree with your analogy, but some of the theory behind it is what I'm trying to understand.

    I guess my follow-up question is what is your view of predestination and foreknowledge? Feel free to point be to something you have written on it if it will save you some time.

    Another follow-up questions is does God foreknow who will come to faith and who will not? If He does, I'm not sure my point has been answered.

    Because if He does know, then He has decided to create a group of people that He knows are destined for hell. And this is part of His plan, because He made the choice to create them knowing they are going to hell.

    The only way to really avoid this is by saying He doesn't know who will come to faith. Do you believe he knows or doesn't know who will come to Him?

    God Bless,
    Doug

    Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

    By Blogger Doug E., at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:00:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    What in the world would historical/philosophical have to do with the contents of scripture, and if we are subject to our own historiacl/philosophical framework in arriving at exegesis, then wouldn't God have had to insert information pertinent to each individuals H/PF for them to understand. It seems to me that to say there is no sterile interpretation of scripture is the same as saying there is no pure interpretation possible from scripture, or by nature scripture is unsterile, impure, imperfect truth. I don't care if that's what Bobby said, I think that's what he said would boil down to. And then, I realize, he went on later in his comment to say that he thinks it is not impossible to access scriptures message, but that makes it even more unclear as to how this unsterile scripture would actually qualify as truth.

    I give you alot of credit. It has to say what it means and/or mean what it says. I think ultimately people need to quit speculating, quit measuring scriptural truth by whether it seems fair or workable to them or not, and simply recite scripture when talking about biblical content. Most of the time you do real well at that Antonio. Thanks.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:05:00 PM  

  • Todd said of me:

    "What in the world would historical/philosophical have to do with the contents of scripture, and if we are subject to our own historiacl/philosophical framework in arriving at exegesis, then wouldn't God have had to insert information pertinent to each individuals H/PF for them to understand. It seems to me that to say there is no sterile interpretation of scripture is the same as saying there is no pure interpretation possible from scripture, or by nature scripture is unsterile, impure, imperfect truth. . . ."

    Actually Todd, let me clarify, first of all I didn't equivocate you did. I didn't say scripture was impure, I said the interpreter is--there is a huge difference. And as to your point on coming to an "objective" interpretation of scripture, it is incumbent upon you to explain how, within orthodox evangelical Chrisitianity, we have so many disparate interpretations of scripture (i.e. millenial interp.; atonement interp.; salvation interp; etc.; etc.). Again just so you don't misunderstand me again--scripture is pure (II Tim 3:16)and objective true--its the interpreter that has issues. My real point is that within Christianity, if we were more open to dialoging around our variant interpretations we might have a better chance at accessing the whole counsel of scripture as the whole body of Christ--instead of coming at it from "MY" interpretation vs. "Their" interpretation. Is that clear enough, Todd?

    Todd said:

    "I don't care if that's what Bobby said, I think that's what he said would boil down to. And then, I realize, he went on later in his comment to say that he thinks it is not impossible to access scriptures message, but that makes it even more unclear as to how this unsterile scripture would actually qualify as truth."

    Todd, you should care what I say, since I'm the one who determines what I mean, not you determining what you "think" I mean. Actually your doing to me, what you "think" I'm doing to the text of scripture, i.e. supplementing meaning and intention with your imported interpretation of what I said. This illustrates my point wonderfully, until we as Christians/interpreters recognize that we bring various presuppositions and interpretive traditions to the text (or whatever we're interpreting for that matter)we will never get to the pure objective authorially intended message of the text of scripture. Hopefully that's clarifying, Todd!

    My gripe with Antonio, or anyone else, is that failure to recognize the above only imbues scripture with meaning that it never intended to communicate, i.e. creating categories and asking questions that the text never intended to answer. Clear . . .

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:43:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    you write:
    ----------
    My gripe with Antonio, or anyone else, is that failure to recognize the above only imbues scripture with meaning that it never intended to communicate
    ----------
    How would you know if my exegesis is really true and does not "imbue scripture with meaning that it never intended to communicate" yet yours does?

    I think that you have set up a philosophical equation that precludes any sense of coming to an accurate exposition. One can never know for oneself if his presups have hindered his exegesis.

    Much of what you say is theological. Your arguments are a "he said, they said" plethora of historical positions.

    I say the less we study the exegesis of historical personages and the more we study the culture and linguistics and proper interpretive principles the better.

    I don't share your pessimistic outlook on biblical interpretation.

    I take one look at most Reformed and Lordship exegesis and a shudder at the superficiality and shallowness of their expositions.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 1:41:00 PM  

  • Antonio recommended Paul Marston and Roger's Forster's book 'God's Strategy in Human History'.

    Imdeed, this is a really excellent book (despite Forster's Charismatic theology and support for women pastors).

    I urge anyone who is interested in the issue of election to read 'God's Strategy in Human History'.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 2:15:00 PM  

  • 'Because if He does know, then He has decided to create a group of people that He knows are destined for hell. And this is part of His plan, because He made the choice to create them knowing they are going to hell.'

    I do not believe in Middle Knowledge.

    God can create people, but He cannot detrmine in advance what choices they make while allowing those choices to be free.

    Our use of freewill is actualised by ourselves and cannot be predetermined and still be a genuinely free choice.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 2:18:00 PM  

  • Dyspraxic,

    The view I was questioning was not middle knowledge. It was does God know who will come to faith and who will not before He creates them?

    Your statement does't really answer my question. I was not discussing free will in this context though it is closely associated.

    Here is my simple question. Do you believe that God knows in advance of creation who His people are (those who will come to faith)and those who are not (those who will not come to faith)?

    Doug

    P.S. I would like to read the book but at this point I don't have a copy.

    By Blogger Doug E., at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 3:18:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 4:22:00 PM  

  • Bobby,
    Fine.

    My only purpose is to get to the real meaningful discussion. I just want to lay these thoughts out to you. I am not proposeing to differ with you here. Just consider these thoughts.

    If the interpretor is the problem, then fine, I would want to deal with that. Which is a text of literal translation that we can all agree is done the satisfactorily? Agreement on the reliable translation of the original Greek epistles then would have to be the first step. I'm going to suggest, for instance, that there is nothing wrong with the ASV or the NASV. If we can't agree on that, then instead,let's not go any further until we, as the body of Christ, can agree on a accuarate script of what the N.T. authors say. We can identify and agree on the NASV's weaknesses, or some other translation, and then at least be attempting to proceed from the same translation. Don't realistic Christian exegetes need to start in that fashion?

    "I didn't say scripture was impure, I said the interpreter is--there is a huge difference. And as to your point on coming to an "objective" interpretation of scripture, it is incumbent upon you to explain how, within orthodox evangelical Chrisitianity, we have so many disparate interpretations of scripture..."

    Look with me at the odd christian sects like the Mormons or jehovah's Witness' and see, that they started from intellectually gifted teachers, who went off in there own direction hijacking scripture. Same principle to a lesser degree has happend with the denominations, an independent minded teacher has started his own thing. Forgive me for even mentioning the mormon's and such in the same breathe as Christian denominations but, it seems clear to me that, independent minded, and often overzealous and imaginative teachers, are at the root of the problem of serious division.
    My point is that independent minded teachers who were reacting to wrong or incomplete doctrine, in turn reacted with their own incomplete doctrine, and helped with the process of the fractured denominations. The printing press was invented and the catholic problem was largly impacted and things started to go better for the larger body of Christ. But is this all the farther they are going to go toward unity? We have more authoritative, dictatorial denominations than ever? So can we overcome their poor early example and decide that it should be possible to agree on doctrine? And then figure out how to focus and get on with the doing of that.

    "My real point is that within Christianity, if we were more open to dialoging around our variant interpretations we might have a better chance at accessing the whole counsel of scripture as the whole body of Christ--instead of coming at it from "MY" interpretation vs. "Their" interpretation. Is that clear enough, Todd?"

    The spirit of that comment to me is fine with me, however, is earnest dialoging around 'our various' interpretations as close as we can get? I don't think that it is ever going to get us close enough togetther. Or can we somehow agree to determine to close the gap in our interpretations? I think we need to agree on a common translation and THEN work on the interpretations afterward. Does that make sense or am I missing a layer? I know I'm on the verge of oversimplifying but I think I have identified a problem that is not given enough seriousness.

    All I'm saying is as a talented Christian exegete, would your 'keep digging for an approach to a solution' don't settle for 'varying interpretations' on the problematic theological differences. I am trying to encourage you in this area, and Antonio, because I don't have nearly the skills to be as effective as is needed myself.

    "This illustrates my point wonderfully, until we as Christians/interpreters recognize that we bring various presuppositions and interpretive traditions to the text (or whatever we're interpreting for that matter)we will never get to the pure objective authorially intended message of the text of scripture. Hopefully that's clarifying, Todd!"

    Well, you said it alot better than I did. I was trying to make an important point, hopefully you caught a glimpse of it.

    "My gripe with Antonio, or anyone else, is that failure to recognize the above only imbues scripture with meaning that it never intended to communicate, i.e. creating categories and asking questions that the text never intended to answer. Clear . . ."

    O.k. Thanks for considering my comments to you. I can see you are grappling with a similar problem as mine. I'm convinced, after shoveling a little snow outside, that there is something of note going on here. Are you ready for this? After all of my oversimplification are you going to think about this one? Here it goes. I, who had 3 semesters of college 27 years ago, had a B+ average, am going to tell you, a much more learned fellow than I, to not be satisfied with the varying interpretations that we torture each other with, and keep working toward a way in which we can all be reading from the same God breathed words. And then we can work on the varying interpretations! With somewhat more hope. Don't fall into this bottomless varying interpretation trap. We're all wasting our time talking with each other on that basis, in my opinion. This is what the importance of every member of the body of Christ is all about. You have the gift of being able to retain and evaluate all the theologies. I have the gift of seeing that your gift alone is a waste of time if you don't focus, once in a while, on the real problem and remind and encourage you to that end. Or, who knows, maybe I just got way too good a nights sleep last night, and I really don't know what I'm talking about. I would say the same thing to Antonio, who like yourself, has a much more thorough and comprehensive grasp on doctrine and theology than I do; that you need to quote the scripture and forget all of your tempting rationaizations. Let it do All the talking. Quit impressing yourself and boring me with all the excessive weighing of the different theologies. They're not working (I know, to strong), they divide. Too much of that is just intellectual self-gratification, and the stopping short of making the tough decisions about what is at the bottom of these disagreements. The theologies are great reading and great help, but not the final authority. And recognize that as long as you're working from different scripts, translations, that, that will present an insurmountable problem. O.k., thanks for listening to all of my idealizing. But watch out because I'm on to something there, and Bobby, don't take the following as any kind of indictment, just encouragemnt, and I know I will state this miserably and not to your satisfaction, and you will be right in thinking so, but I still need to say it and you can take it for what it's worth, you're a talented guy, but it seems like you are willing to accept these differnces as being able to be adequately resolved using 'varying interpretations', and have stopped entertaining the idea that we must continue to strive for one accurate representation of the Word, and then fly at it with all our differing interpretations! That to me, is an glaring dilemma that has not been adequately addressed by Christian exegetical practice and endeavor. And it seems to quench any serious discussion. Just my humble suggestion. You and Antonio are talented guys, immensely valuable to Christain teaching, now figure out which one is the accurate script that all Christians can use to accessod's word, the reliable script of God's recorded Word, and then discuss the meaning, once that is accomplished. Don't let me waste another minute of your time with my dreaming. Thanks.

    All for our love of God,

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "How would you know if my exegesis is really true and does not "imbue scripture with meaning that it never intended to communicate" yet yours does?"

    My point here is that failure to recognize (or admit) that interpretation is not "naked"--there are informing socio/cultural factors that have helped shape your's/mine interpretive grid--that we are all better off recognizing so we don't unintentionally read "into" the text things that aren't necessarily being communciated. I didn't really make any judgment calls on any of your exegesis.

    Antonio said:

    "I think that you have set up a philosophical equation that precludes any sense of coming to an accurate exposition. One can never know for oneself if his presups have hindered his exegesis."

    So you don't bring any presuppositions to the exegetical table. I think failure to recognize that you do has the same effect you accuse my position of when you state, ". . .One can never know for oneself if his presups have hindered his exegesis." If you don't recognize your presuppositions how will you be able to distinguish between them and what your "reading" in the text. This is all I'm arguing . . . simple recognition that we all have presuppositions (I didn't think this would be a ground-shaking realization).

    Antonio said:

    "Much of what you say is theological. Your arguments are a "he said, they said" plethora of historical positions."

    Antonio the whole basis of your hermeneutical approach is built upon the foundation of a Pre-mil. Classical Dispensational framework--take that away, and your exegesis will fall apart. My point, if I'm engaging in theologizing, and much of my exegesis is built upon a systematic framework--so is yours! In fact I think the FG position, relative to hermeneutics, is necessarily dependent upon the foundation of provided by the systematic theological construct known as Classic Disp.

    Is my current argument this, as you state of my argumentation,". . . Your arguments are a "he said, they said" plethora of historical positions""?

    Antonio said:

    "I say the less we study the exegesis of historical personages and the more we study the culture and linguistics and proper interpretive principles the better."

    And I asked Antonio above, which he indirectly has answered--I asked:

    "Antonio, do you believe the history of interpretation is a legitimate plank in the process of establishing your hermeneutical platform?"

    I guess his answer is no, given his response highlighted above. That's all I'm trying to emphasize, an under-emphasized plank of the exegetical process--the history of interpretation. Maybe the Holy Spirit elucidating something in the past that might be of value to us in the present. I'm not even saying this is the primary plank, just one of them when engaging the hermeneutical process--such as linguistic, literary, grammatical, cultural, syntactical analyses provide planks for the establishing a hermeneutic as well.

    Antonio said:

    "I don't share your pessimistic outlook on biblical interpretation."

    I don't share my pessimistic outlook on biblical interpretation either :)! My Master's Thesis was an exegetical analysis of I Cor 1:17-25, I followed the Literal, Grammatical, Historical approach of interpretation as (as I do now), I assume you do. I've taught hermeneutics classes at the college level that engaged both the LGH (mentioned above); as well as the Canonical critical approach (which emphasizes the unity of scripture, esp. emphasizing literary analysis and speech act theory). I am a critical realist, not an anti-realist--thus my optimism of our ability to interpret the scriptures (through a dialogical approach, i.e. open to different traditions than my own to find legitimate insights into the text of scripture).

    Antonio said:

    "I take one look at most Reformed and Lordship exegesis and a shudder at the superficiality and shallowness of their expositions."

    Very broad generalization, Antonio--very assertive. But like you, I don't agree with alot of the exegesis represented by that position; but it doesn't mean everything they communicate is rubbish, right?

    Conversely, there is alot of interpretation in Church History that is invaluable. Thus my interest in highlighting some of it with many of my articles (I just think its a very neglected area of focus when it comes to biblical interpretation--places like Dallas Theological, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Chafer Seminary have methodologically, IMO, rooted out the value provided by the history of interpretation from their curriculum--that's too bad--we have a rich heritage!). There is much more to church history, than that represented by the LS/Calvinist position--they are just the tip of the iceberg--once you get under a little bit you might realize this--I hope, anyway.

    The moral of my story here, and my prior comments: We should all recognize that we have informing interpretive traditions (it's not just the Roman Catholics who have tradition), failure to do so lends biblical interpretation to distortation, because we are unable to make distinction between our interpretation and the driving tradition. Furthermore, history of interpretation, which coincides with my point above, is good--not bad; failure to recognize this implies that the Holy Spirit has not been working in Christ's church the past 2000yrs--and that He is only working through our interpretive process NOW!

    Sorry if my perspective offends you Antonio, but it is what is!

    In Christ,

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 5:27:00 PM  

  • Hopefully I redid my comment so that it is easier to read. Thanks for your tolerance.

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 5:30:00 PM  

  • I said to Todd:

    ""My real point is that within Christianity, if we were more open to dialoging around our variant interpretations we might have a better chance at accessing the whole counsel of scripture as the whole body of Christ--instead of coming at it from "MY" interpretation vs. "Their" interpretation. Is that clear enough, Todd?"

    Todd responded:

    "The spirit of that comment to me is fine with me, . . ."

    Let me just apologize and ask for forgiveness for the terseness of my tone there . . . I was a bit frustrated when I responded to you--I was frustrated because I believed you had mis-represented what I had originally communicated.

    As for the rest of your comments, I'll have to get back to you--you raise many issues. The translation of scripture we use to study and consequently establish doctrine from is very important. I think when limited to English translations we should use various translations given the variant philosophies of translation reflected in the various translations--this way the Bible student will be exposed to the various nuances that will be reflected by the interpretive decisions a particular translator will make (given their prior committment to a particular interpretive tradition--see this stuff is all inter-related). Even getting under the translations, there is pretty much two camps of perspective, relative to textual criticism and what Greek manuscripts provide the most reliable resource for translations--and thus critical study. The two camps are: The Critical Text camp (English translations would be NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.) and the Majority Text camp (English translation that follows this text is the NKJV). Currently I follow the Critical Text, I presume Antonio follows the Majority text (I know Chafer Seminary does anyway). I don't think this contributes to any substantial doctrinal differences reflected between Antonio or myself.

    I respond more later, Todd . . .

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 5:57:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    Like I said, I don't need to waste your time. But any input as to how you view the struggle going on with regards to the exegetical materials we use and its difficulties that lead us to impasse on some topics, would be greatly appreciated. I think you can tell, this is a source of sore frustration for me, trying to make heads or tails out of exegetical differences. I can't get comfortable with it. Perhaps you might just post your thoughts on this subject in your blog, sometime in the future, as time permits. This blogging is new, and time-consuming if not done in moderation. I'm sure you could write a book on the subject if time permitted, so I would be happy with just a few well organized thoughts on the subject in your blog whenever you can get around to it.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 6:44:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    How is it going? Just wanted to drop by and say hello. I do appreciate your zealousness for this subject. I pray that God will continue to give you much light on this subject.

    Don't blow off Bobby, he's probably one of the most objective guys I've read lately.

    Anyways, God bless.

    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 8:16:00 PM  

  • Antonio and Dyspraxic,

    While you are thinking about your answer to does God foreknow who will come to faith and who will not, here is a quote by Gordon Clark on foreknowledge.

    "Some people argue that knowledge or foreknowledge does not necessitate anything. Even a man may know that an event will occur tomorrow, but this does not mean that he causes it to happen. Perhaps so. But if he does not cause it to happen, there must be some other cause which does, for unless it were certain, he could not know it. Now, then, since omniscience shows that all events are certain, it follows that if God does not cause them, there must be a cause external to and independent of God. In other words, God has ceased to be God. Toplady recognizes this in his paragraph: “God’s foreknowledge, taken abstractly, is not the sole cause of beings and events; but his will and determinate counsel and foreknowledge act in concert, the latter resulting from and being founded on the former.” Note that foreknowledge is dependent on determinate counsel. This is not true of a man. For example, I know that Christ will return. The event is determined, certain, and necessary. But I did not determine it."

    Gordon Clark. The Atonement - page 135

    It's a good discussion,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Wednesday, March 01, 2006 8:29:00 PM  

  • Doug,
    So are you saying that unless God controls everything ... he is not omniscient?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 5:35:00 AM  

  • I think the way God's omniscence functions with regard to us is not provided for in scripture. Guessing is exciting but in the end is still just being wishful. The likelihood of being wrong takes the fun out of guessing for me.

    By Blogger Todd, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 6:36:00 AM  

  • I believe God foreknows the future. As He exists outside of time, He acts as eternal witness to the events of the future.

    God only has knowledge of facts. God knows the futute, but He cannot know hypothetical futures.

    If God created only those people who would be saved, how could He know that they would be saved in this hypothetical universe?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:21:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Thanks for your question. Yes that could be deduced from this argument but it would need further clarification in order for me agree whole heartily with your question.

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:43:00 AM  

  • Todd,

    Are you saying you don't know if God knows who will come to faith and who doesn't or are you saying, even if we do know it has no meaning for us?

    Thanks for your response,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:49:00 AM  

  • Dyspraxic,

    Thanks for your straight forward answer. I am not a proponent of middle knowledge either, so we are agreed on that. But God knowing the future has logical implications as presented by Clark. Let me write them out in a syllogism in order to make it a bit clearer, as it is a bit of a complex argument.

    -If an event is not certain, it can’t be known.

    -God foreknows so it is certain.

    -If it is certain, it must be caused

    -If God did not cause it, something else did. (this is speaking of primary not secondary causes)

    -If something else caused it, God ceases to be God

    -God cannot cease to be God

    -THEREFORE – God caused men to have free will who will not choose Him and who will go to hell.

    How would you deal with this argument?

    God Bless,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 10:02:00 AM  

  • Hi Doug,
    Thanks for asking.

    I know I run the risk with my brief comments of sounding like there are things that are not important to know. Or that I'm o.k. not knowing. The opposite is probably true.

    When I said:
    "I think the way God's omniscience functions with regard to us is not provided for in scripture."

    I was just trying to get at the idea that I don't think there is enough information given in scripture for us to grasp how God went about the election process of who will come to faith and who will not.

    I think there is a lot we can know about who God isn't, from the process of elimination in His word, and who He is as well, but the inner workings of how he is actually executing His will, who He's chosen and why and how, is tricky to me, because I need for Him to say it pretty clearly, or it's just too open to multiple misinterpretations. I think there is only one allowable interpretation, and if it cannot be interpreted clearly then we should acknowledge that and not allow any maybes into our doctrine. In the meantime I see nothing wrong with aggressively exploring all questions. But drawing questionable conclusions that you expect other people to accept must be done with restraint.

    I believe God knows who will come to faith and who will not. If He is all-knowing then He is all-knowing. It's hard to know how this notion He's given us, of Him knowing the future, works. I think it is much more complicated than we can percieve. I can imagine some pretty wild scenarios, but I want to know with certainty what I believe and why and don't think there is enough information available for man to to be certain how the election process was arrived at. And I don't think we're asked to be certain by God.

    And If in fact we have been told, and we do know, then I think it would be of great importance.

    I think God can tell of the subjects He's created, which will come to faith and which will not. But leaves it up to them. He has made a creation that He knows all about, and now, is just letting it run its course, in a sort of preplanned refining process, perhaps. He knew I would not come to know Him until I was 35 years old. He chose me ahead of time to be given the offer of faith through grace, He just decided to let me live until I would finally accept it, and acknowledge His presence and sovereignty in the universe.

    He's also created some whom He's chosen to withhold His grace from. I cannot explain why or how other than what He's told us in the bible. Perhaps He needs, the most, to show us by them what condition we are in apart from seeking Him.

    There are too many possibilities in my mind as to why and how God does it to accept many of the major doctrines come across. I want to here it clearly from His word or I'm going to figure He's deemed it as not important enough for me to know. That leaves alot of unanswered questions, I know.

    By Blogger Todd, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 1:02:00 PM  

  • Todd,

    Thanks, that was a very thoughtful answer. I see what you meant by your comment now, and I agree with your sentiment.

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 1:28:00 PM  

  • Doug,
    I believe that God exists outside of time.

    Therefore talking of God's foreknowledge is misleading.

    God's knolwedge of the future to Him is present knowledge. He experiences, the past, present and future in eternity. There is therefore technically no foreknowledge of the future, though God in eternity has perfect knowledge of the future.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 1:35:00 PM  

  • Dsypraxic,

    I agree with your understanding of knowledge outside of time, but it seems to strengthen my argument not refute it.

    For instance, if God knows everything as now (outside of time), He is also causing everything now. Being outside of time does not separate God's knowledge from His sovereignty.

    Let me phrase my argument this way,

    God knew everything about this world He was going to create (no middle knowledge).

    Did He know it because He was going to create (cause) it?

    Or

    Did He know it because it was going to create (cause) itself.

    God Bless,

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 1:47:00 PM  

  • Todd,

    You said, "He's also created some whom He's chosen to withhold His grace from. I cannot explain why or how other than what He's told us in the bible. Perhaps He needs, the most, to show us by them what condition we are in apart from seeking Him."

    I wanted to bring this out because it is a great comment. This is the way we should think of it. But we must remember that this goes against what Antonio was arguing.

    This was the reason I went into this whole discussion. If the fact that God has sovereignly planned out every aspect of the world He was going to create then causes it all to happen, refutes Calvinism. Then it also refutes anyone who believes in God's foreknowledge.

    The truth is that it doesn't refute either. God is sovereign over all things and man is responsible. Biblically the two are compatible.

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:23:00 PM  

  • God knew everything about it because He was eternally present at the consumation as well as the creation. God acts eternally.

    I think to say that God determines everything as a result of creation is a slippery slope to pantheism. On your view, the creation almost becomes an emanation of God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:29:00 PM  

  • Dyspraxic,

    Some have ended up there, but it doesn't nessecarily leads to pantheism, nor does it make the argument false.

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:42:00 PM  

  • Dspraxic,

    Not to mention that in this view, nothing that God creates is actually Him.

    Doug

    By Blogger Doug E., at Thursday, March 02, 2006 3:44:00 PM  

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