[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)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Why Sacrifice for God if You Can't be Sure that Christ Sacrificed for You?

by Antonio da Rosa


With due respect to H.K. Flynn, who posted today, I have decided to spend a few moments on the computer and resurrect an archive from my blog. This is the post that shot across the blogosphere with no apology and which put Free Grace theology into the spotlight. There is a new post on my blog today as well. You must all excuse me as I haven't had much inspiration in the theological realm, as I have been pursuing a growing intimate relationship with my wife (our 8 year wedding anniversary was yesterday), been teaching hermeneutics at a Bible college, taking care of my children at night so my wife can work, and working various and odd hours myself, usually waking at 3 am; not to mention my ever increasing practical devotion to the Savior who sacrificed everything because I was destitute to provide anything on my own behalf.

My pastor is a famous pastor. He is on the radio everywhere. He teeters though. Often he gives a very clear gospel message, straight to the heart. Other times he is wishy washy and borders on soft-Lordship salvation. This week he used the parable of the sower and claimed that only the last soil was truly regenerate. He stated that if we didn't have some arbitrary amount of fruit in our lives that we must question if we "committed" enough to Jesus. My wife shared my feelings as she told me she looked around at the audience and wondered if anyone was doubting their very salvation because their was not sufficient works in their lives to render such a verdict.

Anger and frustration enveloped my soul. What will be the near future for those who truly believed in Christ yet do not have the subjective amount of fruit that was taught to them necessary in order to deem oneself truly saved? How will Satan rob them of their joy and suppress them from greater works and devotion to the Savior supposing that the wordly performance based system pervading every facet of our mundane existence is divinely inspired and instituted in eternal affairs after all? What of those who have teetered on the fence, having not been convinced of the eternal benefit and salvation in Christ that comes by faith in His name? How can they be spared from the taint of works-conditioned assurance of eternal well-being?

Let us look with new eyes to the serious repercussions of Lordship Salvation advocates who make works a bold and heralded condition of final salvation (not to mention present assurance); let us examine the hopeless plight of their searching for true assurance of God's eternal acceptance; let us remind ourselves of God's free and unconditional acceptance that requires no strings, no caveats, no provisos that can render the relationship which He freely offers as deviod and bunk... Let us glory in the Savior who, while we were yet powerless, died for us, ungodly, and reprobate...

Now on with the archive:


---------
Why would anyone want to do works in the name of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ who does not have certain, absolute convinced assurance of eternal life, his right-standing before God, and his salvation? (Pause for you to actually consider this and give a good answer)…

The Calvinist cannot know for certain that he is saved! Why?

1) Due to the fact of their Perseverance theology. Only true believers will persevere in faith and obedient works until the end; so unless he is on his death bed (and not even then will it be certain because of their sins), he cannot have any certain assurance that he is saved.

2) Calvinism grounds its own brand of uncertain assurance of salvation on 3 things, 2 of which are completely subjective. One is the inner witness of the Spirit. But I ask, how exactly are we to know that it is the Spirit, and not an agent of Satan, who transformed himself into a minister of light; or the mind playing tricks on us; or some bout of emotionalism; or even the pastrami sandwich eaten for lunch? The second subjective ground is the introspection of self: the looking to one’s works and present sanctification. My experience is that there are one of two results when looking at one’s self as a base for assurance: a) self-righteousness and b) despair caused by musing on one’s sins.

So why would a Calvinist work for God if he is not certain he is saved? Why else other than that they believe that they must persevere in faith and good works until the end of life to actually gain "final salvation"!? That this is works-salvation is evident, but this has been discussed in other posts of mine. Here we are talking about assurance, and I am going to keep it on track.

Following are a few of the quotes of Reformed writers that show the utter failure to obtain certainty that one is saved in Calvinistic theology:

Kenneth Gentry writes, "Assurance is subjective ... Dabney rightfully notes that [absolute assurance] requires a revelation beyond the Scripture because the Bible does not specifically speak to the individual in question. Nowhere in the Bible do we learn ... that Ken Gentry is among the elect" (September 1993 issue of Dispensationalism in Transition).

“'What must I do to be saved?' is an altogether different question from, 'How do I know I've done that?' You can answer the first confidently. Only the Spirit may answer the last with certainty.” (Walter Chantry, Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? pgs 75-76)

R.C. Sproul muses in an article he wrote on assurance, “Suppose I am mistaken about my salvation and am really going to hell? How can I know that I am a real Christian?” He relates, “I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I looked at myself, the worse I felt.” After falling on his knees, praying, and searching the scriptures for some assurance, he finally concluded “that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option!” (R. C. Sproul TableTalk (Nov 6, 1989): p. 20).

“You may be a spiritual defector who hasn’t defected yet." (John MacArthur on His radio program, transcribed by a friend).

“The only evidence of election is effectual calling, that is, the production of holiness. And the only evidence of the genuineness of this call and the certainty of our perseverance, is a patient continuance in well doing” (Charles Hodge, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, 212).

“The perseverance of the saints reminds us very forcefully that only those who persevere to the end are truly saints” (John Murray, quoted by Dillow, Reign of the Servant Kings, pg 259)

These quotes betray the utter bankruptcy of the Reformed theology to:

1) Relate to its adherents a certainty that they have been accepted by God, justified, and given eternal life. Doubts necessarily must abound. Some authors even claim that doubts can be good so that they will motivate us to good works and perseverance (apparently by fear of hell).

2) Provide one of the greatest motivators for godly living: certainty of salvation! What are we left with here? Reformed people’s motivation is to work hard enough in order to gain some shadow of assurance, and thus make some conjecture that they may be saved. Instead of working out of gratitude that God has certainly saved them, they must work for God and persevere until the end for final salvation to be theirs!

How can you work for God if you are not certain that your name is written in the Book of life? Is that not like investing in a company that may not be yours; tricking out a car that may be repossessed at any time; devoting to a woman who hasn’t affirmed that she is your wife?

Free Grace theology teaches that assurance is of the essence of saving faith. Calvinists and Lutherans who take their name from the great reformers may not be aware that both Luther and Calvin believed that assurance was of the essence of faith, not by looking to works!

It is generally observed by Reformed authors that both Calvin and Luther grounded assurance on the objective word of God, in that certain and absolute assurance was of the very essence of saving faith:

Joel R. Beeke (TMS) admits, "Whereas the early Reformers held that assurance is part and parcel with faith, post-Reformation divines felt free to distinguish assurance from faith as witnessed by chap. 18 of the Westminster Confession." (Beeke, "Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith? Calvin and the Calvinists," The Master’s Seminary Journal (Spring 1994) pg 45)

He also makes this further admission: "The bulk of current scholarship, however, no longer views the post-Reformation struggle to develop a detailed doctrine of assurance as a faithful outworking of early Reformation principles." (Ibid 46)

D.A. Carson, writing on assurance, states that the Reformation, with “its virulent [sic] emphasis on sola fide led Luther to see assurance as an element of saving faith. If one truly trusts Christ for the forgiveness of sins and full justification, so far also one is assured of his forgiveness. Carson continues, “The same connection can be found in Calvin” (Westminster Theological Journal 54, Reflections on Christian Assurance, 1992 pg 3).

Robert L. Dabney concluded that the “doctrine concerning faith which the first Reformers … Luther and Calvin… adopt[ed] from their opposition to the… teachings of Rome… asserted that the assurance of hope is of the essence of saving faith. Thus says Calvin in his commentary on Romans: ‘My faith is a divine and spiritual belief that God has pardoned and accepted me’” (Discussions by Robert L. Dabney, D.D., L.L.D., pg 173; taken from: Volume I: Theological and Evangelical, edited by C. R. Vaughan, published by the Presbyterian Committee of Publication, Richmond, VA., 1890.).

Hodge states that the Reformers “identif[ied] assurance with faith, making it essential to salvation,” teaching “that the special object of justifying faith is the favour of God toward us for Christ's sake: therefore to believe is to be assured of our own personal salvation. Thus Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin taught. This is the doctrine taught in the Augsburg Confession and Heidelberg Catechism” (A Commentary on: The Westminster Confession of Faith, A. A. Hodge, Online Edition, Chapter 18, Section II, 2).

Institutes III.ii.16, John Calvin writes (quoting from the 1960 Westminster Press edition, edited by John T. McNeill, and translated by Ford Lewis Battles):

“Here, indeed, is the chief hinge on which faith turns: that we do not regard the promises of mercy that God offers as true only outside ourselves, but not at all in us; rather that we make them ours by inwardly embracing them. Hence, at last is born that confidence which Paul elsewhere calls "peace" unless someone may prefer to derive peace from it. Now it is an assurance that renders the conscience calm and peaceful before God’s judgment.”

Shortly after these words comes this famous statement:

“Briefly, he alone is truly a believer who, convinced by a firm conviction that God is a kindly and well-disposed Father toward him, promises himself all things on the basis of his generosity; who relying upon the promises of divine benevolence toward him, lays hold on an undoubted expectation of salvation.

Earlier (Institutes II.ii.7) Calvin proclaims:

"Now we shall have a complete definition of faith, if we say, that it is a steady and certain knowledge of the Divine benevolence towards us, which [is] founded on the truth of the gratuitous promise in Christ" (Institutes, II, ii, 7)

The aforementioned Reformed author’s admissions are significant in that they frankly declare that the prevalent view in contemporary scholarship is that post-Reformation theologians departed significantly from John Calvin’s own view of assurance. Needless to say, it would be awkward for protagonists in the Lordship Salvation debate to admit that they are defending a view of assurance significantly at variance with that of Calvin himself!

The objective word of God, specifically the promise of Christ to give, as a present and immediate possession, the free gift of eternal life by simple faith in Him alone, apart from works, is the only ground for assurance. While Luther and Calvin state that one should keep their eyes on Jesus alone for assurance, the post-Reformation writers significantly ground their assurance on self; on the works that are produced by them and their degree of sanctification.

Can I ask you a personal question? Would you want your children doubting that you are their father? What kind of psychological problems would result from such a cruel practice?

And imagine this. Your son is in a time of rebellion, even after you have given him all the tools he would need to act right. Imagine you saying to your son, “You have every reason to doubt that I am your father and you are my son because of your rebellion!”

I contend greatly that God, the perfect Father wants everyone to certainly know, not just at the moment of faith in Christ, but throughout their entire Christian pilgrimage here that He is indeed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, their Father, and that they are completely accepted by Him on the basis of Christ’s works.

Do you know that you are certainly saved, that for sure your name is written in the book of Life? that you are accepted by God, and that He is your Father?

If you don’t, you can! Simply look to the passages of Scripture that promise eternal life as a present possession to the one who merely believes in Christ for it.

For instance, John 6:47

“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life”

Do you believe in Christ here in His solemn assertion? If you do, you must be convinced that you have eternal life, for the guarantee is disclosed in the promise.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26)

Notice the guarantee here! Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life to the simple believer in Him for it! If you believe that Jesus guarantees you eternal life by your simple faith in Him, not only do you possess eternal life, you necessarily have absolute assurance that you are saved!

How can a person say that they believe Jesus here and not understand that they have eternal life? It is impossible, for, as I have said, the explicit guarantee of eternal life is the promise to the believer in Christ. So therefore, to believe this statement of Christ is to believe that you have eternal life. Only if you doubt the veracity of Christ’s statement will you not have absolute assurance of salvation.

Are you now experiencing any doubts about your salvation? Look to Christ and His promise in faith and you will be certain!

In closing, let us view a statement by Robert L. Dabney:

“There is a spurious as well as a genuine faith. Every man, when he thinks he believes, is conscious of exercising what he thinks is faith. Such is the correct statement of these facts of consciousness. Now suppose the faith, of which the man is conscious, turns out a spurious faith, must not his be a spurious consciousness? And he, being without the illumination of the Spirit, will be in the dark as to its hollowness.”
(Dabney, Ibid, pgs 180-181).

What a tragic position! The believer in Christ cannot know whether his belief is genuine or spurious! He must, therefore, search for a way to have faith in his faith--to believe that he has believed. But what if, after self-examination, he is wrong there, too?

Obviously, the kind of theology Dabney and Calvinism represents strips believers of their grounds of assurance and dangles them over an abyss of despair.

But, as you can see, we are not the first people to fight this battle over assurance. Calvin fought it, long ago, with Rome.

---------------

As a final note, a new contributer to the comments section of my blog, Jim wrote this:

"...if one cannot know for sure whether they are saved, I would say that it is not worth even attempting that kind of "christian" life...

I have no doubts that Christ has saved me, and this assurance is in no way contingent upon any continued action on my part.

What then is the difference between Armenianism and Calvinism if one cannot know for sure whether they are saved?"

To which I responded:

"D.A. Carson, a Reformed writer says this about Reformed and Arminian doctrines of subjective assurance:

'Thus at their worst, the two approahces meet in strange and sad ways'

Introspection is the critical basis for both theologies.

Their theologies both have the same result:

Calvinism: If you don't persevere in faithful obedience until death, this shows you were never saved.

Arminianism : If you don't persevere in faithful obedience until death, this shows you lost your salvation.

The results are the same: either faithfully work and obey until death or go to hell.

And in either case, you just can't know if you will end up in glory or not!

14 Comments:

  • Arent you finally glad I cried "Uncle" and said you were right? :-)


    THis is the ultimate question isn't it? It was getting too hard to prick against this goad. Sorry for all the whipping I put on you in the past. It is good to have been wrong and rest in the peace found in Romans 5:1

    I finally realized that what man needs to repent of is despising His free grace. To despise his grace is to despise Him. So once the heart is pricked of his resentment of the grace of God...peace comes in childlike faith alone on Christ. He is grace.

    P.S-you caught me using your quotes didn't you?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, April 05, 2006 8:22:00 PM  

  • Antonio !!

    Happy to see you posted :)

    I read your new introduction. As always you frame these issues with such a powerful vision for grace...

    Will read this again soon; it's late... Skimmed it though. Where did you get those Carson quotes? I want to read his stuff on John some day.

    God bless, brother :)


    Brian,

    Amen to this...

    I finally realized that what man needs to repent of is despising His free grace"

    :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, April 05, 2006 9:18:00 PM  

  • Good to see that post again.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 6:14:00 AM  

  • Brian,
    It's always a joy to here your thoughts, studies, teachings, and love of Christ as well.

    Thanks for finding the time to post this Antonio.

    By Blogger Todd, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 6:46:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    You said,
    "So why would a Calvinist work for God if he is not certain he is saved? Why else other than that they believe that they must persevere in faith and good works until the end of life to actually gain "final salvation"!?"

    The key point that I think a man-centered theology misses (a theology that has faith preceding regeneration) is that men are changed dramatically when God changes their heart. Paul on the road to Damascus experienced a dramatic rebirth from God. This is a God centered salvation. God does it all. This change that God does changes people from the inside out. They have new likes, new dislikes, new desires that come from the rebirth. They do not have to work to get these things. They come with the new birth.

    Even the perserverance that you think men must do is not from man's effort at all.... it is from God. As Jesus put it "...I shall lose none." The key words are "I shall." Jesus did not say, I sure hope they can perservere.

    There are certainly people who struggle with assurance that have salvation, but they are still saved. They are people with assurance such as the mythical carnal Christian that do not have salvation.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:00:00 AM  

  • Brother I've nothing to add concerning your post but rather to the many who are happy to see you posting again. Welcome back. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 9:42:00 AM  

  • Very nice Antonio, great post.

    Brian, I think your comment about "despising His free grace" is right on. I have studied Cain and Abel for some time and IMO this is the bottom line of what happened to Cain; 'Despising His free grace' is where sins desire for us gets its fuel.(Genesis 4:7)

    By Blogger Kris, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 12:33:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    First let me say it's good to hear and learn of your faith in Christ and to be able to look at this issue as fellow believers, for while as an adherent and lover of the reformed faith and Calvinistic doctrines we may disagree on some of the issues stated in your thread, we stand together in the faith and in Christ Jesus. With this foundation and relationship, we can discuss the doctrines of Scripture and even examine the various theological positions in light of what the Scripture says.

    It seems to me that you confuse as some have put it the difference between the "root" and the "fruit" of salvation. While good works do not form the “root” (or the grounds) of our salvation; the participation in and presence of good works along with the perseverance therein does provide an added measure of confirmation and assurance for the believer as works communicate & display the “fruit” of salvation in a believer’s life.

    Put another way, while Calvinists do agree with your position that believers may possess an infallible assurance in connection with their faith being founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation (WCF, XVIII, para. II), would one expect to find a person with such faith continue completely void of good works? No. Certainly there is a relationship between saving faith and good works? Does not James state that faith without works is dead (James 2:17-19)? Does not Paul ask the question “Should we go on sinning then?” (This does not mean that these works are to be looked upon as meritorious regarding salvation, for they are not (they are but “fruits” of salvation), but even, so, the evidence of good works, being motivated and empowered by Christ, provides additional support and affirmation of one’s having come to and being found in Christ. I would go even further to ask “Should one who claims to have such saving faith be content to rest in that faith if that faith does not result in good works?

    The framers of the Westminster Confession clarify this issue well where in referring to assurance state:

    “This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God: which Spirist is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.

    This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation,in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, inlove and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance: so far is it from inclining men to looseness.” (WCF XVIII, para I.-II.)

    This issue is clarified in Romans 8, a passage so meaningful to believers over the ages because of the comfort it has provided over the ages. The context of the passage – Paul has just proclaimed “What a wretched man I am!” but then goes on to state “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In this context Paul provides believers with three means of comfort (/assurance), including not only deliverance from the law (v. 2), justification by the blood of Christ (v. 3), but also being made partakers of his life through his Spirit. It is in participating in this new life (or life according to the Spirit) in contrast to continuing to be enslaved to sin and living according to the flesh that Paul says believers can rejoice even in the midst of their ongoing battle with sin. Here, the new life (including the works), serve as a means of comfort and confirmation to the believer.

    If I may close with an analogy, the assurance that a son has that he stands in right relationship with his father here on this earth is found not only in the word spoken to him by the Father, but also through the many other evidences displayed by the father and experienced in one’s life as a result of one’s being in right relationship with the father. If this is true from an earthly perspective, how much moreso when it comes to our relationship with our heavenly father!

    I believe the cautions and even warnings of Paul are applicable here, for when one fails to recognize or goes to the point of denying the relationship between faith and works, as well as the benefits received by believers through participation in righteousness and good works, often the result is that of slipping into an attitude and practice which denies the calling, necessity, and value of living according to the spirit, which results in sin.

    Blessings brother in Christ,
    Tim

    By Blogger Brandon Presbyterian, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 1:19:00 PM  

  • Hey thanks guys,

    I think you guys along with Bobby Grow helped wake me up to what I was taught as a child. I guess I sorta galationized myself you could say, but I am going to standfast in the Liberty wherein Christ has made us free and be not again entangled in the yoke of slavery. May we delight ourself each day in this amazing grace of God.

    I hope you use tender hands with some others, as they may not have been taught like I was in the beginning of my life.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:46:00 PM  

  • he he he

    galationized :)

    Took me a while to figure that one out.

    Very helpful to read this again, Antonio :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Thursday, April 06, 2006 5:51:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Brandon Presbyterian, at Friday, April 07, 2006 7:36:00 AM  

  • Friends,

    Scripture calls for believers to rejoice because of the new standing we have in grace as well as to enjoy (though not abuse) the liberty we have been given.

    It appears to me that some, if not all, in following free grace theology and glorying in the grace that is granted to us in Christ, err in then trying to set that grace over and against righteousness, as if the two were enemies rather than companions. Herein lies the root of misunderstanding among free grace theologians and its adherents.

    Consider the relationship between grace and righteousness as defined by Scripture:

    Isaiah 26:10 “Though grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and regard not the majesty of the LORD.”

    Romans 5:17 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

    Romans 5:21 “so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    Romans 6:15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
    Galatians 2:21 “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"
    What’s clear is that grace is not alone, but leads one to, frees one for, and enables one to achieve and participate in the latter.

    This being said, let me confess that this was not something that I understood either in first coming to Christ. Most people don’t. That’s why the writer of Hebrews in chapter five states “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” As believers embrace and mature in the faith, they not only switch from works righteousness to the righteousness of justification that comes through grace, but we are also called in that grace to grow and participate in righteousness as we are led and enabled by the Spirit.

    This is evident even in the distinctions Paul makes concerning the life of the Ephesians before and after they experienced grace in Ephesians 2. Whereas before he says “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, … all of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts…” but he goes on after pointing out the kindness, grace, and life giving power of God says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” One cannot imagine the Ephesians responding to Paul saying “I’m just going to trust in the liberty I have” … AS IF to infer that works have no place or concern for believers.”

    While it is true that we are to look to Christ alone as the means of justification, and that we are to delight in the liberty that we now enjoy in Christ – no longer looking to the law as our accuser, that does not negate the fact that the outworking and evidences of sanctification provide ongoing testimony to one’s standing in Christ.

    Look not just to the root, but to the fruit in distinguishing. Judge for yourself. Isn’t that what we find in Luke 6:44 “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.” Amplification of this truth is found in the surrounding context which states “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit... People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

    Though many often misrepresent it, the Calvinist position is NOT suggesting that one should look to works rather than grace for salvation, but rather that in addition to looking to grace alone for salvation, that the outworking of that grace, justification, and new life produces results that ALSO serve as confirmation of being found and living in Christ. Herein, the distinction and advantages of Calvinism are found in that Calvinists in addition to possessing assurance as a result of the promises … ALSO receive and enjoy ongoing testimony and confirmation through continuing in and living out life in Christ, whereas free grace adherents only look to and enjoy the former.

    Be careful YOU don’t set grace against righteousness, but understand and embrace righteousness in light of the grace you have received.

    Tim

    By Blogger Brandon Presbyterian, at Friday, April 07, 2006 8:02:00 AM  

  • Antonio, it seems that some are gloating over their efforts to drive you from the blogisphere.

    While you may not be 'popular', you are definitely infamous!

    God bless,
    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at Friday, April 07, 2006 9:13:00 AM  

  • Hi brandon presbyterian,

    Tim, I appreciate your good natured interest in discussing with us the challenges to our theological system. That is just the kind of discussion we appreciate! Welcome and I hope you feel at home here even if you completely disagree with many of our conclusions.

    I encourage you to take the issue of “righteousness” and explore our websites in order to see that the thin understanding of our views assumed in most critiques doesn’t jibe with our actual views.

    Basically, it is hard to know where to begin to answer your very legitimate questions, because they betray your being so new to FG that we would have to spend a lot of time bring you up to speed.

    I feel that we all have to do our own “due diligence” and then come together for healthy dialogue where iron can sharpen iron.

    To make it easier, I just posted something that is from my archives about the wrath of God that I hope you take a look at.

    It also may help for you to take a look at a passionate critique of FG from a non-Reformed viewpoint. Bobby Grow's accurate sketch shows that FG does have a fully developed theology of accountability, too developed for his taste.

    God bless,

    And thanks again,

    Jodie (HK)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, April 09, 2006 4:46:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home