[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)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Let us say...

by Antonio da Rosa

Let us say that Srinivas has no knowledge of Jesus WHATSOEVER. He lives in INDIA and has never heard the name of Jesus before.

Someone gives him the gospel of John. As he reads the gospel of John, he starts to read about Jesus. When he gets to John 3:16, he puts his trust, his faith in this Jesus for eternal life. He has not yet got to the part where Jesus died on the cross or rose again from the dead. Yet he has entrusted his eternal destiny to Jesus! Why is Srinivas not saved!?

He has faith alone in Christ alone, believes Christ's promise of eternal life!

It is abundantly absurd to relegate such a person to hell because, although he believes Jesus' promise to give eternal life to all who merely believe Him for it, he is lacking in knowledge of some historical facts concerning Jesus.

You guys don’t get it! Are you gonna say that Srinivas is going to hell even though he has put his trust and committed his eternal well-being to Jesus Christ as told in John 3:16? Is his unacquantence with the death and resurrection and the deity of Christ precluding him from salvation even though he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

58 Comments:

  • Absolutely right, Antonio.

    Your missionary perspective on this is very valuable.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 2:55:00 PM  

  • Marcus J. Borg is a Christian scholar, a Jesus Seminar scholar, and has written eleven books. He was quoted in the local newspaper as saying that He did not believe that Jesus Christ was the only way to salvation and could not be a Christian if that were so. If he still holds that view, is he a saved Christian?

    I submit that he does not have true faith in the gospel, but has created a god of his own imagination that is a false God. This means that he has not been regenerated yet. What would you say if someone claimed to have faith in Jesus, but believed that there are many ways to salvation? BTW the book of John is clear on the deity of Jesus in the first few verses.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, May 08, 2006 3:10:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat, indeed the Gospel of John does affirm Jesus' deity immediately. However, I very much doubt that a person from a Hindu background would form a correct understanding of Jesus' deity from John 1:1.

    If a person belives he is going to heaven because he is a good person or because God loves him, he would not receive eternal life, even if he believed in Jesus. He would not have believed on Jesus for eternal life and thus would not have appropriated it as a gift.

    I very much doubt that the scholar you mention believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, May 08, 2006 3:19:00 PM  

  • Romans 2:14-16 seems to suggest that even if one has NOT heard about Jesus at all they can possibly be saved.

    That is the beauty of Grace is it not?

    That we are saved by Him, accdording to His will and not our own. Now If Jesus were to save someone, the bible clearly teaches that that person needs to be born again (John 3:6-8 so it then follows that a person who has never heard about Jesus (even in any minor detail) will be born again if they are to be saved. If they are born again then thay have the Spirit of God within them and they will have the truth of God revealed to them. Perhaps and probably not to the level of a preacher or theologin but God also saves laymen and our understanding does not provide salvation, His Grace does.

    MDM

    By Blogger Modern Day Magi, at Monday, May 08, 2006 3:54:00 PM  

  • This is anecdotal and based on emotions, but if this man believes John 3:16 then we have no arguement as even the trinity is clearly seen in this simple and most wonderful text.

    "For God(The Father) So loved the world that he gave his only begotten(conceived of the Holy Spirit) Son(Person of Christ) that whosever believeth *In Him* should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    The bottom line though is that none of us can believe for another. God's wrath burns in every direction outside of what you believe about his Son. This is no small thing and we do not man any service by dismissing his deity as having no substance in the faith of man. In fact you rip the heart right out of faith. This is not a work or a stipulation, it is the simple truth.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 08, 2006 3:59:00 PM  

  • Let us say that a Muslim hears the words Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and really believes in Jesus but believes the Islam account that Judas died on the Cross instead while Jesus ascended into heaven, yet continues to believe Salvation is a gift minus the cross? Can he be saved if he beleves this verse Antonio?

    Do you think it is possible that when we give verses we need to also give background and exposite Who Christ is and what He has done as Stephen did with the Jews and as Paul did in Athens and as Peter did with Cornelius and many many instances where men made God known and what He has done?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Monday, May 08, 2006 5:40:00 PM  

  • Antonio, have you reduced yourself to establishing your position by using "hypotheticals" and emotionalism?

    Your article doesn't really deserve an argument in response, since you haven't presented an argument to respond to!

    Don't you see how extreme you are? Denying the necessity for someone to accept the Jesus of the Bible (i.e. God incarnate) as a condition for salvation. You're walking the "line" between historic orthodox Christianity, and the "kingdom of the cults". BTW, if the Hindu had made to Jn 3, he would've already been through Jn 1, which means He would been able to identify the real Jesus who saves (i.e. God incarnate Jn 1:14).

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, May 08, 2006 8:55:00 PM  

  • To All,

    The Gospel is not as presented on this blog. A perspective such as the one Antonio presents is not "a missionary perspective" as Matthew calls it. It is a demonic perspective. The text in John comes right after the verses in 3:13 and 14 where Jesus speaks of His ascension and His crucifixion as the one sent from the Father as descended to be the One lifted up, as was the serpent in the wilderness.

    The illustation of the Indian is not at all convincing for this argument, as also the quote of Romans two by modern day magi was
    mistaken as a proof of the unreached possibly being saved by another means. Romans three follows this up by saying that it is impossible, because there are not any so mentioned, not even one.

    Again, context is being allowed to take a back seat in the realm of Bible interpretation and doctrine. This is a total mistake.

    We all must read 1 Cor. 15:1-4 to see that the Cross and Resurrection in the historical and Biblical context of "Who" and "What" was done is "An Absolute Necessity"
    for the salvation of men and women whoever and wherever they are.

    I would be sad and more if any of the writers or promoters of this (Antonio type)thinking were ever to be missionaries. Most of the stumbling blocks that the Muslims here face would be taken out of the way(God having a Son, Christ dying,Christ raising, Christ as God, The cross as only way, and more)but they would be lost and the missionary would be under condemnation for preaching his own version of the gospel.

    The Bible says to warn and then let go. This is the second time a post of this type has appeared with even worse clarity of dishonor to our Father. We are instructed to avoid what is falsely called "knowledge" and "empty chatter" which is all that has come from the writer with silence or confirmation from his team mates. There comes a time to separate completely from a heretic. It is not personal.It is
    an order from our God.

    Titus 3:10,11
    "Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned."

    The word "factious" is "hairetikos"
    from which comes the word heretic, and it's root has the meaning "choice." In the literal and original sense a heretic is one that makes a doctrinal choice which pleases himself in the face of revealed truth. He sets aside context and "supposes" for the sake of illustration. He gathers unto himself others of like persuasion and disdains advice that is offered in context with the whole of revelatory truth.

    More than one have offered sound Biblical, detailed explanations of what the "Gospel" is. Now is the time to obey the text in Titus.
    For the true missionary perspective,
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:05:00 AM  

  • I do not see what the problem is here.

    We are not arguing that it is okay to reject the Trinity. We would keep no fellowship with a person who rejected the Trinity after it was explained to them.

    When I preach the Gospel in on the streets I do not hide Christ's divinity. I proclaim it.

    We are not denying the need to proclaim the cross and the resurrection.

    The simple issue is that we believe that one is justified by simple trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life, not by one's understanding of doctrine.

    If this makes me the follower of a cult, then I ma glad to be in this cult.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:48:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, since I have a little history with you, "blog time", please clarify:

    Are you saying you believe someone can come to saving faith in Christ, apart from recognition that they are a sinner (Rom. 3:23; John 8:30ff), and apart from recognizing that Jesus paid the penalty that they deserved to pay (Rom. 6:24), and apart from recognizing that Jesus is LORD (God), and was raised from the dead on their behalf (Rom. 10:9,10)? ARE YOU SAYING SOMEONE CAN ACCEPT JESUS FOR ETERNAL LIFE, W/O UNDERSTANDING THEIR NEED FOR ETERNAL LIFE; AND WHOM IT IS THAT PROVIDED THAT ETERNAL LIFE FOR THEM?

    If you affirm, all or any of my questions above; then you indeed have made a terrible error--and I would have to say that your teaching does not comport with the clear essential teachings of Christianity relative to salvation and essential trinitarian understandings that provide framework for understanding things salvific!

    Matthew said on your prior post:

    "Why do people not understand how simple this is?"

    I would agree, what you're saying is simple, it's simple to see that you are indeed providing a different gospel than has been provided by the whole of scripture--this Gospel of John thing is foolish to press as some Free Gracers are doing! John contributes to our whole understanding of scripture--don't you understand the "unity" of the scriptures and their message? Inerrancy presupposes such "unity". Canonicity does as well. John meets the same standard of presenting the same prophetic salivific message that the rest of the scriptures do! You have made me FURIOUS Antonio with your spurious remarks thus far--and I fear you are leading some astray!

    I pray for you, and hope you will recant, at least this article and the one prior to it!

    How about this as a parting verse, Jesus seemed to think it was possible for people to come to saving faith in Him apart from the gospel of John--further apart from the New Testament:

    "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40. yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:06:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    you're saying one thing, and Antonio another. If Antonio is saying what you're saying he needs to be clear--and quit beating around the bush on this issue. And so far, as reflected in this article, he presents an esoteric message, seemingly only meant for the "initiated" to understand!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:11:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    one more quick follow up! You create a false dichotomy between doctrine and reception of eternal life when you say:

    "The simple issue is that we believe that one is justified by simple trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life, not by one's understanding of doctrine."

    Justification and Eternal Life=Doctrine. Eternal Life and Justification are not "less than" doctrine, but "more than" in the sense that indeed the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit's doctrine/dogma is the "means" by which He provides the offer of salvation to an unregenerate world!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:16:00 AM  

  • Bobby, I fail to see where I differ from Antonio here.

    I agree that trusting in Jesus Christ for eternal life is doctrinal.

    We are not saved by understanding Christ's work, only by believing that it grants us eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:55:00 AM  

  • No doubt these journal articles have been linked to before, but in the event that some have not seen them, these articles (I suspect) are what “got the ball rolling” with regards to the discussion within the Free Grace community of the minimal content of saving faith. See especially the oft-mentioned deserted island scenario in the first article.

    How Pt 1
    How Pt 2

    Interestingly, here is a critique by another Free Grace writer of the above journal articles:

    How Critique

    By Blogger Solifidian, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:40:00 AM  

  • Respectfully Antonio and Matthew my understanding of the scripture is in agreement with Brian and Blaurock. The revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God is the foundation on which Christ Him self said He would establish His Church. Even the verse you offered clearly states that whoever believes in Jesus, the Son of God given by God, shall have everlasting life. The fact of Jesus heritage is essential in every record of conversion throughout the NT. This heritage may not clearly establish His deity or any concept of the Trinity in the mind of a new convert but it certainly establishes His identity.

    By Blogger Kc, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:21:00 PM  

  • I fully agree and concur with both Bobby and Joseph. This is gross heresy that is being dismissed by a sifting that is representative of the way the Serpant has always worked. No, Antonio is not him and I am not accusing him, but somehow some here are indeed listening to the voice of Yea hath God said?

    We cannot elevate the human condition above the love the Father also has for His Son. He loves those who are *In Him* with that same love and so the one who is to receive that Love is to receive him and not deny Him. this is indeed flirtation with dangerous ground and will indeed lead others astray. This has also been eye opening for me as I was beginning to entertain Zane Hodges theology. He may be right in some areas, but to keep whittling away unto this point demonstrates an alien motive that is not good.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:42:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio

    I think if you take away what Jesus did on the Cross for us then we are taking salvation into our own hands. To say in the name of Jesus I am save and not repent from our sins. How can you say this? How can you believe this? The demons knew Jesus and did not repent.... are they saved?

    Doug

    By Blogger forgiven, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 5:59:00 PM  

  • Blaurock, Bobby, Brian, etc,

    To me this is a clear example of holding the Word of God captive to your conscience(s)!

    Exactly what is so unthinkable about understanding the offer of eternal life as a narrow offer of truth (a narrow presentation of doctrinal truth)???

    You seem to both be brushing off the reality that John was not writing a travel log about Jesus' ministry or merely a historical document about how Jesus once, in that pre-Pentecost time-frame, offered people the gift of eternal life. He was presenting saving doctrine:

    And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (Jn 20:30-31)

    John was (essentially) telling the un-believers of his generation: believe this key doctrine, and God, in his extreme generosity, will deliver you from the great white throne judgment.

    (Guys, seriously, exactly how horrific the lake of fire is none of us know. Doesn't that give you pause in brushing off the, yes, hard to believe generosity of God which is made so very explicit in John? This is really not an emotional argument. How dare we add to what God has made minimal?)

    John’s Gospel is an evangelistic tool for the ages. We preach the divinity of Christ and the cross and the resurrection for many reasons, but partly because these truths make the message of belief in Jesus as the Christ plausible! And for that matter, those truths make the message of repentance downright plausible too!

    As long as you block out the possibility that this is more Biblical, and therefore more Christ-honoring, than you are holding the Word of God captive to your consciences.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 6:39:00 PM  

  • Jodie/Antonio?

    I am clearly miffed. You accuse us of twisting the word. I don't know what else to say other than to quote this verse:

    "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3

    I want you guys to know, that I love you, but I cannot entertain this any longer.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 7:20:00 PM  

  • What are you talking ABOUT, Jodie! Antonio is the one denying the necessity for recognizing Jesus as God as a condition for eternal life--and further denial of needing to recognize Jesus' death burial and resurrection, give me a break--this is absolute nonsense!!!

    Jodie said:

    "John’s Gospel is an evangelistic tool for the ages. We preach the divinity of Christ and the cross and the resurrection for many reasons, but partly because these truths make the message of belief in Jesus as the Christ plausible! And for that matter, those truths make the message of repentance downright plausible too!"

    Antonio does not believe this, what you've stated!! So DON'T put words in my mouth and try to spin this, Jodie.

    Your gospel of John argument is very weak. You didn't even deal with my canonicity argument. And I've dealt with your John argument in the past--to no avail--i.e. the same spin your providing here.

    ARe you reading the same thing everyone else here is reading, Jodie? By your comment, I don't think you are! You come off as very disengeneous, Jodie! You're so blindly committed to Free Grace theology that your willing to side with some one's perspective, Antonio's, that denies historic evangelical Christian teaching--that's too bad.


    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 7:48:00 PM  

  • Wow, Bobby, you have got to calm yourself down.

    The quote you give of Jodie I couldn't agree with more. You accused Jody of putting words into your mouth but you have here put beliefs into my mind that do not reside there.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 8:46:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    There is obviously some misunderstanding afoot that is causing some of this clash. I think that is evident from your comments above.

    What do you think Antonio is saying? That Jesus isn't God? I'm sure you are not thinking that, right? Maybe it would helpful to articulate what you hear him as saying.

    I'm saying that believing Christ's offer of eternal life is the one and only doctrine necesarry for regeneration. But of course we preach many things to proclaim the God who saves, the Father who saves, the Son who saves. The Son who died for our sins.

    Who in the world would believe that Jesus of Nazareth can provide us with eternal life out of the blue? Of course we preach the cross and the resurrection and His divinity in order to convince the lost that Jesus is fully dependable as the Guarantor of eternl life.

    (Although another reason is that it glorifies God when we proclaim these superlative truths.)

    IMO, the issue here is narrow. Exactly what content regenerates. The issue is certainly not, in my understanding, what is necesarry for salvation, which includes, but is more than, being born again.

    The content of belief is different from the doctrine of salvation. We don't have a Savior if He is not God. Antonio knows that!! We don't have a Savior if the virgin birth isn't true. There is a lot that is necesarry that still doesn't have to be understood in order for a sinner to become regenerate.

    Not sure, but I think somehow you may think when Antonio says certain things he must be implying other things that he really isn't intending to.

    So again, maybe verbalizing those implications would help.

    God bless,

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:32:00 PM  

  • I didn't word part of that right...

    What is necesarry in the big, spiritual, cosmic, prophetic sense for a bonafide salvation/redemption of sinners to occur is different and greater than what is expected of the unsaved to believe in order to be born again.

    That's what I meant...

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:38:00 PM  

  • Brian,

    Again, I think there is some misunderstanding here, but yes I think if you can look at John 20:30 and 31 and say that there are other things that are also necesarry to be born again, than I think you are discounting a key NT doctrine.

    Christ's divinity is needed for our salvation to be accepted by the Father, but understanding that is not needed prior to being born again. Is that really so extreme?

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:44:00 PM  

  • Doug,

    I really think, even if you are completely in disagreement with this post etc, you may want to reconsider referring to that particular verse. (demon's belief...)

    Oddly, it would be like someone saying hey let's sin that grace may abound. That would be employing Scripture in an odd way.


    James's demon comment is James's imagined objector~~not he himself making a point. He's using an objector like Paul does to strengthen and clarify his own argument, to explain what he is not meaning.

    I did a post on that verse pretty recently if you are interested in looking into it, although I know it sounds odd at first blush...

    God bless,

    Jodie



    Brian,

    About the verse you quote, I agree that the purpose of being born again is to get to know God intimately by obeying Him and doing the works he puts in our path.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:52:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    It's strange, to have you of all people tell someone to calm down!

    If I was the only one who "supposedly" mis-read you, Antonio, between these two posts of yours; then I might acqueisce, and leave with my tail between my legs. But I'm not the only one.

    The problem, in my estimation, is that if you really do believe what Jodie articulated--is that you've been emphasizing the opposite! You've been making it sound like belief in the deity of Christ and His resurrection are not necessary conditions for someone to be saved. You've been engaging in the "argument of the beard"; failure to point out that your belief on appropriation of salvation is couched within, and presupposed by, the essential "doctrines" of historic Christology and all its attendent implications (atonement, etc.)(i.e. on a continuum of belief). If you agree with my summation here, then indeed I have misunderstood, and I'll stand down on this point--but there are others I still have issue with.

    Antonio and Jodie,

    you're both aware of the figure of speech known as "metynome"--I would argue relative to "what content of the gospel" one needs to affirm in order to be saved--the same as you! In the sense that all one needs to affirm is trust in Jesus Christ alone--what is meant when someone names the name of Christ for salvation is very loaded. In other words, Jesus' person subsumes and is defined by His divinity/humanity, His death/burial/resurrection, His relationship to the Father/Holy Spirit. All of this, and more, are the logical implications of Jesus' incarnation into time and space; grounded in and over-flowing out of His intra-relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit! So when someone receives Jesus Christ of Nazareth into their lives as Savior--all of these definitional identifying features of "who" Jesus is and what He has done are also received by this person as well, right? If you agree with my discussion above, then I am sorry, ask for forgiveness for popping off--and will move onto challenging your quirky view of the "centrality" of the gospel of John ;). If you don't agree with my statements above, then I vociferously part ways with you--and hope to convince you of changing your perspective to a more historically shaped, scripturally founded understanding of soteriology and Christology!

    I wondered what it would take to get a response from you Antonio, I guess it takes communicating (i.e. tone) with the same "flare" as you typically do!

    Bobby G.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:06:00 PM  

  • Antonio, Matthew, Jodie,

    I have a very simple question, what must I believe in order to be saved. Antonio, you love the hypotheticals, pretend then I am a lost pagan with muslim background. I come to you. I ask you a very simple question, 'what must I do to be saved?' How do you respond?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:28:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    Thank God none of us gets to "relegate [others] to hell." God will sort all of this out. I would like to make a comment about Srinivas. If he read all the way to John 3, then he must have read John 1. He would then have been exposed to some about WHO this Jesus is.

    I really don't think people need to start throwing the word "heresy" around. I believe what you are trying to do in these two posts is challenge our thoughts on what is the essential bare minimum God will use to give new life to someone. He has done all this is necessary to procure the rights to this new life. He only asks for faith - but faith in what ... you ask? I think of many passages in John that seem to insist it is important to know WHO He is. So, I would include this if witnessing to Srinivas. I think it is essential.
    I am not sure what you are doing with your post, but I don't think you are a heretic, even if we disagree on this point. :~)

    To all those who have leveled the charge of heresy at my blog frineds here: take a deep breath. If they are wrong about a point of a hypothetical, that is OK. They all know who Jesus is and believe in the right Jesus. I also feel sure that if they are witnessing and they have more than 30 seconds, they share the whole story of the glorious savior who revolutionized their lives.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:13:00 AM  

  • Dear Rose,
    Since you have entered the dialogue I will speak one last time. It was I who spoke the words "heretic" and "heresy," but not all all "out of breath" or in "need of Cat-nip" or in "anger."

    A heretic makes the means of salvation other than what is Pauline. No one ever said that your friends denied the truths of Christ's Deity, or the Death and Resurrection of Christ. What they are denying is that this "Gospel" information is necessary to be "Born Again." That is beyond doubt what they have said in many ways, for several days. This is heresy. They are teaching and promoting it. They are heretics. It's not a matter of whether or not we want them to have the title. It is theirs by their own testimony, in denying that the Gospel must be believed to enter God's family. The idea that someone can believe in an "unknown Jesus" who did "something" somewhere" is not the Biblical testimony. Heretics are not always wearing strange clothes and gathering in communal farm houses. They sometimes turn up in the shoes of those we consider friends. You are in a tight spot. But your response is less than Biblical. Love must speak the truth. Heresy is in your midst. I pray you don't favor man over the Spirit of God.
    In Sincere Sadness(not anger in the least),
    Joseph

    By Blogger Blaurock, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:57:00 AM  

  • Rose, I have come to the conclusion that the term 'heretical' has been so missused and so abundantly used that it is without meaning. It is similar to saying something is 'orthodox'. What in the heck is orthodoxy? If we cannot even define 'orthodoxy' how can we define a derivation of that (i.e. heresy)?

    I would never call Matthew or Jodie heretical. Neither would I Antonia. Annoying, but I don't think him heretical. ;)

    ALSO! Would you be so inclined to answer my question as well?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:08:00 AM  

  • Sofyst,

    You have to believe that Jesus is the Christ, meaning the Son of God.

    (What does that mean?? Those terms mean that Jesus guarantees eternal life to all who believe in Him for that. When you believe Jesus for eternal life you are simultaneously born again. We know this from putting Jn 20:30-31 together with Jn 11:25-27, where Martha answers Jesus befroe Laz. is raised. John obviously uses Martha's phrasing in his purpose statement. He must have liked her answer!)

    Joseph,

    In the same way that a rainbow in the sky is really a promise, and a donkey can rebuke, and the sun can stop for a battle to finish, the Lord, in His Sovereignty, willed that eternal life would be given on the basis described very, very redundantly in the Gospel of John. It is odd but it is true.

    How do you interpret John 20:30-31 and Jn 11:25-27?

    The Lord's blessings to both of you!

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:49:00 AM  

  • Bobby, I'm having trouble getting a definition of metynome, is it a literary version of a metronome? ((he he he))

    Seriously, does it relate to meta? js

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:54:00 AM  

  • Very good Jodie. Next question. Let us assume that I do in fact believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. But let us assume as well that I believe that I am God. Meaning then that in believing that Jesus is the Son of God, I believe that Jesus is my Son. Would I then be believing correctly? Would you say that I would be saved by this belief?

    Serious question this is. These answers impact whether I should rejoice with the new 'convert' or pray that he comes to Christ.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:56:00 AM  

  • Good question.

    But no, you would not be saved.

    Because if you believed that you were God you wouldn't believe that you needed Jesus to give you eternal life/raise you up on the last day. So you wouldn't believe in the content of "Christ" and "Son of God" that has found in Jn 11:25-27. Those terms have specific content in John.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:21:00 AM  

  • I really didn't mean to sound like Yoda right then...so sorry I am. Mean to that time I did.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:22:00 AM  

  • Very good as well. But according to Antonio, I needn't read that far. I could have come to faith by reading only to John 3:16. I wouldn't necessarily need to get to chapter eleven to see the 'content' of those terms.

    Are you in disagreement with Antonio here?

    What I am seeing so far by your answer is that you believe in order to be saved you must believe in Jesus as the Christ, but not only that, believe that you need Jesus to give you eternal life/raise you up on the last day?

    Is this correct?

    If so, I have a further question: if I believed that Jesus would give me eternal life, but believed that this eternal life means I will now live forever upon this earth without ever suffering from physical death, would I believe correctly? would I be saved?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:32:00 AM  

  • I have to admit I am confused. I understood Antonio to say that it is not necessary to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and only that it is necessary to trust Him, whoever He might be, for eternal life in order to receive the gift of eternal life. That is the point I disagreed with. Jodie seems to articulate my understanding clearly and if Antonio is in agreement with her then I have no point of contention.

    Bobby I am not persuaded that ascent to the resurrection is necessary for all men simply because of Paul’s (1st Corinthians 15) appeal to the believers at Corinth that they accept that doctrine. It is clearly part of the Gospel but it is not clear to me that it is requisite for the gift of eternal life for all men though I confess it might be, or have been for some and well could be for us all. I admit I know of none who claim to be believers and reject this truth.

    To be clear let me say I think you all are some of the finest people I have ever been exposed to and far from being heretics.

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:51:00 AM  

  • KC,

    My argument was, i.e. the idea of continuum, is that when you accept Jesus for salvation--you accept the whole package, which includes the resurrection. In fact the resurrection is the only thin differentiates the Jesus who saves from the "messiahs" who don't. Not only that, but the resurrection is the basis of our victory over sin--this better be included in a gospel presentation. If not the gospel has not been fully presented!

    Jodie,

    Metynome, is a figure of speech that focuses on the either the "cause" or the "effect" and by so doing, one assumes the other and vice versa. So in other words, when we speak of Jesus, it assumes everything He has done and thus who He is!

    IN Christ,

    Bobby

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:34:00 AM  

  • Soyfst, I have answered that question already.

    I would take the opportunity to explain to you as much as I could; of the sinfulness of man, the person of Christ, His death and resurrection and the new birth.

    But the simple answerr is that to receive eternal life you must beleive that eternal life is yours through Jesus Christ.

    Faith is simply the appropriation of what is offered through Jesus Christ.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:43:00 AM  

  • Kc, given that Jodie is in agreement with Zane Hodges here, I would doubt that Antonio disagrees with Jodie.

    Hence, we are in agreement.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:49:00 AM  

  • Adam,

    You're not born again if you think "the Christ" is Jesus' last name!... Your saved if you believe in Jesus for eternal life--that is John's only content for what Christ, the Son of God means. I see it in Jn 3:16:

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    If you believe you're God and are afraid of perishing, I think your definition of God is meaningless.

    To your last question (I think I've answered your other questions, oh small Star Wars guru) yes I think you would be saved, even if you thought Jesus meant you would not even die physically. I think our eternal God takes away all eternal meaning of the pain of death, leaving only the transient, so you would be agreeing with his promise, despite the confusion.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:58:00 AM  

  • Matthew, Kc,

    Even Donald Carson sees John's use of the term "Son of God" as virtually a synonym for Christ/Messiah. I think we would probably all agree that a full understanding of Christ's Sonship is not needed to be born again.

    God bless.
    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:04:00 AM  

  • Bobby,

    Do I understand you right? If Antonio and I don't agree that John was employing a metynome, than you vociferously disagree with us? I would agree that John could have been using one, but how do you know with such certainty that he is?

    Your position does seem almost results oriented. While what I am saying is that we should embrace what John seems to be explicitly saying even if it rubs us the wrong way. Most people rule out the idea that John was speaking straightforwardly.

    The reason he was stressing Christ's divinity but not routing it into the offer itself is obvious when you think about it. Anyone with a proper theology of the Messiah (ie that He would be God himself, and this would include Jews in Jerusalem and around the Roman world) the question of Jesus's divinity was by far the easier way of scorning His claim of being the Christ!

    So John boldly made the divinity claim thoroughly central to his general argument that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, without however including his divinity in his narrow offer of eternal life. Otherwise, I think John would have included it in the explicit offer, or made it clear that there was an asterisk attached to the terms Christ/Son of God.

    I would ask you where the asterisk is so to speak. Where does John show that the terms are heavy with necessary meaning? That would seem to have been easily done.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:31:00 AM  

  • Bobby I agree the resurrection is an important part of the Gospel message and I’m wondering if this would mean there are certain things that cannot be rejected at the time of conversion in addition to those things that must be believed or do you find an understanding of the resurrection necessary for conversion?

    We cannot reject God and accept Christ nor reject Christ and accept God. Perhaps we cannot accept Christ and reject the resurrection anymore than we can accept the resurrection and reject His relationship to the Father.

    By Blogger Kc, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:47:00 AM  

  • Jodie,

    So what I have so far is that you must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

    But I can't believe 1. that I am God nor 2. that Christ is His last name and I must believe 3. in Christ for eternal life?

    Is this an accurate summation?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:23:00 PM  

  • Jodie you err in your understanding *of* eternal life. You said>About the verse you quote, I agree that the purpose of being born again is to get to know God intimately by obeying Him and doing the works he puts in our path.<

    Both you and John Piper see eternal life as a condidtion based upon works. God is a gift. You don't have to work to get to know him.

    Moses had to put to death a man for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. No work must be done on the Sabbath. Your system of teaching along with Pipers inhibits men from receiving this rest as a gift. He is Lord of the Sabbath. He himself is the rest. Knowing him is not a chore. You come to know him when you are born again.

    You see the Pharisees made the mistake in their day of missapplying the Sabbath and restricting the Lord due to their idea of what they thought the Sabbath was. In the same way you misunderstand the gift of eternal life. Men and women came to Christ on the Sabbath with diseases wanting to be healed, but the Pharisees called this a work. In the same way you view the sinner who is in repentance coming to Christ in faith as working. The sinner comes to Christ understanding that He is God and that only God can heal him. Piper restricts like the Pharisees and you do as well. How? He tells them that it is selfish to want to be healed and then tells them to come back another day when they have worked up enough true motive and desire to want God. Do you understand that your theology is approaching God with the same view, only at a differant angle?

    I don't know how to get you to see it. Placing ones hope in a system of theology is always going to make man crawl on parched desert ground looking up in hope to a seeming rain cloud with there mouth open, but the system and the teacher that insists that one embrace his system of thought will never let the rain fall. So it is looking elsewhere. The only way to feed that empty void in your life is to make a direct connection with God and not look to teachers in the same way Romanism looks to their Padres to interperet scripture. Rome is behind all of this inadvertently. Take heed to to this word of Wisdom:

    "The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by *ONE* Shepherd. My son BEWARE of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh." Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:45:00 PM  

  • Joseph,

    I do not think you were over the edge in calling this heresy. I myself am reluctant to call a person a heretic as he may be misguided, but this is flirtation with heresy and I too am grieved.

    I guess what is being said here is that we must tolerate this. One might even sing, "Bless be the lie that binds."

    How can the eternal Gods person mean so little to so many?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:04:00 PM  

  • Bhedr, you said this:

    "Both you and John Piper see eternal life as a condidtion based upon works. God is a gift. You don't have to work to get to know him."

    Could you point me in the direction of where either Piper or Rose (those names sound cool together) have said such, or at least alluded to such?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:16:00 PM  

  • I said Piper and Jodie, Sofyst..not Rose.

    Piper teaches that we can never really fully know that we are saved and that we must continue and hope for the best. Read some of Antonios own stuff and quotes.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:48:00 PM  

  • Jodie and Antonio teach that Heaven is somehow seperated from knowing God, when that is what heaven is. That the gift of eternal life is somehow differant then what Jesus said it is: Knowing Him forever.

    Piper teaches that this must be our ultimate goal of the gospel, but we will never know fer sure until future grace occurs.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:51:00 PM  

  • Again, both teachings are actually parrallel lines of Lordship ideas and leave the sinner desperately in need with their mout open under a dry faucet.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:53:00 PM  

  • "No Christian can be sure that he is a true believer. Hence there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and to deny ourselves so that we might make it." John Piper-Tulip, What We Believe About The Five Points Of Calvinism:Position Paper Of The Pastoral Staff(Desiring God Ministries 1997)

    Does that sqaure with the Apostle Pauls statement that we have peace with God in being Justified by faith? Then again Piper must be right as in the book God is the Gospel Justification is said to be the heart of the gospel...but not the highest good. Wow He makes his glory known at the cross and in his love...but that's not the highest good. WE must admire his love, not posses it and only love him back because he first loved us.
    ...according to Piper

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:51:00 PM  

  • blaurock said:
    (What they are denying is that this "Gospel" information is necessary to be "Born Again.")

    Does this mean that man causes himself to be born again by acquiring gospel information?

    Any of you non-Calvinists or Arminians may answer this for me.

    Jazzycat

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:47:00 PM  

  • Bhedr,

    I have an electronic copy of the Piper document in front of me, and I can't seem to find the quote you cited. Can you direct me to the specific section it is in?

    Thanks,

    mw

    By Blogger Matt Waymeyer, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 6:18:00 PM  

  • Sorry,

    I was just discovered it was rewritten in 1998. So I guess either we gotta say Dave Hunt was lying when he found it or that Piper re-wrote it.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:49:00 PM  

  • No Adam that is actually very much not an accurate summation.

    You must believe that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:59:00 PM  

  • Brian,

    The word "knowing" has a range of meaning both in English and in NT Greek. I'm sorry but I'm afraid I see your position as the "one word one meaning" fallacy.

    When I first got saved I didn't know God very well. But I did know him savingly!

    I've gotten to know Him better to the degree that I have been willing to obey His word. He has manifested Himself to me through His abiding presence.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:04:00 PM  

  • Jazzycat, man is born again by the Spirit. It is a work of God.

    However, it is mediated through the instrumentality of the Word of God received by faith.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:47:00 AM  

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