[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 27, 2007

'Sola Fide' not entirely stood on is the universal understanding of soteriology... While 'Sola Fide" entirely stood on can be soundly rejected

by Antonio da Rosa

Recently, the Blue Raja, in an attempt to clarify the value of using the "5 solas", has written a piece that asks good questions, but offers only the same ol' tired and worn out answers that, rather then clearing anything up, actually proliferate the anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism that Calvinism is famous for.

Read this short piece here:

The Blue Raja and the Superficial Solas

Here was my quick and hasty reply:

The complex relationship between faith and works is almost universally described as involving some kind of necessary dependence (even if that dependence is the construal of works as the necessary outgrowth of faith)
At any rate, works are necessary as a condition, then. If works are necessary in any sense or capacity, 2 of the 'solas' are fatally damaged (sola gratia, sola fide)... all 5 would need to be tossed, in actuality.

- so Lordship salvation somehow [sic - Please, Blue Raja, explain to us how!] can be held without denying this sola
It can only be held if one can withstand the mental dissonance of agreeing to two contradictory convictions.

If works are in any way, shape, or form a condition for final deliverance, as Lordship Salvation and Calvinism proposes, sola fide is thoroughly and logically denied.

One is reminded of the Red Queen in the story of Alice in Wonderland. When Alice protested that there is no use trying to believe impossible things, the Queen said:

"I dare say you haven't had much practice.... When I was your age I did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." (Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass (McMillian, 1880) pg 100)

while those who entirely stand on it [aka Free Grace Theology]
Funny. The implication is that those who reject the 'sola' actual stand for it better than those who "entirely stand on it". I suppose the Lordshippers and Calvinists do not entirely stand on it, by an inference from your statement.

can be soundly rejected.

Therefore, with the wave of the theological hand, the position that "entriely stand[s] on" 'sola fide' can be soundly rejected.

This is the stuff that fairytales are made of.

Those who can non-contradictorily claim 'sola fide' are soundly rejected.

But, those whose doctrine compromises 'sola fide', because the "universal" trend is to add works to faith in a paradoxical and sophisticated way, "somehow can be held without denying this sola".

Say what?

But this shouldn't surprise anyone.

"Narrow is the gate... that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matt 7:14)

People just cannot get themselves to agree with the premise that full pardon from God, entrance into heaven, and eternal life have absolutely nothing to do with their behavior whatsoever; that nothing they have done or can or will do in the future has any bearing on whether or not they end up in the kingdom of God (barring, of course, simple faith into Christ).

They cannot get themselves to understand that even a sinful, debased individual, nevertheless justified and covered by the blood of Jesus, can be in God's kingdom.

Deep down inside they believe, in a very real way, that behavior is intrinsically correllated with one's hope of heaven.

But this is the case with all the world's religions. It takes religious faith and deeds to reach salvation.

This includes Calvinism and Lordship Salvation.

- but I'm left wondering exactly what the practical value of these slogans are.
What is the value of something that is free but none-the-less will cost you everything?

One Way, Many Reasons, Many Ways

by Rose

There is only one way.
There is only one way to the Father. It is through Jesus Christ. Becoming bound for eternal presence with God is a state one can only enter by believing in Jesus Christ. What must one believe about the Lord Jesus Christ? Must we simply believe that He was a good man? No, it is more than that. Must we agree in our heart to the fact that He is God of very God? No, it is not just that simple. We must believe that He is our savior in order to receive the benefit of His “Saviorship.” We must know that only through Him can we become righteous and become a son of God. Simply put, we must know that He is our Lord of LIFE everlasting. He’s IT!

Buddhism doesn’t offer this. Hinduism doesn’t. Secular humanism has no hope for eternity. Feel-good liberal Christendom’s version of the gospel doesn’t get it. Jesus is not there and neither is eternal life. He is the way, the truth the life. No man comes to the Father except through Him.

Holding to the nail-pierced hand … this is the only way!

There are many reasons.
Why doesn’t everyone believe and receive when they hear the gospel? Certain people like to say that the reason lies with God’s sovereignty. God does not choose the person to have faith and therefore he does not believe. These have tried to stump others who don’t believe this way by asking the question, “Why does one believe and another doesn’t?”

I say the reasons are as complex and various as the snowflakes. Each person is made up many experiences, many passions, many sins, different family backgrounds, etc… To understand why one responds to the gospel and another doesn’t, you would have to be able to analyze a person’s whole life and soul. I believe it is just that complex. When a lost person won’t receive Christ, the “Doctrines of Grace” advocate likes to simplify it and blame it on God. He has just one reason … but … there are many reasons.

There are many ways.

There are many ways that a life is lived out. There are many ways that a born-again person can spend the rest of his life after being born again. These ways are as various from person to person as there are differences between their fingerprints. Not everyone is the same. Every person with eternal life is saved by grace through faith. Every person who is born from above will enter the kingdom of heaven. Every one of them is sinless in God’s sight, covered in the righteousness of Christ. How does he look after he is transformed from a hell-bound sinner ... to a child of God? Well, ... It is different from one to another. Some are missionaries. Some are mothers. Some read their Bible every day. Some put the Bible down. Some forsake their families for the sake of the gospel. Others compromise. Some obey. Some do not. The ways believers practically live out their new lives are various. There are many ways.

Oh, that it were all more simple and would fit neatly into some little box.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who is Phil Johnson?

Who is Phil Johnson?

A good article from the Miles J Stanford memorial site.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign...

by Antonio da Rosa

We have all heard the 'helpful' (and frankly, contradictory) little story trying to balance the Calvinist doctrine of 'election' with the Biblical invitation that invites all to believe in Christ for eternal life.

It goes something like this:

"At the entrance to heaven there is a sign that says, 'Whosoever Will May Come', and once passed through onto the other side there is another sign that says, 'Welcome to Those Who Have Been Chosen By God From Eternity'"

A problem I see with this quaint story is that the sign on the entrance into heaven is deceptive. According to Calvinism, no one wills to come, not even the elect. Those chosen by God must be forced into heaven by Sovereign operation and imposition. In all reality it is an invitation that no one can respond to.

For every day there is a night...

Could we not conceive of, within the framework of imaginative Calvinistic illustration, a counterpart to the above story? This time it is not election in view, but the dreaded reprobation.

"At the entrance to hell there is a sign that says 'Reject Jesus in His Promise', and once passed through onto the other side there is another sign that says, "Welcome to the Home That You Were Chosen For, Welcome to the Place God For-Ordained for You to Be, Welcome to Those Who From All Eternity Were Rejected By God, and Will Suffer Eternally For His Glory, Welcome to the Unfortunate Soul Tailor Made to Populate Hell'"

The philosophical foundations upon which Calvinism rests are the same sources employed by writers of Science Fiction.

An invitation is given out that no one is able to respond to (the 'sign' post up ahead...).

A god, by his whim and capricious desire chooses mortals to do his bidding by his irresistable coersion.

The same fashions beings made to be cast into everlasting destruction for his pleasure and to his glory.

By what beguilement of Satan can someone believe that the God of the Bible operates in this way?



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Another Point to Ponder

by Rose

In the post from this blog on Feb. 6, this passage was being discussed:

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:14-18)

Tim, in the comments, pointed out that "This is the covenant that I will make with them" is a quote from Jer 31:33, which says, "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel..." and that Israel's perfection is what is being spoken of in the Hebrews passage. Then he says:

I would be curious to hear what others think about the character of the "perfect" sanctification as it will be in Israel. We know that "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." We know that in theory, we have access to the same Spirit that Jesus did, and so we as Christians are capable of not sinning in every instance, but the undeniable fact remains that quite often we still do. The promise in Jerimiah 31:31 seems to be a complete sanctification, where those who formerly were slaves to sin have been made completely immune to sin: they do not sin.

So, if you are an "other," what do you think? What will "perfect" sanctification look like? Tim is curious ... and so am I!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

OT: Born Again?

by Rose

Below is a comment from me in the post below. I started wondering there, and thought I would post it here and see if anyone can deposit some thoughts on my question. Solifidian had given an excellent link to an article by Zane Hodges regarding the New Covenant and how the church fits into it.


I wonder about the idea of regeneration in the OT. My idea of regeneration has always been that the HS comes to dwell within a person and from what I can tell, this did not happen until the day of Pentecost as the church began. I must say, though, the Sripture Hodges quotes about Saul receiving a new heart is definitely something to think upon.

What do you think? Were OT people "born again" and if so, was this different that the HS coming to dwell in people as it does to believers in the church? If you see no difference, then what was the significance of the day of Pentecost?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What Do You Make of This Passage?

by Rose

The following passage was sent to me in an email complete with the four questions underneath. How would you answer those questions? What do you think the person is driving at? (hint: NCT)

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:14-18)

1. What "covenant" is He referring to?
2. Who is "them" referring to? Is that us?
3. How is "perfected" different than "sanctified"?
4. What are "my laws" referring to?