[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, July 24, 2007

How I Feel About Things

There is a Post below the current one. I wouldn't want any visitor to miss it, seeing as how it was only at the top for just a few hours and it would be good for those who may pop in here to know that not all of us here are of the same opinion. Thanks, Antonio!

25 Comments:

  • Rose...Are you missing sleep over all this?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:19:00 AM  

  • Of course not! ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:00:00 AM  

  • It was an excellent post, Rose.

    By Blogger Gojira, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:29:00 AM  

  • Good Rose . . . I like your motivation here.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:51:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I am afraid that "feel" is the operative word.

    Last night in class we were discussing the "at-will" interpretation found in many home bible studies today. The group facilitator asks around the room:

    "What does this verse say to you? What do you think it means? How does this make you feel?"

    The context was the "complimentary hermeneutic" of Progressive Dispensationalism, but it can be equally applicable in this case. My teacher quoted the late Henry Morris saying that such a practice is "a pooling of ignorance".

    This is something that you really must think about:

    You said you read Tom Stegal and Lou Martuneac's comments and responses. In both of Tom's articles, he does not provide a single biblical argument or exposition of scripture that proves his point. Yet you were on an ecstatic high, testifying, "Amen! Amen!"

    He rather quotes from the teachings of men. This is no different than the Calvinists and Reformed people referencing the Westminster Confession instead of the Bible when they make their arguments.

    Furthermore, Lou Martuneac does the same thing. He was all assertion without a shred of support. He balked, he charged, he condemned, but if you read him carefully, in ALL of his words, he does not express a single biblical argument for his charge of heresy. Yet you found yourself in much agreement with what he said.

    This should be quite telling. A red flag should go immediately up! But let me tell you why the red flag does not go up: it is the result of being set in one's ways, being reactionary based upon one's feelings on the matter and one's tradition. Questioning someone's feelings and tradition offends deeply, and many times our reactions stem, not from sense and logic, but from the recesses of our affections. To question our feelings that stem from our set ways and tradition is to question those stalwarts who handed them down to us!

    When my brother first got saved, he used to come around family gatherings and talk about Jesus in a way we were not accustomed to. We come from a very traditional Portuguese Roman Catholic background. Our traditional set-ways made us all immediately reactionary to him. We didn't have a substantive response to him. We said that his teaching was against what we felt was the One True Church.

    He was ready to show scripture and support what he said, but becuase of our handed down traditions, which we will fight for on an emotional playing field, we were not willing to truly consider any case that he would have made.

    And that is the rub: when we are set in our ways and traditions having them handed down to us by those who we trust and love, we are immediately disposed and inclined to be reactionary when one questions our feelings, and as a result, we are close minded, stiff-necked, and hard-hearted, not willing to even consider the evidence. Instead we will respond with our emotions rather than substance.

    I believe that the scenario with my brother has many parallels to this current situation.

    People must remove themselves from their "feelings" and emotions, and look at the issues dispassionately. They must allow the arguments and expositions of scripture to be truly considered.

    I have been guilty of reactionism based upon my feelings, emotion, and traditions. I have been guilty of close-mindedness and a unwillingness to consider someone else's appeals.

    But we must guard against this at all price. What we reject and dismiss without truly considering, blinded by our emotions and tradition, may very well be the truth. It is true for the Calvinist, and true to the FGer.

    Why do we believe as we do? If we cannot withstand question of our beliefs, or if they cannot hold up under scrutiny, the basis for those beliefs are weak. If we cannot give a well-reasoned argument in favor of what we believe (in disagreement with Bobby Grow) these beliefs are not justified.

    Beliefs and positions ought not to be based upon "how we feel" but upon a considerate appeal to the Scriptures.

    Your forever brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3:12:00 PM  

  • Antonio:

    Your wrote, "Furthermore, Lou Martuneac does the same thing. He was all assertion without a shred of support. He balked, he charged, he condemned, but if you read him carefully, in ALL of his words, he does not express a single biblical argument for his charge of heresy. Yet you found yourself in much agreement with what he said."

    What you wrote (I put in bold) is the kind of recklessness that gets you banned at other sites.

    If I did use the word "heresy," I will acknowledge it. At this time I don't recall having used the word.

    If you can't produce that quotation from me, then publicly withdraw it.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3:27:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3:29:00 PM  

  • Lou, if you are going to post on this site again, you will refrain from the disingenuous, pejorative, and totally inaccurate label of my theology.

    I will not hold my breath waiting for you to give up one of your favorite "theological cuss words." If my position were as weak as yours, I wouldn’t give it up either.

    But you will not come over here and deal out that grotesquely erroneous and deliberately misleading verbiage.

    Your label has been a very convenient cudgel with which to bludgeon your theological opponents whose attributes and theology offend you. But make no mistake about it, such activity will be given account for at Christ's Bema.

    And furthermore, to address your question. You do not have to use the word to imply it. My comment (that you have charged me with heresy) is a summation of your charges against me.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that you consider my position that the cross and resurrection are not the conscious and necessary objects/content to saving faith, and my position that a man may be born again apart from an understanding of Christ's death for sin, is heresy:

    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
    her·e·sy /ˈhɛrəsi/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[her-uh-see] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun, plural -sies. 1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religious system.
    2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.
    3. Roman Catholic Church. the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
    4. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 4:03:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:00:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:03:00 PM  

  • The ruling stands, Lou.

    I preach the gospel often. When I do preach the gospel, I never fail to include the cross of Christ.

    Your insistance in using that illegitamate label will get every post that contains it deleted.

    You may go preach to your buddies, and pat each other on the back, thinking you score a direct hit with your pejorative, disingenuous, shameful, and deliberately misleading label. But when Christ comes, He will "both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts" (1 Cor 4:5).

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:05:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    . . . If we cannot give a well-reasoned argument in favor of what we believe (in disagreement with Bobby Grow) these beliefs are not justified. . . .

    That's not true, just because someone doesn't provide an argument for their belief, doesn't mean there isn't an argument for my particular belief . . . that's all I meant in my comment, and Rose's articulation of her belief.

    Rose's belief is epistemologically justified, and I'm sure she has great reasons for her belief . . . whether they meet "your" threshold for what constitutes a "great reason" is moot, relative to whether or not her belief is justified, or justifiable.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:26:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    What I like about your post is your reasonableness in seeing where a thought is pushed beyond its scriptural development. I think you accurately point that out. It's what I like about you as I interact with you. You apply good sound judgement, bringing in the whole counsel of scripture. As I write, teach Sunday School, I think of people like you in my audience. It gives me a sanity check of what I am saying. Would what I say pass the "crap" or sanity check of you or others that I know.

    It was 14 years ago I did this with my wife -- who is one of the more logical, resonsable people I know. I had to explain a verse to her, when I saw my whole approach was bankrupt. I count my blessings for my wife, who God used to open my eyes to a much vaster world than I ever imagined. You play a similar role in many people's lives, that's why so many listen to you.

    God bless you and keep it up.

    By Blogger Earl, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:22:00 AM  

  • Bobby:

    The Gospel needs no further susbstantiation than what is found in the Bible.

    Antonio's (Hodges') new position is a departure from orthodoxy. It is that position he is trying to extract from the Bible, while at the same time dismissing many clear Scriptures that point up the error of his new position.

    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:26:00 AM  

  • "The Gospel needs no further susbstantiation than what is found in the Bible."

    This succinctly sums it up, IMO.

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:15:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    You are right - I used the word "feel" on purpose. I am not prepared to argue with you or to attempt to spend a lot of time putting together Scriptures that others have brought to your attention already to no avail. I "feel" better that I made it known very clearly that I am not in agreement with the impression that you have given about FG.
    I am glad to know you, Antonio. I do appreciate that you make me think. I love you, brother.

    Gojira,
    Thank you for reading. I heard you were done blogging. :~)

    Lou,
    How's come you don't comment on the post or even say hi to the author? I am sorry if you took this as an invitation to attack Antonio or throw out offensive terms. I did not mean that to happen.

    Thanks, Bobby.

    Earl,
    That is the nicest compliment I have ever gotten on a blog. Wow. Thanks! I think I have to put some of that in my sidebar under "quotes I like" (putz that I am) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:28:00 PM  

  • I am confused Lou, by your comment to Bobby. Did you mean to direct that at him? Where did he say anything about "Gospel needing no further susbstantiation than what is found in the Bible."

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:32:00 PM  

  • Oh, oh, Rose, you're going to destroy the grumpy, nit-picking, critical Calvinist image I've worked so had to create. All's lost now.

    :o)

    By Blogger Earl, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:53:00 PM  

  • Yeah, me too, Lou.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:03:00 PM  

  • Rose

    A "scripture" brought to someone's attention is merely a proof-text and pre-text until it is expounded using a well-reasoned, considerate study of the passage in its context.

    Shall I give up my position because of proof-texting?

    Shall you give up your position on Calvinism because of their fapid-fire prooftexting attached to their comments?

    You say:

    "putting together Scriptures that others have brought to your attention already to no avail"

    If the idea of playing scriptural hopscotch and proof-texting is the basis by which you think a position is justified, you should be a calvinist.

    I have spoken at length concerning the mere referencing of texts by my detractors. I have looked at them critically and argued from them. As if the MERE REFERENCING of a text ought to prove a point!

    This is why "feel" is the operative word, and why I wrote my lengthy comment about being set in one's ways and tradition.

    You give a hearty amen, amen! to those who only either proof-text, or quote fallible men.

    But to me, who has spent a considerable amount of time in scriptural and biblical arguements, considering many texts in their contexts, you "feel" I am wrong.

    RED FLAG!

    By your answer to me, you did not consider what I have asked you to consider. Your comments still seem reactionary and based upon emotion of having your entrenched position and tradition questioned.

    It is just like the case with my brother. The opposition does not come from logical reason, but from emotional reasoning.

    What is proof-texting?

    Having a tradition and looking to the scriptures to support it.

    If you are honest with us, this post is based upon a "feeling" that I am wrong. Now this feeling may be informed by many factors. It may be the result of those who have taught you growing up. It also may be from a sense of your reading of the Bible.

    I have given you, Lou, and anyone else an opportunity to present a biblical case. But all I get is "feelings", proof-textings, ramblings, quotes of men, balking, charging, etc.

    Nothing substantive in the way of a biblical argument has come my way.

    Earl has pushed logic on us all and has posted alot on logic. This quote of his had me scratching my head and being very uncomfortable:

    "What I like about your post is your reasonableness in seeing where a thought is pushed beyond its scriptural development."

    How is it "seen", Earl? Through the grid and glasses of "feeling". Rose "feels" that I have pushed a thought beyond its scritural developement, but cannot show me how I have done so.

    Now I ask, how is that considered "reasonable?"

    rea·son·a·ble /ˈrizənəbəl, ˈriznə-/ Pronunciation Key - [ree-zuh-nuh-buhl, reez-nuh-]
    –adjective
    1. agreeable to reason or sound judgment; logical: a reasonable choice for chairman.
    2. not exceeding the limit prescribed by reason; not excessive

    Is it reasonable to "see" truth through feelings, rather than on substantial grounds?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:32:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    I'm not going to address your concern in the way you'll like it.

    What I have found is that in life, in knowing God, knowing all of scripture, there is a sense of building a pattern, a web of integrated ideas and thought. When something does not fit, a little "red light" sort of flashes in the back of the mind somewhat where there is some dissonnance. Often that is interpreted as a "gut feeling".

    There are people who have built up knowledge and have a find sense of integrating things. My wife is one of these people. It looks like Rose is another. If something is not right, a signal flashes. I have learned to pay attention to these people (especially my wife -- who is very good at this). They may not articulate something in the exact way as you or I would demand it, but they have caught something. I think Rose has articulated it.

    Often, us "logical guys" will demand a certain kind of logical proof -- where we may be going on distorted assumptions and premises. People like my wife, and Rose, are telling us something does not add up. It greatly benifits us to stop and pay attention to them. Try to look at it from the eyes. I made a huge revolution in my life with my wife -- incredably better. It woke me up to so many things.

    Just listen to what Rose is saying -- not so much with a critical ear. She might have something valuable to say.

    By Blogger Earl, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:04:00 PM  

  • Hello Rose.

    Earl, it does seem that a lot of people have that kind of 'gut' reaction to Calvinism.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:14:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    That is true -- and I think Rose has that kind of reaction to Calvinism. I will listen and try to understand their reaction. Even though I am a convinced Calvinist, I realize there are a lot of good reasons to be concerned about the system of doctrine, especially where Calvinists seem to diminish the love of God and human responsibility. I need to listen to those people, try to see where their concerns are. That's why I don't embrace everything various well known Calvinists say.

    Now, that was a very self congratulating statement. Do I do this consistently the right way? Of course not. Many of you have seen where I fail on this much better than I do.

    By Blogger Earl, at Thursday, July 26, 2007 3:41:00 AM  

  • No problem, Gayla.

    Antonio,
    I am thinking you may have a very good point about all of this. Thanks for your passion.

    Earl,
    Thank you for such a high complimnet and for seeing what I am saying.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:41:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    I just posted this comment over at Antonio's blog under the entry named Major Problems with Checklist Evangelism. I believe it applies to what you have written as well and I hope you find it interesting.

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

    Antonio,

    I have read through you post and, while I cannot say that I agree with "checklist evangelism" as you have stated it, I do believe that you consider my approach to evangelism to be one of checklist evangelism. In light of that, I would like to make some comments.

    First, your eternal-life-only approach to evangelism is predicated upon the idea that the Gospel of John contains the definitive presentation of the Gospel and that it supersedes any other presentation of the Gospel found anywhere else in the Bible. You often use John 20:30-31 to support this contention:

    JN 20:30 Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book:
    JN 20:31 but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.
    American Standard Translation

    I have read this part of the Gospel of John and it does not seem that the entire Gospel of John is in view in verse 31. I did some checking and sure enough, I am not the only one who has come to this conclusion:

    [Begin First Quote]

    Commentaries can make half-truths sound like the whole truth. These things (John 20:31) does not refer to the whole Gospel, but only to its neuter-plural antecedent signs.

    30And truly Jesus did many other SIGNS [NEUTER PLURAL] in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but THESE [SIGNS (NEUTER PLURAL)] 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.

    FINDING TRUE NORTH IN 1 JOHN 1
    John Niemelä
    CTS Journal, Volume 6 No. 3, p. 37

    [End First Quote]

    [Begin Second Quote]

    When John articulated his purpose for writing the Gospel he states: “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). To what does the “these” refer? This near demonstrative finds its antecedent in the plural noun of verse 30, “signs.” John clearly states that He has written of Jesus miracles for the express purpose of bringing people to a salvific knowledge of Jesus, so that they can believe that (pisteuw eis) Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

    ABIDING IN CHRIST: A DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE (Part 1 of 3)
    Robert Dean, Jr.
    CTS Journal, Volume 7 No. 1, p. 39

    [End Second Quote]

    Also, per your interpretation of the Gospel of John, the emphasis of his Gospel should be on believing that Christ provides eternal life results in salvation (imputed righteousness). However, this does not seem to be the case:

    [Begin Third Quote]
    It is our contention that John affirms both of the following propositions:

    • Everyone who has eternal life believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
    • everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, has eternal life.

    Most evangelicals recognize that John 20:31 affirms the former statement, but many may question the second. The question is: Does the Apostle John accept the second? Absolutely! 1 John 5:1a affirms it also:

    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

    THE MESSAGE OF LIFE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
    THE MESSAGE OF LIFE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
    Dr. John Niemelä
    CTS Journal Volume 7 No. 3, p. 11

    [End Third Quote]

    I also have a hard time interpreting John 6:66-69 in terms of the eternal-life-only Gospel:

    JN 6:66 Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
    JN 6:67 Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away?
    JN 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
    JN 6:69 And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.
    American Standard Translation

    It would certainly appear that Peter was affirming that he (and the saved disciples) has eternal life because Christ is the Holy One of God. In other words he believed in Christ's deity and eternal life was the result. Do we need to add another check to your list?

    This series of posts has also made me think about Abraham and his salvation. If you read from Genesis 12 through Genesis 15:6 (where it is stated that Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness) there is no mention of eternal life. There is a list of a lot of things that Abram did believe (he believed a lot), why did the author of Genesis leave out Abram's belief in eternal life if that is what he needed to be credited with righteousness? Sure, this is an argument from silence but I do not believe that the author (under the ministry of the Holy Spirit) would have left out such an important detail.

    [Begin Fourth Quote]

    How did Abraham obtain righteousness? Genesis 15:6 says God credited him with righteousness through his faith. Faith in what? … What God had promised him – land, seed, and an eventual destiny of blessing to the world! Abraham trusted God’s Word that God would provide him a seed and a place. The promised progeny would miraculously be provided from Isaac to Christ. In principle he believed in Christ although he knew far less than we who live later in the history of revelation.

    Charles Clough
    A BIBLICAL FRAMEWORK FOR WORSHIP AND OBEDIENCE IN AN AGE OF GLOBAL DECEPTION
    Section 3, pp. 35-36

    [End Fourth Quote]

    Please do not get me wrong, I do believe that if a person believes that Christ will provide them with eternal life that they are indeed saved. However, I also believe that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, has eternal life. This is not a situation where I am claiming a person must believe both (proposition x and proposition y), I am claiming that a person can believe either (proposition x or proposition y) and be saved.

    Also, stringing a series of doctrinal truths that some of us are willing to include in a Gospel presentation and claiming that some would say that an unbeliever must understand and believe all of these truths in their entirety is something I have seen no one claim (other than you). Also, you also have a checklist but it is a checklist with one item in it. You are claiming virtue by the shortness of your list.

    Just so you know, I am going to cross post this response at Rose's posting titled How I Feel About Things since I believe it pertains to that posting as well.

    Glenn W.

    By Anonymous GlennW, at Saturday, July 28, 2007 4:00:00 PM  

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