May 12, 2009
April 29, 2009
(Wikipedia) Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by the British author Mary Shelley. Shelley wrote the novel when she was 19 years old. The title of the novel refers to a scientist who learns how to reanimate flesh and creates a being in the likeness of man out of body parts taken from the dead. In modern popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as "Frankenstein" (especially in films since 1931).
Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the "over-reaching" of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel's subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. The novel raises many issues that can be linked to today's culture. These issues include the evolution of man and whether technical progress can be self-destructive.
Shelley wrote: "It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs."
April 5, 2009
Survey your congregations and post a cross for every participant whose hands are bloody with the death of poor children. Tally the total murders of these Christians and put up crosses for each murder.
April 2, 2009
This is a fallacy of irrelevant evidence. The Greeks were basing this religious concept on an appeal to ignorance. (Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam) This is a common fallacy among religions and is appealed to by many Christians today. It is the basis of a 'feel good' religion that is desperately seeking 'happiness'. It goes like this: "flying saucers do exist, for no one really knows for sure they don't."
The master of debate, apostle Paul, seized this occasion to present the particular God to a group of people who worshipped an indefinite god.. Their god was far away beyond the reach of the human mind and only their heart could reach out to him in 'feeling'. Paul said the "up close God" uncreated by humans predestines all things beforehand. Even to the Greeks Paul said, "WE are his offspring." "In Him WE live and move and have OUR being." Can we as modern day evangelicals say this to the world? These are bold words from a great courageous man. These words engender common men to rally gladly and enrages religious men to destroy. Why? Common men know that they have little recourse in life and go with the flow of the good and bad. They understand fate and live with it everyday. But religious men live by their beliefs and their destinies are sealed by their decisions. They make life work! When Paul says God alone makes life meaningful and your fate is in His hands; this angers religious men!
When you tell a 'sold out man' to his convictions that he should sit down and wait on God who will save the pagans when He gets ready to do it, he rushes out on his own determination.
He will not wait on God! This is the core of American Evangelistic Evangelicalism. They rush off without God all the while God 'let's them go' but He does not wink at their ignorance.
The adoption of this appeal to an ignorant rush into destiny, a holy guess, you could say is contradictory. They have pragmatically resolved that Christ's atonement not specific in application is specific only when it is believed. They say that our believing makes it true that Christ died for us. The contradiction is they say Christ died for everyone in general, which should make everyone saved (universalism) but specifically only the ones believing are saved.
This makes Christianity just another religion reaching out to God in hopes of 'feeling' after Him.
Rather we say Christianity is a relationship and God is nigh unto us determining our bounds of habitation. This is good news to the common man. A voice cries out in the night "everyman for himself. The mighty ship is sinking swim to shore and if you can't swim hold on to something. An angel assured me in the hull of the ship we would all be saved. Captains and mighty men, "do thyselves no harm" God cares for you also!"
You who are his offspring, not everyone in general, repent. God has changed your mind not you, obey him while you can. "You have another mind" (metanoia) use it. Turn from your wicked ways all you He died for. You will be saved.
Arminianism and it's free will beliefs are rooted in religious ignorance! If a man chooses to be ignorant let him be ignorant.
March 26, 2009
Out of the world population so few will realize true success and fame to amount to anything. You are not a promise with a capital P! Satan has the world where he want it, in a rut. Like rats in a cage, captive to it's own desires to find a way out and no hope in sight.
So here comes a Pelagian singing "I am an old chunk of Coal!" "But I am going to be a diamond someday!" Fat chance Johnny!
Oh, but the message of God! We are dust, unprofitable says Paul. A chunk of coal has profit but we are unprofitable. That means there is nothing to start with. No inherent value to begin a new work. No promise. Nothing. Restoration? NO!
Regeneration, yes! What are the chances of the elect being regenerate? well, 75%, 85%, NO! 100% Yes! How many are elected? An innumerable host in heaven! All nations, colors, languages will be there. This is not folly. Pelagianism is folly. The preaching you hear today from the many pulpits is folly. The gospel is not folly but truth for men, women, rich, poor, famous, unknown, etc. on and on. Our hope is in Christ who became dust for us that the glory of God would be manifested!
March 23, 2009
On face book the following conversation took place.
........thinking.......I may not be perfect, but Jesus thinks I'm to die for!!!!!!
Wow! How profound!LM
I love that!! I am gonna have to use that. ;)
Love it! I still sing "I'm just an old chunk of coal" under my breath at least once a week. Really glad you are on here and my friend!
Isn't the assumption of this conversation that we are somehow redeemable as sinners? We are not so bad that there is something of value in all of us, no, yes, NO!
Isn't there some Pelagianism in this conversation? We are sinners but not so sinful that we are beyond redemption.
I entered the conversation: Charles Page at 6:41am March 23
Art, a chunk of coal is a bad analogy for a sinner. A lump of coal is good for man and has the potential to be a precious stone. A lump of coal is profitable. A sinner is "unprofitable" (Rom 3:12) There is nothing redeemable in man so if you are saved at all it HAS to be grace. Unmerited favor, undeserved favor. You did nothing to earn it. He gave it to you and He did not ask you if you wanted it. The sinner is so dead in sin that he will not even resist God and God will not acknowledge him. There is no connection between the two apart from Christ. He first loved the unloveable!
March 20, 2009
March 16, 2009
March 13, 2009
Moses Amyraut (1596-1664), after whom Amyraldism is named.
Amyraldism (or sometimes Amyraldianism, the School of Saumur, hypothetical universalism, or Post Redemptionism), also known as "hypothetical universalism" or "four-point Calvinism", primarily refers to a modified form of Calvinist theology. It rejects one of the Five points of Calvinism, the doctrine of limited atonement, in favour of an unlimited atonement similar to that of Hugo Grotius. Simply stated, Amyraldism holds that God has provided Christ's atonement for all alike, but seeing that none would believe on their own, he then elected those whom he will bring to faith in Christ, thereby preserving the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.
Named after its formulator Moses Amyraut, this doctrine is still viewed as a variety of Calvinism in that it maintains the particularity of sovereign grace in the application of the atonement. However, detractors like B. B. Warfield have termed it "an inconsistent and therefore unstable form of Calvinism."
Amyraldism in 17th century England and Scotland
John Davenant (1576-1641), like Amyraut a student of John Cameron, was an English delegate at the Synod of Dort and influenced some of the members of the Westminster Assembly. He promoted "hypothetical universalism, a general atonement in the sense of intention as well as sufficiency, a common blessing of the cross, and a conditional salvation. The "root principle of the Davenant School" was the "notion of a universal desire in God for the salvation of all men." In the floor debate on redemption at the Westminster Assembly, Edmund Calamy the Elder of the Davenant School attempted to insert Amyraldism into the Catechism.
Richard Baxter held to a form of Amyraldism, although he was less Calvinistic than Amyraut. He "devised an eclectic middle route between Reformed, Arminian, and Roman doctrines of grace: interpreting the kingdom of God in terms of contemporary political ideas, he explained Christ’s death as an act of universal redemption (penal and vicarious, but not substitutionary), in virtue of which God has made a new law offering pardon and amnesty to the penitent. Repentance and faith, being obedience to this law, are the believer’s personal saving righteousness. . . the fruit of the seeds which Baxter sowed was neonomian Moderatism in Scotland and moralistic Unitarianism in England."
Popularised in England by the Reformed pastor Richard Baxter, Amyraldism also gained strong adherence among the Congregationalists and some Presbyterians in the American colonies, during the 17th and 18th centuries.
In the United States, Amyraldism can be found among various evangelical groups, perhaps most notably among dispensationalists in independent Bible Churches and independent Baptist churches. In Australia, many in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney hold to a modified "four point" Calvinism, while in England, Amyraldism has been defended in the recently published pamphlet, Amyraut Affirmed. Yet "Five point" Calvinism remains prevalent especially in conservative groups among the Reformed and Presbyterian churches, Reformed Baptists, among evangelical Anglicans in England and in some non-denominational evangelical churches.
Seventeenth century opponents
There were a number of theologians who defended Calvinistic orthodoxy against Amyraut and Saumur, including Friedrich Spanheim (1600-1649) and Francis Turretin (1623-1687). Ultimately, the Helvetic Consensus was drafted to counteract the theology of Saumur and Amyraldism.
March 12, 2009
He is getting as close as possible to saying that atonement is limited to the elect only with out offending his peers and local parishioners who believe that the offer of atonement is to everyone in general and not particular.
He uses the term "ambivalent" to describe his belief of the gospel. His gospel should not divide believers so his construct is truly ambivalent. If his gospel divides believers then there must be something wrong with the gospel. The gospel must be constructed so as to unite believers and not divide. Many would call his gospel a "Biblicist" view.
He is ambivalent about the gospel but not so about private power language, women pastors and non-landmark communion. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Perhaps he is ambivalent about those things but why the ambivalence about the gospel?
March 8, 2009
Again consider these statements:
God graciously commands all sinners to repent rather than striking them dead immediately and bringing them before Him in judgment. God even more graciously commands all men to embrace His Son, the only Savior ever given for sinners.
The invitation to take up your cross and follow Christ is universally given, but unfortunately, it is also universally rejected by sinners.
If he will believe and repent, he will be saved, for the Gospel is a “whosoever will” gospel.
Why is not everyone in Heaven? Because Christ did not die for the sinner who refuses to embrace Him.
Christ died as a substitute for sinners who will trust in Him. If a sinner rejects his Creator, if he refuses to embrace the Son and if he dies while spitting in the face of the only Savior ever provided for sinners, then that sinner bears his own sin in hell.
But those who trust Christ will be delivered.
The sinner is commanded to repent and believe but he is a rebel at heart.
We experience hell because we refuse to embrace God for who He is.
So I ask you. "Do you desire Him to break you of your self-love, your longing for sin, and bring to you a love for Christ and the things of God?"If you say, "Yes! I want God to do that in my life."
Then I say on the authority of God's Word, He will, because He never turns a deaf ear to a helpless sinner who calls to Him.
"What is needed is a change of nature, and this is what God brings to the helpless sinner who cries out to Him.
These statements have hints of conditions for salvation ie. regeneration, universal appeals and faith preceding regeneration Wade believes that the regenerate need an enablement to be regenerate. This enablement precedes believing on God for salvation ie. regeneration.
I'm sure that he will disagree with this and insist that this enablement is a part of regeneration and is a conviction that is simultaneous with conversion. He believes that conviction takes place first and then conversion though they are so close as to be indistinct. For him it has to precede in order that free will can operate. A ridiculous and ambiguous argument!
These statements are elements of hypo-Calvinism, Amyraldianism and perhaps indications of four point or less Calvinism. His statements indicate a lapse in belief of original sin, believing in the age of accountability for personal sins. He holds two views of salvation one for infants and another with demands to repent for adults, over the age of accountability.
Babies who die in infancy and the mentally challenged are redeemed the same way all sinners are redeemed; through the obedience, death and resurrection of Christ for His people. God simply has chosen to redeem them without giving to them the gifts of faith and repentance for they lived short or challenged lives where those gifts could not be manifested.Thu Dec 04, 11:21:00 AM 2008 Wade Burleson said...And the adult sinner, who wonders whether or not he or she can be saved, we simply point them to Christ and say, "He is the only one who can deliver you. Ask Him, and He will."Or ignore Him and He won't.Thu Dec 04, 11:22:00 AM 2008
March 6, 2009
Please Don't Call Me a Calvinist, But . . ."The following is a reprint of an article written by Wade Burleson, published in the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger in the June 1, 1995 issue," thirteen years ago. I e-mailed Wade and ask him for permission to dissect his Calvinism and post it to my blog. He graciously permitted me.
This is not the result of any problems between us but a discussion of his theology. I don't believe that this will destroy our friendship (which is merely cyberistic) rather we will grow closer. There will naturally be many who cannot comprehend wholesome debate. I am by personal persuasion a high Calvinist believing that the decree for the fall of Adam was ordained and not simply permitted. I reject any free offer to the sinner and believe that the atonement is limited to a particular people. The Holy Spirit applies salvation without any influence other than the will of the Father. I believe that this is the historic position that has been compromised by the Evangelical church today. This is not hyper-Calvinism and I am still searching for a meaning of this over used stereotype.
THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN
First, the doctrines of grace rest on the bedrock truth called The Total Depravity of Man. This doctrine teaches that all have sinned and that everyone has sin in the totality of his person. For example, the will is sinful, the emotions are sinful, the thoughts of man are only evil continually and all the actions of man are tainted with sin.
Worse, there is no one who seeks God, and as a result, every sinful person is separated from God and couldn’t care less about finding his or her way to God. Natural man is lost in his sin and he loves it. Self rules the heart and self is unwilling to change so that God rules the heart. Therefore, total depravity teaches that man is wicked and sinful in every part of personhood, and it is impossible for the sinner to embrace the Son and love the Lord Jesus Christ because the sinner is satisfied (in love) with selfishness and evil. The prophet asks, “Can the leopard change his spots? How can you who are accustomed to doing evil change your ways?”
Wade makes a good statement of Total Depravity Wade says: But . . . All we like sheep have gone astray. Our throats are like an open, stinking grave. For all of us have rebelled. (Lifeless sinners can not rebel)
Then he contradicts himself by saying: God graciously commands all sinners to repent rather than striking them dead immediately and bringing them before Him in judgment. God even more graciously commands all men to embrace His Son, the only Savior ever given for sinners.
If the sinner is totally depraved then why would Wade say God commands all sinners to repent? The command to repent and embrace is contradictory to what he has said about depravity. Sinners care nothing for the things of God.
But, no sinner ever will believe or repent. Not one sinner will obey God because the sinner loves his sin, hates God (or at least the true God of the Bible) and embraces self more than the Creator.
If the sinner is totally depraved he will not embrace the Son neither can you say he will embrace self rather than the creator. The sinner is blindly following the course of this world. He doesn't make a choice to do anything but follow the prince of the power of the air. My argument here strikes at the root of hypothetical universal atonement. No one rejects or refuses to embrace that for which he has no will. For some reason few people see the logic of this. For Arminians and hypo-Calvinist the sinner must be able to reject the work of Christ by faith something that the T in TULIP annuls.
The invitation to take up your cross and follow Christ is universally given, but unfortunately, it is also universally rejected by sinners.
Again this is a modified Calvinist statement- hypothetical Universalism, Amyraldianism; God desires the salvation of all men but wills the salvation of the elect. It rejects the Arminians by insisting on sovereign grace but charms Arminians by holding a free gospel appeal to all. It is a subtle sabotage of the truth in an effort to make God and His purposes more acceptable to those at enmity with God.
God does not choose to regenerate a sinner (make him spiritually alive) because of the sinners’s wealth, fame, skin color, nationality, sex, goodness (humanly speaking!) or any other conditions found within the sinner, for God is not a respecter of persons. God's choice to redeem and regenerate undeserving sinners is a choice based on pure grace.
Again Wade makes a good statement about UE and then contradicts his own view. If he will believe and repent, he will be saved, for the Gospel is a “whosoever will” gospel.
Isn't believing and repenting conditions for election according to Wade? Over and over Wade suggest that embracing the Son and grace are conditions for election. The choice for regeneration rest with God's good pleasure from the foundation of the earth.
God knows no sinful man will naturally choose to repent and believe on His Son. Therefore He takes other steps, by His grace, to ensure that His Son will "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied." In other words, God will not allow His Son to die in vain. So God “unconditionally chooses” to change the hearts of literally thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand people, or what the Bible calls "an innumerable company." This doctrine of grace, often called Unconditional Election, simply teaches that God first loved us in order that we might love Him. If a man is to be justified through faith in Christ, and if no man can believe in Christ because his wicked heart desires no Lord but himself, then God must choose to perform spiritual heart surgery.
Regeneration, the new birth and quickening are all synonyms for this heart surgery God performs. Before a man will ever repent of his sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, he must be born again. This miraculous act of God, called "the new birth," is a work that He chooses to perform, and it is without conditions. (conditional on believing, repenting, embracing?)
Wade, do you believe that Regeneration, the new birth, takes place and then the regenerate repents and believes? If you do then you are a 'Calvinist' but if you believe that an enablement or awakening assist the sinner to repent and then he is born again then you do not truly believe in unconditional but rather conditional election. It does seem to me that there is no middle ground here either you believe in unconditional election or you don't. It seem that you believe this but then again you will contradict yourself by statements different to UE. Which is it?
You ask, “Why does He not choose to redeem and regenerate the heart of every sinner?” I respond, “Why does He choose to redeem and regenerate the heart of any sinner?” You ask, “Can a sinner believe on Jesus Christ without this work of grace in his heart?” I respond, “Will a sinner believe on Christ without this work of grace in his heart?”
You say a sinner will not believe without this work of grace in his heart. Again I ask, do you mean believing precedes this surgery or follows this surgery? If he will believe and repent, he will be saved, for the Gospel is a “whosoever will” gospel. Christ died as a substitute for a sinners who will trust in Him.
But when we see a sinner who is willing to believe in Christ, we give God the credit, "for in the day of His power, His people are made willing."I know some of you are saying, “But I thought God simply looked down through the ages and saw I would believe, and then He called me ‘elect’.” Frankly, it makes no difference to me if you believe God looked to the future and saw you would believe and then called you “elect,” or if you believe the traditional view that God graciously overcame your and stubbornness and enabled you to believe, as long as you believe the third doctrine of grace, which is the cardinal truth of Scripture: Christ died in the stead of His people.
Traditional view? I am inclined to believe that the traditional view is Calvinistic, orthodox. Where did this view "God overcame your stubbornness and enabled you to believe" originate? Wasn't it Wesley? I'm not sure myself but it is not the traditional view, I'm certain of that. You may mean that the current majority view of the SBC is the traditional view but that does not mean it is the Christian orthodox view. Your traditional SBC view is a mid-nineteenth century view. The traditional orthodox view is found in the reformation, Augustine and Pauline theology.
In other words, the death of Christ was a substitutionary death. Christ died as a substitute for sinners who will trust in Him. (conditional election)
He died in their place, and the righteous and pure anger of God due their sins was poured out on Him at Calvary.
LIMITED ATONEMENT OR PARTICULAR REDEMPTION
Why is not everyone in Heaven? Because Christ did not die for the sinner who refuses to embrace Him. (conditional election)
To believe that Christ died for “the goats” as well as “the sheep” negates the symbolism of the Old Testament sacrifices and the direct teaching of both covenants of Scripture. Only the believing sinner had a substitutionary sacrifice. Only the sinner who laid his hands upon the sacrifice had the anger of God placated.
Wade, the whole nation of Israel had a substitutionary sacrifice, not just the 'believing' Jews. Was not this sacrifice unconditional? Did not the priest lay hands on the sacrifice that was to placate the wrath of God. The individual Jew just stood and watched! They observed what was done for them. It was truly substitutionary.
Christ died as a substitute for sinners who will trust in Him. If a sinner rejects his Creator, if he refuses to embrace the Son and if he dies while spitting in the face of the only Savior ever provided for sinners, then that sinner bears his own sin in hell.
Christ died for everyone of the elect. There are no qualifiers. God insures that everyone elected are regenerated and believing!
Wade, do you believe in original sin? The reason that men perish in hell is because of the sin of Adam. Actually a sinner can't reject his creator, refuse to embrace the Son and does not have proximity to the Savior to spit in His face. Really, only the regenerate can do these things. Don't you know of Christians who are doing these things today? Now come on, be honest!
...then the sinner bears his own sin in hell. The sins of every man will be punished; either at Calvary or in hell.Wade, do you still believe in original sin? The reason men perish in hell is because of the sin of Adam. If you believe in limited/particular atonement/redemption then it is true that the sins of every man will be punished either at Calvary or in hell. The elect will be saved from Adam's destiny. The non-elect will be passed over to destruction.
It is the historic position of most who hold to the doctrines of grace that Christ atoned for the sins of all infants who die in infancy and the mentally challenged who die in their retardation. Thus, infants who die in infancy and those without mental capacity are in heaven, not because they are innocent (death is only for the guilty, and all died in Adam), but because Christ died for them and the Holy Spirit graciously regenerates them.
Historic position, tradition? The belief that election is unconditional and that it includes infants and mentally challenged goes back to the Bible!
With the exception of infants who die in infancy and imbeciles, the unbelieving sinner will be punished for his own sins in an eternal hell. But those who trust Christ will be delivered.
Your belief implies that there are two ways to be saved. One way for infants and the mentally challenged and another for unbelieving sinners. Actually the T in TULIP implies that the sinner is not just hopefully lost but is also helplessly lost, no better no worst than the infant or mentally challenged. There is only one way of salvation for all.
Often times this doctrine is called “Particular Redemption” to emphasize that not all men will be redeemed (universalism), but that only the bride of Christ, the church of God, believers, those who trust Christ, are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (i.e. "the death of Christ"). True, Wade, YOU JUST DON'T SAY IT CONSISTENTLY.
Every sinner experiences the grace of God in some form or fashion, for the sun rises on the righteous and the wicked.
There seems to be a hint of Pelagianism in this statement. It conflicts with total depravity and seems to affirm general atonement. Because the sun is shining on everyone doesn't mean the light of the Son is shining in everyone. John 1:9 is often quoted without 1:10 ...the world knew him not. It doesn't say the world rejected the light, it did not comprehend the light. The only ones who rejected the light was the ones who knew him covenantly, Israel, his own. Everyone is hindered from experiencing the grace of God because of Adam, they comprehend it not. The ones who should have comprehended it, Israel, willfully rejected it. Those outside of the covenant had no will to reject it. Why, Adam's sin. This is justice and mercy. Think about this Wade, the only ones rejecting the grace and the light today are the regenerate. They have the will to do so. The truth that we can be regenerate, repent and be baptized and go on to reject the truth and live a lie is a neglected truth. The passages we quote to the sinner are actually directed to you and me! In the meanwhile the Holy Spirit is busy regenerating sinners who are brought into the same quandary we have built and we make them worst for having been born!
The preaching of the Gospel is an act of grace, as is being born into a Christian family, as is living in a nation that is Christian. However, as we have already seen, sinners are so wicked that all of these advantages are null and void to them. The sinner hears the Gospel but he is deaf spiritually.
The sinner is like the infant, it hears but does not understand. If it was a case of an adult without hearing he would have an alternative to hearing ie. sign language. He has the ability to understand, the sinner doesn't. The sinner is hindered not just by the degree of wickedness but by the sin of Adam. The source of his inability is Adam, the wickedness is just a by-product. Your statement again implies that the infant and mentally challenged are excused from justice and automatically have mercy. All have sinned and Christ's death atoned the elect, emotionally we would like to think the mentally challenged have mercy but that is not our judgement to make. That resides with God alone.
The sinner is commanded to repent and believe but he is a rebel at heart. Therefore it takes a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit to change his heart and cause him to be willing.
Am I am wasting my time repeating what I feel is important. The sinner is not rebellious. He does not have it in him to be rebellious. He may rebel toward our offers of repentance, that only means he is tired of us. I sympathise with him in that and I grow weary with the Christians trying to convert the sinner. I have been third party too many times to a pal trying to convert a sinner and I just want to say, "close the pie hole!" He doesn't comprehend that he is offensive to God. That understanding comes with regeneration and rebellion is a practice of the regenerate toward God's. Wade, will we ever get this straight?
The fourth doctrine of grace is usually called “Irresistible Grace.” A better adjective would be the word effectual rather than irresistible. God’s grace is often resisted, but the Holy Spirit is an effectual worker. He gets the job done.
Does He still get the job done when you resist him, you do resist him, don't you? Isn't this the same with the sinner who is regenerated? Now does the unregenerate really resist the Holy Spirit? If you believe he does who is convincing you of this? Is it the voice of the flesh arguing against truth and insisting that man has free will? I believe that the commandment is plain and obvious and should be discerned by the spiritual. This is an oracle of the Lord. I Cor 14:36-38
As the appendix to the 1646 London Baptist Confession of Faith states in Article VII, “The Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so makes him to believe and obey willingly.”
This was compiled in a day when men understood biblical grace. The Spirit does not compel a sinner against his will. Drawing and compelling are two different operations. You are familiar I'm sure with R. C. Sproul's illustration of drawing water out of a well. You do not compell water to come to the top! You lower a bucket and dip it into the water and pull the rope till the bucket reaches the top. You do not woo the water up!
So if you have a loved one who is a hardened sinner, a rebel toward the things of God, the absolute most important thing you can do for him is pray
We are most certainly encouraged to pray for the salvation of the lost. Wade, what do you pray?
What is a "hardened sinner"? It is probablly a sinner who is tired of being bomblasted by a saved relative every Thanksgiving and Christmas! Anxious believers who do more harm than good. Psalms 37:1
God can save our families and nation without our prayers, but it seems He chooses not to save unless we pray, lest we take credit for the salvation of the lost ourselves.
When we pray for the lost our prayers are directed toward the lord of the harvest. In my church when a general altar call is given I pray that the unregenerate will not respond in confusion.
THE PERSEVERANCE OR PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS
Finally, the fifth doctrine of grace is called “The Perseverance or Preservation of the Saints.” Perseverance simply means a graced person keeps on believing in Christ and keeps on repenting of sin until he dies. Preservation is the divine side of perseverance and simply means He who began a good work in you will carry it on until the day of Christ.
I agree with this statement however I want to point out the problem with conditional atonement is that if a decision is the condition of salvation it can be the sourse of a later denial.
If we can accept Christ we can later reject him. Of course we both know that is not true but you are flirting with conditional salvation as is most Evangelical s today. What is happening is conditional beliefs mean that in many cases pseudo-regeneration takes place and many who thought that they were saved are not really saved and later give up.
Hell is experienced because the sinner refuses to obey God. What about the sin of Adam?
IF the sinner were to obey God fully and completely He would be embraced by God. This is Paul's argument in Romans 1-3. If we loved God, kept His commandments, and willinging embraced His Lordship over our lives, then we would be right with Him.
We experience hell because we refuse to embrace God for who He is.
So, if we are in hell, it is our fault, not God's. If, however, we embrace the Savior who delivers His people from hell, then we have been redeemed by God from experiencing His wrath. So the fault for hell is our own. The credit for escaping it goes to God. The credit goes to God if we are saved and if we perish the credit goes to Adam. We suffer the consequences of his sin. We are born sinners. It is not the degree of wickedness that we have done that gets us into hell it is the result of Adam's sin. Hitler, infants and the mentally challenged are in need of a savior. We are not just hopefully lost but helplessly lost.
There are no degrees of lostness.
Now, some wish to say that the everlasting, unconditional love of God is upon every sinner. If it is, then I can guarantee you that everyone will be in heaven, because the love of God redeems, regenerates and restores that which is broken.
In other words, universalism is based on the belief that God's redemptive love is upon everyone. But the Scripture says that God has redemptive, eternal love for His people.
"You shall call his name Jesus for he SHALL save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Now, the million dollar question is a simple one: Who are His people? The answer: Those who will embrace Jesus Christ, for the evidence of God's love is the willingness to kiss His Son. (conditional atonement)
"But you are saying I can't kiss Jesus unless God loves me enough to overcome my stubborn selfishness, my desires to sin and rebel against Him, and my naturally hard heart. You say I can't accept Christ unless God brings me to brokenness and gives to me the ability to love Him because I've come to the end of myself. Right?"Right. So I ask you. "Do you desire Him to break you of your self-love, your longing for sin, and bring to you a love for Christ and the things of God?"If you say, "Yes! I want God to do that in my life." (conditional atonement and prevenient, enabling grace)
Then I say on the authority of God's Word, He will, because He never turns a deaf ear to a helpless sinner who calls to Him. (conditional atonement)
He is leaving you alone."I guess, Stephen, the answer to your question lies at the very heart of true salvation or deliverance. God does NOT violate your will, for "The Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so makes him to believe and obey willingly.” The London confession is not dealing with the response of God toward the sinner but the regenerate. I think that many today are assuming for personal convenience that this confession is toward the sinner. The hypo-Calvinist want it to be so but the London Confession follows closely the tenets of Calvinism in Dortian fashion. They also want to reinterpret Dort as well.
Good point Darby.I, like Luther, think the better adjective for the will is "the bondage of the will" in the sense our wills are in bondage to the desires of our hearts.I sometimes do an experiment with my people during Bible study. I ask how many are on a diet. After a show of hands, I make them a friendly bet. I tell them that I can, with 100% accuracy, tell them what they will choose next time they are tempted to eat a piece of cake or a bowl of ice cream. I will tell them, with 100% accuracy, whether they will choose to eat the goodies or they will choose to say no to the cake and ice cream. Then I give them the punch line. They will always choose what is the greatest desire in their hearts at the time. The chooser always follows the inclination of the heart. NOBODY forces the will - this is what theologians mean when they say we are "free moral agents." We choose what we desire.The only fallacy with your McDonald's illustration is that God has set before a sinner how he can be right with God. He can fully, perfectly and eternally keep His laws. The fact that the man or woman CHOOSES to violate those laws is an indictment on the desires of our hearts. We are in bondage to our sinful nature, and we need deliverance from it. Sometimes people choose to reform themselves, but "what thaws in the sun will once again freeze in the shade."What is needed is a change of nature, and this is what God brings to the helpless sinner who cries out to Him.
Thu Dec 04, 11:08:00 AM 2008
Wade, the fact is that a man and woman are born with the consequences of Adam's sin. It is not insignificant that a man violates the law but he does what is his nature to do naturally not willingly. He is not just in bondage to his sinful nature but is in bondage to the prince of the power of the air. He is in Satan's hold.
The 'helpless' sinner cannot cry out to God. He is like an infant who hears but does not have the ability to understand. That is helpless. I have a retarded cousin who is just a few months my age. She is like an infant she hears well but has no intelligent understanding of what anyone says. She is helpless and has been so for over 62 years.
Excellent point SL1M,When people see the obedience, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that which saves His people, then we can easily see that faith and repentance of gifts from God who, having given us His Son, will likewise give us all gifts associated with Him. Babies who die in infancy and the mentally challenged are redeemed the same way all sinners are redeemed; through the obedience, death and resurrection of Christ for His people. God simply has chosen to redeem them without giving to them the gifts of faith and repentance for they lived short or challenged lives where those gifts could not be manifested.
Thu Dec 04, 11:21:00 AM 2008
Wade Burleson said...
And the adult sinner, who wonders whether or not he or she can be saved, we simply point them to Christ and say, "He is the only one who can deliver you. Ask Him, and He will."Or ignore Him and He won't.
Thu Dec 04, 11:22:00 AM 2008
Wade, you can't have it both ways, either salvation is unconditional as it is with infants and rely on the mercy of God or it is conditional as with responsible adults with cooperation with God in receiving mercy and infants are left in a state of limbo.
For anyone who has read this far I have used Sam Storms' book: "Chosen For Life" as a guide for analysis. Pages 215-219 gives a good summary of the different views of Calvinism as to God's decrees.
My belief is the High Supralapsarianism view. Wade is being analysized by a high Calvinist which adds to the bias of the review! In my opinion Wade is an Ammyraldian Infralapsarian, a four point or less Calvinist. This view is also called hypo-Calvinism, hypothetical universalism. This is the view IMO of the vast majority of Evangelical Calvinist today. A hypo-Calvinist cannot be a five point-Calvinist.
March 4, 2009
Perhaps the seventeenth century was a different mindset and theology was supreme over men's sentiments! There was true enlightenment in that period of time. The nineteenth and twentieth century saw a major shift form enlightenment to sentimentalism and subjectivism. That has been pervasive in our theology.
Original sin in it true form is a detriment to free will. How could one man's sin affect the free choice of us all? Is it fair to say that we are conceived in iniquity, without understanding and we are not seekers after God?
Spiritually men are as infants, they hear sounds but do not have understanding. Spiritually men are as the seriously mentally challenged, they hear sounds but are not understanding without any capability to communicate. They instinstinctively feel pain and pleasure but there is no understanding about life. Their basic infantile needs are met but there is no progress beyond that. Physically they are alive.
The sinner is spiritually dead, lifeless, without understanding. If you clearly believe in original sin then you have to believe that man does not have a free choice in salvation. "Well no wonder we don't believe in original sin, we know man has free choice!" "How could we love God if we didn't have free choice?"
The real question that is never asked is, "how could God really love us if we had free choice?"
Remember, when God created He pronounced "it is good" on all but man. The decree to sin was not just permitted but necessary for God's perfect demonstration of love. A love that would entail a Son being offered as a sacrifice for sinful man. God's pleasure was fulfilled in Christ. Christ's death brought Him pleasure! What a wonderful thought! Psalms 53
So Dr Rogers' error in saying that there is a little light in man is wrong. The light shines all around but not within. His belief in two ways of salvation is erroneous. There is one way to salvation not one for infants and the mentally challenged and another for adults who reach an age of accountability. There is not one for those who cannot make a choice and another for those who can.
Salvation is by election. All who are elected are saved. The application of election is Holy Spirit regeneration according to the pleasure of the Father. There is no human will involved, no matter how hard you try it will not overcome original sin. The only way to free will is the denial of original sin, one or the other.
March 2, 2009
If Cyber ink has to dry then my post yesterday wasn't dried before I turned on the TV and by chance saw Love Worth Finding with Adrian rogers preaching, "All Men Have Some Light!" He stated all men have some light, built in knowledge of God through creation and conscience. As this light is refused it increases darkness.
This sermon was posed before the question: Is God righteous and fair to let a sinner die and go to hell who has never heard about Jesus? (I get tired of typing these words; "sinners die and go to hell because of the sin of Adam." It is called justice. If a sinner dies and goes to heaven it is called mercy. God is righteous! Who in America believes in original sin anymore?)
This sermon is the root of the little god ideals spouted by minority unorthodox theologies. If a man prior to the mid nineteenth century had preach such a sermon to a similar national audience pulpits would have been ablaze with rebuttals. There is no voice of protest.
He abuses John 1:9 to say this light is in every man and neglected to read v. 10 that says the world that was made by him did not know him. There is no universal light that shines within all men. This is the seed thought of a cult that eventually escalates to a non-trinitarian, another gospel and another Christ movement.
Eventually all this will emerge as a massive majority view and instead of Joseph Smith, Ellen G White and Charles Russell it will be the charismatic leadership of Adrian Rogers who is even now immortalized as a model for Evangelical preaching.
March 1, 2009
Galatians 1:6 KJV I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (emphasis mine)
The above picture is another Jesus, a spirit being, thought by the Jehovah Witnesses to be Michael the Archangel. Michael came to earth from heaven to be Jesus Christ. He died and another spirit being came to take his place. Michael lived on to do battle with Satan and his angels, according to JW. The spirit being ascended to heaven where he assumed the title King or ruler of the earth realized in 1914, according to JW. The JW now await the beginning of the 1000 year reign with Jesus as King destroying the enemies of God and establishing a Edenic like life for humble men on the earth.
This Jesus, contrary to the Bible achieved independent status on earth, not as Jehovah but as his son, subordinate to Jehovah. He is a 'god.' He is a representative providing ambassadorial
assistance from Jehovah through the faithful servants, the 144,000 heavenly class of people.
The 1000 year reign must begin soon since there are few remaining men left on earth of the heavenly class. They are the ones who provide spiritual food in the form of watchtower literature to the faithful on earth who strive to attain earthly status and reign with Christ.
The JW believe strongly in free will and that Adam forfeited his status in the garden by abuse of free will. Men are under the influence of sin as a result of Adam's sin yet they can exercise faith by showing obedience toward Christ as Lord and savior. God is waiting to see if men will follow the ways of evil or if they will follow him. The focus of this waiting is on religious leaders who have allowed the dictates of Babylon to influence their ministries.
The difference between the Jesus of Trinitarian Christians and the JW Unitarian Jesus is in his assertions that He does not act independently of the Father. In spite of the statements of Christ contrary they insist he acts independently on his own. To state otherwise would be to affirm his equality with the Father, something which Christ affirmed Himself. The New World translation says: " In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." John 1:1 (emphasis mine) A god was with the God. This being did not come from God as a son from a father but was a created being of Jehovah. So when the JW says Jesus came from the Father they do not mean a son with equality to his father but a creation subordinate to the Father. This created being was Michael the archangel.
Now the point of all this is how did they come up with this ideal? It did not originate with Charles T. Russel but perhaps with Ellen G White's Adventist views. It was a nineteenth century religious view of anti-orthodox reactions resulting in Unitarianism. Ironically much of this reaction was against Calvinism. The other Christ and gospel is the result of free will running a course contrary to Trinitarianism. The tenets of free grace are rooted in a Biblical Trinitarian view. Any time that Christian free will is postulated as a major theme then it will run a course opposed to orthodoxy. It ends in Unitarianism.
Many of you who come across my blog think me to be a fool spouting folly and desirous of kicking a dead man. This is not so and many of you will continue to disbelieve me. I love the Word of God more than life itself and believe in a sovereign God who saves sinners, including me.
I will not be alive to see the outcome of Adrian Rogers beliefs but you can rest assured that as sure as the Mormons, JW, T D Jakes, Kenneth Copeland etc. etc. are aberrant theologies of other Christ and gospels that Dr. Rogers' gospel will run it's course in the same manner. 20-40 years from now the SBC Baptist Faith and Mission will arrive at a form of Unitarianian anti-orthodoxy. The mantra will be "come to Jesus," worship will be eclectic, doctrine will be non-existent, Christ will be God without the Father and the Holy Spirit. The SBC will be the major Christian denomination in America, embraced by the ruling powers. All this contingent on the fact that the Lord has not come in His glory. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!
February 27, 2009
February 26, 2009
Adrian Rogers was a pseudo trinitarian who espoused trinitarian doctrine but in practice he was heading toward Unitarianism with his "come to Jesus" altar calls.
Kenneth Copeland: It is difficult to say what he believes. doctrine seem to matter very little to him but prosperity and health are uppermost. He says: " “If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike....If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and act and sound exactly alike....The image is that they look just alike, but the likeness is that they act alike and they are alike....All of God's attributes, all of God's authority, all of God's faith, all of God's ability was invested in that man.” (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0304), side 1)
Christ successfully resisted this in the wilderness. He maintained what God expects of us all, a dependence on Him alone. This is something the humblest among us understands, the unnoticed common man and something the proud and arrogant deny! Our education and discipleship promotes this independence from God. To achieve success without God's help.
Have the humble naturally understood this? No, the humble are given the understanding by God. They understand because God grants them the understanding.
February 25, 2009
The temptation of Christ was an attempt to cause him to act as a representative of God from his dependent thought. He was tempted to act independently of the Father. To surrender to this would make Christ another god like Satan himself. The argument given by Satan to Eve was quick and obvious, she should have known to resist this temptation. This temptation of Christ was perhaps lengthy with confusing principles few if any humans could understand. All this under duress.
Christ had not the benefit of counsel through the temptation only the mastery of the Word of God faithfully given through Jewish law; parents, friends, family and synagogue teaching. Dialogue with temple officials formed his understanding. The Holy Spirit was his constant companion through all this insuring he understood the truth.
Many evangelicals today sadly do not understand Satan's offer to Christ. He had to maintain his divinity as an incarnate son of man. He had to be both priest and sacrifice in order to accomplish redemption and that entailed being both God and man. The Word of God taught to the simplest individual was sufficient to combat the devices of Satan. Christ had to live by the Word of God, not tempt God, worship only Him and be His exclusive servant. He passed the test! Heavenly host were watching to see that he would succeed and angels came to minister to His needs.
Many religious leaders would try to tempt him during His three years of ministry. He had to have a clear understanding of who He was. He was not a god independent of the Father, that would make him a representative of God, acting independently. He was God equal to the Father, and not subordinate to Him. As man he surrendered this status to be subordinate to the Father and act dependently on the Father. From the cradle to the grave He was one of us, God the Son humbly obedient to God the Father. He as God died for the sins of the world. From the grave to the throne He sits exalted at the Father's right hand exalted as God and redeeming lamb and priest.
There is a connection to us asserting our free will and frustrating the divinity of Christ. Satan is the author of this confusion. The assertion of free will is a serious violation of Scripture, one which Christ avoided on earth! It is the most common failure of men to violate this. Anyone, even the simplest and humblest of men can comprehend this as demonstrated by Christ, himself. As Christ said to the religious leaders, "I tell you the truth and you believe me not."
This is the hardest truth to be heard by anyone holding to free will. You do not understand this because you are blinded by Satan from this truth, whether you sit in the pew or stand behind a pulpit.
There is a mystery of iniquity here isn't there? Fearfully I tread here but this needs to be said, God is not the author of sin. His determinate nature, logos, is Holy. There is no lie in Him. We cannot say where sin came from. Christ did say that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in truth. Satan lies because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Satan was the source of man's test. He had a bent toward destruction and a desire to kill Adam and Eve. Satan served a purpose and did not have determinate thought, logos, else he would have been equal to God. He ursuped authority and became the god of this earth, the prince of the powers of the air. He is the reason we cannot own our own believe the truth. As Paul says, human free will is a lie of the Devil. Amen, brother Paul.
February 24, 2009
Both responded that man has free will and therefore must have independent thought. My belief is that only God can have independent thought. He knows the thoughts and intents of man's heart. By virtue of creation he made us and gave us thoughts. "I know the thoughts I have for you." There is nothing hid from Him! Satan and his angles do not have independent thought. The angles who serve god's purposes do not have independent thought. All that was created is subordinated to God and have restricted thought. Humans don't have independent thought and it is an attribute of sovereignty alone.
The logos of God is communicable independent thought. It is the council of the divine trinity whereby thought is communicated in a predetermined manner. All that exist was predetermined by this logos. Christ is the logos and the logos is God. Foreknowledge is the ability of God to see into the future what was determined from His past council. What was planed did not occur by foreknowledge but by determined independent thought. It was absolutely free without influence.
Man does not have this attribute neither is it shared with man by God. The Shema of Israel addresses this with regularity in the gathering of Israel for prayer. "Hear O Israel, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God! The LORD is One!"
Man will assert and assault heaven and earth to defend his free will, saying "In order to love God man must have free will!" God is Love and all He determines is according to His own good pleasure. He puts the love in our hearts for Himself so that all things work together for good.
February 23, 2009
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
February 22, 2009
However the Holy Spirit is still working in strange and mysterious ways. He moves among the common men. In spiritual issues doing nothing is preferable to doing the wrong thing. Most churches adopt the philosophy of pragmatic busyness. They quote the Bible "idle hands are the Devil's workshop" "Jesus is coming look busy."
Perhaps the Spirit is moving in the mist of the congregation discretely encouraging apathy! When Adrian Rogers preached evangelistically, soliciting decisions the Holy Spirit was whispering to men "let the preacher do what he does and don't get involved." When Dr. Rogers exhorted men to be soul winners the Spirit said to them, "ignore the plea."
Perhaps a great move of the Spirit took place and over a thousand people just sat there obedient to the call of the Spirit. They were not recognized for their obedience but in their hearts they knew they loved God and they would not be intimidated by motivation to be busy for the sake of busyness.
America is full of good obedient Christians who are not recognized instead they are the objects of scorn, Sunday after Sunday and through the week on TV and radio. They are the religious oppressed and some are persecuted for the sake of the name of Christ. They have not someone to open the good book at Isaiah 61 and say, "this day this scripture is fulfilled in your midst."
I exhort you to say no to:
1. Any witnessing class teaching you how to lead someone to Christ, just say no.
2. Say no to ascetic practices that make you feel you have earned God's blessings.
3. Say no to disciplining and mentoring, just say, "no thanks I have the Holy Spirit for that, He will teach me."
4. Say no to music entertainment, large orchestration and accomplished singing.
"No thank you, I will just sit here and make a joyful noise to the Lord!"
5. Say no to unity and yes to purity.
Join the massive ranks of good Christians who have been doing nothing for years. Rise up...er...sit there and do nothing. You are a member of a numberless body of people who dearly love God and are doing nothing. You will have your reward! See the salvation of the Lord! The Lord is faithful!
February 20, 2009
February 17, 2009
February 13, 2009
My JW friend believes that all this was a hastily devised plan after the fact of the fall of Adam in the garden. The "interim ethic" and "passover plot" are also hasty views of Christ's death. The view that Christ resigned himself to the death of the cross after a disappointing attempt to set up a political Jewish kingdom is the result of a faulty order of salvation.
Between these faulty views and the correct biblical view is a wide space of theological manipulation attempting to reconcile what one wants God to do and what God actually does.
Paul in Romans 8:28-34 gives us his order of salvation. The Protestant Reformation was constructed around this in difference to the Roman Catholic belief in faith repentance and good works.
February 12, 2009
The plan of salvation then is an afterthought! It is an interruption of divine plans. Naturally I have taken issue strongly with him on this. Christ's death was not an afterthought but a decision made before the foundations of the earth was laid. It was decreed in eternity before any created order. Oh, does he ever disagree with that! "Why that would violate free will." "Man sinned by free choice otherwise God would be the author of sin!"
Our salvation was a product of heavenly holiness. A state of perfect love and justice. Decreed by a triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. An eternal counsel was convened in eternity and a plan laid out without interruptions. There were no conflicts nor mysteries. There were no opposing forces in this plan. God is just and right in all His ways!
February 11, 2009
The covenant with Israel was maintained by ceremonial sacrificial laws.
When Christ died the perfect sacrifice was offered and accepted by an offended Father. Sins were finally atoned. It was a "once for all" event. The old ceremonial law was now useless and that fact was demonstrated by the ripping from top to bottom of the veil that kept the worshippers from accessing the Holy of Holies. The common man could look into the sacred place and not be destroyed.
I'm certain that the arrangements were quickly made to repair the veil and continue the ceremony of sacrifices. Only now there was not a need of sacrifices. Christ had ascended to the Father's right hand as priest and lamb. What the old covenant could not do Christ had perfected the way into the presence of God.
From Calvary's cross eternal redemption had been accomplished!