Monday, February 13, 2006

Eye on Good Deeds of the "Lost"

A poster named Eye has responded to a portion of Nathan's response to my "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth" blog post. I think Eye has made some very good points so I've brought them here as a blog post. Hopefully Nathan, or anyone else who holds to Calvinism, will respond.

Here are Eye's first comments on total depravity.

Here is Eye's comment:

Dawn,

I read in one of Nathan’s previous posts some things that didn’t square with Scripture. Since you and I are discussing Cornelius, I thought I would take the liberty to review one of Nathan’s comments in light of Acts 10.

Nathan said: “Furthermore, your example of ‘lost’ people performing good deeds is a little ridiculous. Any deed that is done out of a heart that is not submitted to Christ is not a good deed –it is from selfish motives. Someone who has elevated something else above Christ (they have not submitted to Him as Lord and savior) does good deeds only for whatever else is elevated above Christ: namely self.

Interesting comment from Nathan in light of the fact that Cornelius, after Pentecost, as an unregenerated man (the Calvinist must prove by Scripture he was regenerated), actually did do good deeds – see Acts 10:2 ‘A devout man, and one that feared God with his entire household, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.’

Wow – let’s see what the Bible says about Cornelius. Sounds to me like Cornelius had more going on in the ‘good deed’ categories than most so-called Christians I know! He was ‘devout’, oh and he feared God, and not only him but his entire household, and let’s not forget that he gave ‘much alms’ to the people. Now that’s a good deed, and I dare say there were no tax deductions in that day so he was most likely giving of his wealth with no strings attached right off the top. Most impressive indeed -- now I submit that Cornelius did these things because he ‘feared’ God. Cornelius was seeking after God as an unregenerated man. The Calvinist must imply that he was regenerated because it is clearly not in the text. Moreover, as we established from Acts 10 in the previous post, God sent an angel to Cornelius to confirm that his prayers and alms came up for a memorial before God. I do believe praying to God and giving alms to the poor are considered good deeds – just ask any first grader.

Acts 10:3-4 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. The above referenced passage says that Cornelius was afraid. Notice the angel did not say ‘fear not’ to him. I believe the Scripture is clearly affirming the fact that Cornelius is not regenerated, and obviously not saved – and this is after the Cross and Pentecost. Based on the Calvinistic construct you must first be regenerated so that you can then place faith in Jesus so that you then can become born again. There are numerous other places in Scripture where people are confronted by angels and those who are in covenant with God are told they need not fear. However, in this case, there was no ‘fear not’ issued. Those who are estranged from God are left in their fear, because ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ Proverbs 9:10. Therefore I humbly submit that Cornelius was not born again yet, nor was he regenerated. Now, let’s check out this verse.

Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

This verse in Romans 1:16 clearly states that the ‘gospel of Christ’ is the POWER (dunamis – superantural power of God; we get dynamite from the root dunamis) of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (believeth -- pistus in Greek – same word as faith). What’s incredibly interesting to me based on this verse is the fact that the Bible says the gospel of Christ is the power or catalyst that gets one saved, not some mystical or ‘secret work of regeneration’ that occurs prior to someone placing faith in Jesus. I’ve yet to find that teaching anywhere in clear Scripture. Actually the opposite is what the clear teaching of Scripture states. We must first place our faith in Jesus before we can be born again. Please see this Scripture:

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Now the word power (EXOUSIA) is indeed a very interesting word in the Greek – please see Strong’s definition below. For brevity, I stopped after the 3 point – it continues in detail beyond…

1) power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
a) leave or permission
2) physical and mental power
a) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
3) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)

This clearly teaches that the new birth is conditioned upon you receiving Jesus Christ. To qoute one old preacher, “There is not a case in the history of the universe where any man was ever ‘born again’ until he received Jesus Christ, and to say that total depravity extends to acts of the will is nonsense.” EXOUSIA pretty much confirms that – see definition above. First you must ‘receive’ Him, and then He gives you the power to become the sons of God. You don’t receive in a vacuum; again just study Cornelieus’ testimony as outlined in the Scripture.

Nathan – in case you read this, don’t you realize that John 6 is before the Cross and prior to Pentecost? In other words, it is still technically during the Old Covnenant. I don’t believe the Scripture supports the idea that any ‘Old Covenant’ saint was ever regenerated before placing their faith God. We do know that Abraham was saved because Galatians 3:6 says so. So, he here is an example of a man that was ‘Old Covenant’ saved by believing (FAITHING) the promise that Messiah would come and He would become sin who knew no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:14 – 21 clearly teaches ‘that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them’. Again in John 6, Jesus is specifically addressing his ‘chosen’ disciples and the Jews in that passage. Moreover, have you ever ‘seen’ Jesus with your two eyes like the people who were beholding him during that famous passage? John 6:40 says that everyone that ‘seeth’ the Son and believeth on Him, him will He raise up at the last day. I haven’t seen any Calvinist with enough honesty to preach that – literally seeing and believing ensures you are resurrected. To take this chapter and clearly build a construct and apply it to the entire counsel of Scripture is foolish. We do see where Jesus later confronts Thomas and tells him in John 20 that there will be those who do believe in Him and they haven’t had the ability to ‘see’ Him! Will they be resurrected? Of course they will!

Selah…

Excellent post, Eye!

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8 Comments:

At Monday, February 13, 2006 3:57:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Eye, thanks for the comment. I still have not re-read his response. I do hope to do that one day and maybe even respond. But what you say in your response to his quote makes total sense.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to make it a blog post. Hopefully Nathan will respond, but don't hold your breath. I'm almost postive he has a function where he will be notified if someone links to him in a blog post. So at least he will be aware that it is here.

 
At Monday, February 13, 2006 2:58:00 PM, Blogger Nathan White said...

Interesting comment from Nathan in light of the fact that Cornelius, after Pentecost, as an unregenerated man (the Calvinist must prove by Scripture he was regenerated)

I’ve already dealt with this previously. Cornelius was a Old Testament Christian who did not know about the risen Christ. You cannot show he is unregenerate, you cannot show that he sought God completely on his own separate from God calling and drawing him as outlined in John 6 and Romans 8.


Wow – let’s see what the Bible says about Cornelius. Sounds to me like Cornelius had more going on in the ‘good deed’ categories than most so-called Christians I know! He was ‘devout’, oh and he feared God, and not only him but his entire household, and let’s not forget that he gave ‘much alms’ to the people. Now that’s a good deed

How naïve is it to say you can see the heart of this man? Or do outward good deeds always imply that the heart is right? It doesn’t matter anyway, this has no bearing on the argument, see my comments above.

Cornelius was seeking after God as an unregenerated man.

More presuppositions that are not found in the text. However, I never denied that unregenerate men seek God, because they certainly do seek God when they are chosen, called, and drawn! Again, I am so sick and tired of typing the same thing and yet my comments go unnoticed, unaddressed, and more straw men get put up and torn down.

The Calvinist must imply that he was regenerated because it is clearly not in the text.

Oh, and the fact that he is unregenerated is in the text? Nevertheless, like I said before, this in now way hurts my position because people can do good deeds once the Spirit calls and draws man to God. I know you think you are hurting my argument, but actually you are just affirming what I’ve always said: Those who come to Christ do start making their way towards Christ while unregenerate! They come because they are ‘predestined, called’ –Romans 8, and ‘given, drawn’ –John 6. Please deal with those passages and stop wasting time here.

I do believe praying to God and giving alms to the poor are considered good deeds – just ask any first grader.

Why would we let a first grader determine what good deeds are? Can you see the heart? That’s what I thought. Muslims pray to God, Catholics give alms. Please, give me a break.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. The above referenced passage says that Cornelius was afraid. Notice the angel did not say ‘fear not’ to him. I believe the Scripture is clearly affirming the fact that Cornelius is not regenerated, and obviously not saved – and this is after the Cross and Pentecost.

First of all, based on what? Fear of God? And secondly, this has no bearing on the argument. See above.

However, in this case, there was no ‘fear not’ issued. Those who are estranged from God are left in their fear, because ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ Proverbs 9:10.

That is the most fallacious and ridiculous argument I have ever heard. I will not entertain such foolish methods of interpretation.

Actually the opposite is what the clear teaching of Scripture states.

Hmm, faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. What comes first, faith or the hearing of the word of God? Point made.

This clearly teaches that the new birth is conditioned upon you receiving Jesus Christ.

Oh, you mean when it says ‘not by the will of man’?

EXOUSIA pretty much confirms that – see definition above. First you must ‘receive’ Him, and then He gives you the power to become the sons of God.

Exousia doesn’t confirm anything if you don’t finish reading the sentence. The last portion of the sentence clearly describes the birth that happened before the ‘receiving’ of Him.

Nathan – in case you read this, don’t you realize that John 6 is before the Cross and prior to Pentecost? In other words, it is still technically during the Old Covnenant.

Thank you for saying this. I can now affirm that you are from Antonio’s blog (most likely), and can now affirm your hyper-dispensationalism and ‘free-grace’ theology as heresy. I will no longer entertain your arguments outside of this post, and I caution any true believer –whether you are a Calvinist of not- to stay away.

I don’t believe the Scripture supports the idea that any ‘Old Covenant’ saint was ever regenerated before placing their faith God.

Again, the scriptures do not spell out the order of salvation explicitly, however, Romans 8 and 1 Cor 2 state in plain language that the Spirit of God must be present or man is ‘unable’ to adhere to the commands of God. Why do you think Paul calls it the Fruit of the Spirit? Is it because it comes from within us?

Again in John 6, Jesus is specifically addressing his ‘chosen’ disciples and the Jews in that passage.

‘No man can come to Me’ speaks for itself. Jesus does not even hint that ‘no man’ means ‘none of the men standing in front of Me’.

Moreover, have you ever ‘seen’ Jesus with your two eyes like the people who were beholding him during that famous passage? John 6:40 says that everyone that ‘seeth’ the Son and believeth on Him, him will He raise up at the last day. I haven’t seen any Calvinist with enough honesty to preach that – literally seeing and believing ensures you are resurrected.

That’s cause no Calvinist would waste his time addressing such a foolish interpretation of ‘seeing’. Christ is the living Word, the Word is Christ. The scriptures testify of Christ. We ‘see’ Christ when we read scripture.

To take this chapter and clearly build a construct and apply it to the entire counsel of Scripture is foolish.

This chapter fits in perfectly with Ephesians 1, Romans 8 and 9, 2 thess 2, etc. It is not the sole defense of Calvinism.

We do see where Jesus later confronts Thomas and tells him in John 20 that there will be those who do believe in Him and they haven’t had the ability to ‘see’ Him! Will they be resurrected? Of course they will!

To link the ‘seeing’ of John 6 with the ‘seeing’ of John 20 is ridiculous. I will refrain from wasting everyone’s time on an argument that fails to hurt my position in the slightest of ways.

Again, if what I perceive is correct, I will no longer entertain arguments from the ‘free grace’ side of the blogsphere. For that theology is heretical, dangerous, and was completely refuted in John MacArthur’s book: The Gospel According to the Apostles. Yes, ‘free grace’ people are not Calvinists, but then again, every cult and every false religion are free will as well. They all fall on one thing: Humans must do [fill in the blank] to please God. What is Christianity? It is foolishness. It is God giving His grace to man and redeeming man, so that no man can boast. Christianity is not doing something within ourselves to gain heaven.

Romans 4:4 says: Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

You both have turned salvation into something God owes us for our work instead of by unmerited favor (grace).

 
At Monday, February 13, 2006 8:35:00 PM, Anonymous Eye said...

Nathan said: I’ve already dealt with this previously. Cornelius was a Old Testament Christian who did not know about the risen Christ. You cannot show he is unregenerate, you cannot show that he sought God completely on his own separate from God calling and drawing him as outlined in John 6 and Romans 8.

Nathan, what do you mean you can not show he is unregenerate? By unregenerate you mean he is lost. Of course he’s lost --that’s what Chapter 10 is all about. Cornelius is a ‘good’ lost man in need of the Saviour. Therefore he is lost! I’m not hyper anything and I do believe most Bible scholars will readily admit that God’s people were ‘saved’ in the Old Testament by placing their faith in God based on His promise of sending Messiah (Genesis 3:15). Old Testament saints did not receive the ‘earnest’ of the Spirit in their bodies before Pentecost as a consequence of their Old Testament salvation. However, New Testament saints do receive the Spirit upon salvation. A lost person is saved (born again) when they place ‘faith’ in Jesus Christ.

Back to point – that’s how anyone can know that Cornelius was lost. It’s so simple to see. Acts 11:14 tells us the angel told Cornelius that Peter will come, “who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all they house shall be saved.” So, the Scriptures confirm without a doubt that Cornelius was as lost as a Titliest in high weeds – and he was indeed seeking after God. Where in Acts 10 and 11 does it say that God was specifically calling and drawing him? I believe it’s your turn to ‘exegete’ that out of this text for the record.

We know that Cornelius got saved as a result of the ‘power of the gospel’ as stated in vs 34-43 in Chapter 10. Please take a look at what Peter said in verse 34 – “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I percieve that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” HMMM – did you see that – ‘worketh righteousness’. Here again is a lost man that fears God and works righteousness. These aren’t my words – they are God’s Words. Cornelius’ salvation experience was futher amplified by the fact the Holy Spirit not only indwelt him, but also came upon him allowing them to speak in tongues and magnify God. God’s goodness and plan was revealed in a way that the Jews could not question the legitimacy of Cornelius’ salvation experience of being born again. The Jews would have wanted them to be immediately circumcised in their flesh, but God had another plan. Again, an individual becomes indwelt with the Spirit of God at the point of salvation as a result of the ‘power of the Gospel’.

Nathan said: How naïve is it to say you can see the heart of this man? Or do outward good deeds always imply that the heart is right? It doesn’t matter anyway, this has no bearing on the argument, see my comments above.

I don’t claim to see the heart of this man – why should I. Hey, God tells me in the passage what was going on with him – I’m simply observing the text that tells me his deeds.

Nathan said: More presuppositions that are not found in the text. However, I never denied that unregenerate men seek God, because they certainly do seek God when they are chosen, called, and drawn! Again, I am so sick and tired of typing the same thing and yet my comments go unnoticed, unaddressed, and more straw men get put up and torn down.

Nathan forgive me for jumping back to Cain, but he is an example of someone who was ‘called’ by God – I’d even go so far as to say drawn into examining the situation so that he would ‘doest well’. That flies in the face of irresistable grace doesn’t it?

Nathan said: Oh, and the fact that he is unregenerated is in the text? Nevertheless, like I said before, this in now way hurts my position because people can do good deeds once the Spirit calls and draws man to God. I know you think you are hurting my argument, but actually you are just affirming what I’ve always said: Those who come to Christ do start making their way towards Christ while unregenerate! They come because they are ‘predestined, called’ –Romans 8, and ‘given, drawn’ –John 6. Please deal with those passages and stop wasting time here.

Yep, the fact he is unregenerate (Lost) is clearly in the text – where is the clear part about ‘predestined’, ‘given’, ‘drawn’? I missed that in this text. No, you deal with this passage since it is on topic and quit running back to your circular logic of your pet verses.

Nathan said: Why would we let a first grader determine what good deeds are? Can you see the heart? That’s what I thought. Muslims pray to God, Catholics give alms. Please, give me a break.

Already covered this.

Nathan said: First of all, based on what? Fear of God? And secondly, this has no bearing on the argument. See above.

Just trying to show you one more clear Biblical example of how you can know Cornelius was lost.

Nathan said: That is the most fallacious and ridiculous argument I have ever heard. I will not entertain such foolish methods of interpretation.

Nathan, you might want to calm down buddy. I really do appreciate your fervor for God's Word and your diligence in trying to make your position known. I mean that. I was simply trying to bring some additional insight into something you have obviously not heard before.

Nathan said: Exousia doesn’t confirm anything if you don’t finish reading the sentence. The last portion of the sentence clearly describes the birth that happened before the ‘receiving’ of Him.

How do you say that Nathan – please read this verse carefully and slowly. Here, I’ll map it out for you 1) people ‘receive’ Jesus; 2) then God gives them power (EXOUSIA) to become the sons of God 3) and God does the work of birthing them so that they become His sons/daughters. What do you mean the last portion of the sentence clearly describes the birth that happened before the ‘receiving’ of Him?

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Now the word power (EXOUSIA) is indeed a very interesting word in the Greek – please see Strong’s definition below. For brevity, I stopped after the 3 point – it continues in detail beyond…

1) power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
a) leave or permission
2) physical and mental power
a) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
3) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)

Who is Antonio? Beats me…


In Him,

Eye

 
At Monday, February 13, 2006 9:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Dawn, I'm sure 'Eye' is a troll who wondered over from Anotonio's free grace blog.

Name calling is bad enough, Nathan. But accusing someone of not knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour just because they don't agree with your point of view? That's inexcusable.


Allow me to quote:
Thank you for saying this. I can now affirm that you are from Antonio’s blog (most likely), and can now affirm your hyper-dispensationalism and ‘free-grace’ theology as heresy. I will no longer entertain your arguments outside of this post, and I caution any true believer –whether you are a Calvinist of not- to stay away.

How about Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

Actually, Nathan, I believe you said it best.

"How naïve is it to say you can see the heart of this man?"

 
At Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Nathan: "...but actually you are just affirming what I’ve always said: Those who come to Christ do start making their way towards Christ while unregenerate! They come because they are ‘predestined, called’ –Romans 8, and ‘given, drawn’ –John 6. Please deal with those passages and stop wasting time here."

Those who believe are the ones who are predestined and yes, they were called. But not everyone who is called will come only those who believe and receive. (Matthew 22:3, 14; John 1:12, 6)

Now you're really confusing me here. I thought that no one could seek God unless they were born again and that no one can understand unless they are born again. But then you did say that everyone seeks God, but only for selfish and sinful reasons. You're kind of flip-flopping back and forth on the seeking God thing. Wait a minute. Is your name really John Kerry? ;-p But seriously, now you say that they "start making their way toward Christ"?

In what way do they start making their way toward Christ?

I've already addressed John 6, but you disagree and say that it is eisegesis. (I still disagree about that and I think that you are guilty of eisegesis.) So please don't say that no one has addressed it.

Eye, Nathan has addressed John 6 here.

From your blog: "How many souls have been led to vain confidence by a man-made, evangelistic formula? How many are sent home from evangelistic services with calm, who should have gone away grieved and disturbed as the ruler? How many unsaved children have been given assurance by the teachers of Bible classes, so that they have ceased to seek God for salvation?” - Walter Chantry

Another statement that puzzles me. I agree with Chantry’s statement for the most part, but according to Calvinism one can't seek God for salvation, cannot see, cannot understand and doesn't even want salvation until God gives him irresistible grace (i.e., they are born again). Right?

How can someone go away grieved or disturbed as the ruler, if he can’t understand in the first place? Or are you changing things up on us? Or maybe you just don't have it all worked out in your mind, yet?

Eye: "This clearly teaches that the new birth is conditioned upon you receiving Jesus Christ."

Nathan: "Oh, you mean when it says ‘not by the will of man’?"

"Not by the will of man" means that man can't save himself through his own will because there is no power in his will, nor is his will the same as God's in terms of salvation (e.g., he may not want to have to repent). We're saved by the power of God once we believe and receive the Lord.

Nathan: "Exousia doesn’t confirm anything if you don’t finish reading the sentence. The last portion of the sentence clearly describes the birth that happened before the ‘receiving’ of Him."

No, the being born of God is the RESULT of believing and receiving the Lord.

(Mark 16:16; John 3:15; John 5:24; 6; John 11:25; 12:44,46; Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; 3:22; 4:11,24; 10:9-11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 3:22; Hebrews 11:6; etc.)

Nathan: "Thank you for saying this. I can now affirm that you are from Antonio’s blog (most likely), and can now affirm your hyper-dispensationalism and ‘free-grace’ theology as heresy. I will no longer entertain your arguments outside of this post, and I caution any true believer –whether you are a Calvinist of not- to stay away."

That is such a cop-out. You did the same thing to me. If we don't agree with you, then you will no longer dialogue with us which is what I've come to expect from most Calvinists.

Nathan: "Again, the scriptures do not spell out the order of salvation explicitly, however, Romans 8 and 1 Cor 2 state in plain language that the Spirit of God must be present or man is ‘unable’ to adhere to the commands of God. Why do you think Paul calls it the Fruit of the Spirit? Is it because it comes from within us?"

Up until this point you certainly have spelled out salvation for us, explicitly. You’ve always affirmed that no one can believe, receive, understand or seek God until they are born again. It IS true that until we are born again we cannot be submissive to the commands of God. That is much different than BELIEVING/FAITHING, putting our trust in God by committing our lives to Him. It is the fruit of the Spirit because anything good comes from God.

Nathan: “This chapter [John 6] fits in perfectly with Ephesians 1, Romans 8 and 9, 2 thess 2, etc. It is not the sole defense of Calvinism.

Right. All who believe (whosoever will) were chosen from the beginning. God has determined the beginning from the end. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Therefore, He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will harden. Meaning, he has mercy upon those who believe and hardens those who do not. That is not to say that someone who is hardened will remain hardened. There are many atheists turned Christian.

Nathan: “Humans must do [fill in the blank] to please God. What is Christianity? It is foolishness. It is God giving His grace to man and redeeming man, so that no man can boast. Christianity is not doing something within ourselves to gain heaven.

Romans 4:4 says: Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

You both have turned salvation into something God owes us for our work instead of by unmerited favor (grace).


No I have not. Humans must believe God. That is ALL I have ever said. Since when did faith become a work?

On this boasting thing, Calvinists have MADE UP the idea that BELIEVING GOD can be something we BOAST about and that it is a WORK. Look at verse 3 in the book from which you’ve quoted out of context to accuse us with. Abraham BELIEVED GOD. It was NOT a WORK! Then read the rest of the chapter! It is EXPLICITLY telling us that faith is not a WORK! That’s the point (among other things)! Please re-read Romans 3:27. Here it is again for your convenience.

Romans 3:27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Unmerited favor is that God chose to save mankind AT ALL. It’s not what Calvinists have concocted from stringing together certain scriptures ripped from their contextes (i.e., unmerited favor of only certain people whom God arbitrarily (the pleasure of His good will) chose).

And now, a Deep Thought from Jack Handy:

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: "Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind."

 
At Friday, February 17, 2006 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

"How many souls have been led to vain confidence by a man-made, evangelistic formula? How many are sent home from evangelistic services with calm, who should have gone away grieved and disturbed as the ruler? How many unsaved children have been given assurance by the teachers of Bible classes, so that they have ceased to seek God for salvation?” - Walter Chantry

Another thought on the substance of this quote. According to the constructs of Calvinism, how can someone who is NOT chosen be lead to "vain" confidence of their salvation if they were never chosen in the first place? What in the world does it matter? This entire statement is ridiculous. How can someone seek God for salvation if they are not born again/chosen?

Nathan, please explain.

 
At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 3:41:00 PM, Blogger Nathan White said...

I’ve been told I contradicted myself here, and so I guess I have to respond to this laughable accusation.

Nathan: "...but actually you are just affirming what I’ve always said: Those who come to Christ do start making their way towards Christ while unregenerate! They come because they are ‘predestined, called’ –Romans 8, and ‘given, drawn’ –John 6. Please deal with those passages and stop wasting time here."

Those who believe are the ones who are predestined and yes, they were called. But not everyone who is called will come only those who believe and receive. (Matthew 22:3, 14; John 1:12, 6)


I’m sorry Dawn, but I’ve asked you a thousand times to do some sort of exegesis. You cannot such throw ‘proof texts’ down and run. That proves nothing except that this is how you interpret these passages.

Now you're really confusing me here. I thought that no one could seek God unless they were born again and that no one can understand unless they are born again.

Being chosen from the foundation of the world, as in Ephesians 1:4 says, means that those people will without a doubt come to salvation –does it not? These people are ‘born of God’ as Jesus describes in John 8 and John 10, as well as John who says the same thing in 1 John 5:1. Being born of God means that you will come to faith in Christ, and that you will make your way to Christ as He draws. Just because you are chosen does not mean that you are regenerate, you must place faith in Christ –which comes with the Spirit convicts you of sin and ‘gives you a heart of flesh’ as the scriptures say. What is so hard about that?

But then you did say that everyone seeks God, but only for selfish and sinful reasons. You're kind of flip-flopping back and forth on the seeking God thing. Wait a minute. Is your name really John Kerry? ;-p But seriously, now you say that they "start making their way toward Christ"?

Ha, good one. If I’m John Kerry then you’re definitely his school-boy running mate John Edwards. I seem like I’m flip-flopping because you cannot seem to grasp Calvinistic theology. Maybe you should study it for once in your life? But nevertheless, people who seek God for selfish reasons aren’t really seeking God, they are seeking self. Those who do see God seek because they were ‘ordained to eternal life’, ‘chosen before the foundation of the world’, ‘called with a holy calling’, ‘given and drawn by the Father’, ‘predestined, called’ etc.

In what way do they start making their way toward Christ?

Uh, they don’t ever ‘make their way towards Christ’ if they are never regenerated.

I've already addressed John 6, but you disagree and say that it is eisegesis. (I still disagree about that and I think that you are guilty of eisegesis.) So please don't say that no one has addressed it.

HA! You have no answer for John 6, just a wild interpretation that makes no sense. You turn ‘no man’ into every man, you turn ‘taught of God’ as some kind of trump card that negates the previous verses (please, explain why Jesus would say one thing in verse 44 and then, according to your view, contradict it in verse 45…please, pretty please, will you explain that one?) Once again, God does not draw us by some ‘mystical experience’, He draws us by teaching us of God.

From your blog: "How many souls have been led to vain confidence by a man-made, evangelistic formula? How many are sent home from evangelistic services with calm, who should have gone away grieved and disturbed as the ruler? How many unsaved children have been given assurance by the teachers of Bible classes, so that they have ceased to seek God for salvation?” - Walter Chantry

Another statement that puzzles me. I agree with Chantry’s statement for the most part, but according to Calvinism one can't seek God for salvation, cannot see, cannot understand and doesn't even want salvation until God gives him irresistible grace (i.e., they are born again). Right?


Dawn, again, you do not understand the difference between Spiritual and carnal things; you do not understand the Calvinistic position. I have explained this so many times it is getting very old. People don’t want to end up in Hell yes, even the rich young ruler asked Jesus ‘what must I do to be saved’. Was he seeking God? Yes in human terms, no in Spiritual terms. He was seeking God in the flesh, he was seeking Him in is own way. You cannot come your way, you must come God’s way. His heart was not one of ‘self denial’, and so Jesus exposed the area of his heart that was still devoted to sin. That is not seeking God, that is seeking self. The reformed view coincides with Romans chapter 3, chapter 8, Ephesians 2, 1 Cor 2, which I have already demonstrated, have yet to be refuted or even addressed by you, and that in the clearest way possible teach that man cannot move towards God in any righteous way unless he has the righteousness of Christ applied to him, and the Spirit of Christ indwelling him. If you dispute anything I just wrote here, deal with the scripture’s I provided. I’m sick of playing games.

How can someone go away grieved or disturbed as the ruler, if he can’t understand in the first place? Or are you changing things up on us? Or maybe you just don't have it all worked out in your mind, yet?

Or maybe you should actually read what I’ve already written? But even still, you seem to be stuck in some form of shallowness regarding these doctrines. But forgive me, I just find it pathetic coming from you, because your inconsistencies could fill a football stadium. Please, for the thousandth time, do some research on what Calvinism really teaches before you attempt to attack it. That would save me hours of typing.

Eye: "This clearly teaches that the new birth is conditioned upon you receiving Jesus Christ."

Nathan: "Oh, you mean when it says ‘not by the will of man’?"

"Not by the will of man" means that man can't save himself through his own will because there is no power in his will, nor is his will the same as God's in terms of salvation (e.g., he may not want to have to repent). We're saved by the power of God once we believe and receive the Lord.


I have already refuted this in your archives. Look it up. Obviously you have no clue on how to exegete scripture if you can justify forcing your interpretation into such a clear text.

Nathan: "Exousia doesn’t confirm anything if you don’t finish reading the sentence. The last portion of the sentence clearly describes the birth that happened before the ‘receiving’ of Him."

No, the being born of God is the RESULT of believing and receiving the Lord.

(Mark 16:16; John 3:15; John 5:24; 6; John 11:25; 12:44,46; Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; 3:22; 4:11,24; 10:9-11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 3:22; Hebrews 11:6; etc.)


Hmm, already refuted that as well. Care to interpret Jesus when He said you cannot believe because are not born of God (John 8)? I’ve thrown that one out several times with no response. Same with 1 John 5:1. Oh, and please do not bless us with your dozens of scripture quotations without any exegesis or demonstration of HOW you think EVEN ONE of those verses means what you think it means. That’s getting old as well. Please provide exegesis.

Nathan: "Thank you for saying this. I can now affirm that you are from Antonio’s blog (most likely), and can now affirm your hyper-dispensationalism and ‘free-grace’ theology as heresy. I will no longer entertain your arguments outside of this post, and I caution any true believer –whether you are a Calvinist of not- to stay away."

That is such a cop-out. You did the same thing to me. If we don't agree with you, then you will no longer dialogue with us which is what I've come to expect from most Calvinists.


Dawn I have utterly destroyed your arguments so many dozens of times, yet you will not admit it, or even recognize it. Cop-out? Please. I’m just sick of destroying your arguments –I don’t have time for your ignorance and your refusal to be corrected by the word (or even to understand the word). I have showed enough patience. And by the way, why don't you ask 'eye' if someone must repent to be saved. That is, turn their live from sin and obey the commands of scripture.

Nathan: "Again, the scriptures do not spell out the order of salvation explicitly, however, Romans 8 and 1 Cor 2 state in plain language that the Spirit of God must be present or man is ‘unable’ to adhere to the commands of God. Why do you think Paul calls it the Fruit of the Spirit? Is it because it comes from within us?"

Up until this point you certainly have spelled out salvation for us, explicitly. You’ve always affirmed that no one can believe, receive, understand or seek God until they are born again. It IS true that until we are born again we cannot be submissive to the commands of God. That is much different than BELIEVING/FAITHING, putting our trust in God by committing our lives to Him. It is the fruit of the Spirit because anything good comes from God.


Wow, you really addressed my arguments here.

Nathan: “This chapter [John 6] fits in perfectly with Ephesians 1, Romans 8 and 9, 2 thess 2, etc. It is not the sole defense of Calvinism.”

Right. All who believe (whosoever will) were chosen from the beginning. God has determined the beginning from the end. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Therefore, He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will harden. Meaning, he has mercy upon those who believe and hardens those who do not. That is not to say that someone who is hardened will remain hardened. There are many atheists turned Christian.


Again, dodging of arguments here. Read Romans 9:11 about 10 times and then maybe you will understand it hardening.

Nathan: “Humans must do [fill in the blank] to please God. What is Christianity? It is foolishness. It is God giving His grace to man and redeeming man, so that no man can boast. Christianity is not doing something within ourselves to gain heaven.

Romans 4:4 says: Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

You both have turned salvation into something God owes us for our work instead of by unmerited favor (grace).”

No I have not. Humans must believe God. That is ALL I have ever said. Since when did faith become a work?

On this boasting thing, Calvinists have MADE UP the idea that BELIEVING GOD can be something we BOAST about and that it is a WORK. Look at verse 3 in the book from which you’ve quoted out of context to accuse us with. Abraham BELIEVED GOD. It was NOT a WORK! Then read the rest of the chapter! It is EXPLICITLY telling us that faith is not a WORK! That’s the point (among other things)! Please re-read Romans 3:27. Here it is again for your convenience.

Romans 3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”


Nice CAPS there, but they still do not hide your child-like inconsistencies. If you even had the slightest clue about what I have explained to you dozens of times, you would not make statements like these which are an embarrassment now. Of course TRUE faith is not a work because it is a gift of God. You are right, Romans 3 says that. However, your view is that all of mankind can choose to exercise this autonomous faith (do you understand what autonomous means? I’ve asked you several times but you still don’t seem to understand its meaning). If all of mankind must ‘do’ something to be saved, then that becomes a work that God owes us a wager for obeying. It isn’t made up, it’s called exegesis, you should try it some time.

Unmerited favor is that God chose to save mankind AT ALL. It’s not what Calvinists have concocted from stringing together certain scriptures ripped from their contextes (i.e., unmerited favor of only certain people whom God arbitrarily (the pleasure of His good will) chose).

Ripped from their contexts –Ha!! Wow, I cannot help but laughing at your utter hypocrisy. I have shown that you have done this so many times (like Romans 12:3 meaning faith has been given to all men –what a joke!). Um, again, unmerited favor means just that. And if you haven’t noticed, faith comes by grace. Therefore, if salvation is something every man can do if only he appropriates faith, then this ‘grace’, which is supposed to be unmerited, actually becomes merited because this man chose to appropriate faith. How simple-minded do I have to make it?

And now, a Deep Thought from Jack Handy:

”Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: "Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind."

Dawn said...
"How many souls have been led to vain confidence by a man-made, evangelistic formula? How many are sent home from evangelistic services with calm, who should have gone away grieved and disturbed as the ruler? How many unsaved children have been given assurance by the teachers of Bible classes, so that they have ceased to seek God for salvation?” - Walter Chantry

Another thought on the substance of this quote. According to the constructs of Calvinism, how can someone who is NOT chosen be lead to "vain" confidence of their salvation if they were never chosen in the first place? What in the world does it matter? This entire statement is ridiculous. How can someone seek God for salvation if they are not born again/chosen?

Nathan, please explain.


What is there to explain? I’ve explained it a thousand times? Please, for the sanity of us all, spend some time reading reformed material so you will not ask such ridiculous questions?

 
At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 3:52:00 PM, Blogger Nathan White said...

Listen Dawn, I'm sick of playing word games with you. I'm sick of answering all of your silly questions a thousand times -questions that are aimed at trying to get me to contradict myself. I will only discuss with you scripture, and scripture only. Nothing else. So don't waste your time. Either provide exegesis the 'debunks' me, or argue with yourself.

 

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