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Recent Posts
Election Discussion
by Tom. Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:07 PM
Regeneration and Martin Luther
by Tom. Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:37 AM
by Tom. Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:07 PM
Matthew 12:40
by rstrats. Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:21 AM
by Meta4. Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:17 PM
Second Book of Discipline
by Pilgrim. Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:08 PM
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:48 AM Election Discussion [by Tom]
I was wondering if I could get the forums take on a discussion on election?

I am having a discussion with an Arminian, that says he has read Calvinist arguments for election, but thinks what we believe is a contradiction of other things we say on the subject. I think this discussion is important, mainly because he seems to be open to truth. However, I am struggling a little bit on how best to answer him. I am reading a few commentaries, but thought it might be helpful to make an inquirey here.
The following is what he said to me after I told him what Calvinists believe about what sends people to hell and how that is related to predestination and how God chooses some and passes by others and leaves them in their trespasses and sins.

“The reason I asked you was to see where you stand on it and you are consistent. So it was out of His good pleasure, and yes, that is consistent with the Calvinists interpretation of scripture. We see also that it was not because they did good or bad. This is all the info provided to us from this particular text. Oh yea, it was also predetermined before they were born whether they would be elected to eternal life or eternal death.
If the determination for hell was predestined not by behavior, then the cause is not sin and you have clearly stated that the reason is for good pleasure. I’m not disagreeing at all with this although I do not accept it as truth but that’s not our point of contention.”

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Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:37 AM Regeneration and Martin Luther [by Tom]
Recently I was listening a recording by RC Sproul concerning how regeneration must precede faith. In the discussion that followed it however, a small debate happened concerning whether or not Martin Luther believed regeneration preceded faith. Many said it is clear that Luther believed that faith preceded regeneration.
I am not expert on Martin Luther, but it seems to me that a man such as Luther who spoke so stongely about "the bondage of the will", would believe that regeneration must precede faith.
Does anyone know anything about Luther and his view on the matter?

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Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:32 AM Evangelism [by Tom]
I was involved in a Facebook discussion on the issue of evangelism. Two people who are regulars on that particular forum and who are also Reformed chimed in and went totally against the grain everyone else was. One of them made the statement that sharing the Gospel is not evangelism in the biblical sense. He went on to say that according to Romans 10 only the God ordained means of salvation is preaching and went on to say that the book of Acts testifies of this. He also added that the pastoral epistles clearly teach that only the gifted, called and ordained should preach.
In other words, they believe that the only ones who are qualified to do evangelism are those who are ordained to preach. Something else one of them said, is this is clearly the teaching of Reformed Paedo-Baptists affirm.

I need to admit here, in my 39 years as a Christian, although I may have forgot about it; I do not remember hearing this before. However, I do not want to dismiss it out of hand without doing some research on the matter.
As I think about the issue, I believe there is a difference between “witnessing” and “evangelism”.
Witnessing is basically baring witness to the Savior. Giving one’s testimony is a good thing, but it is not evangelism.
Evangelizing is sharing the actual Gospel with people and repentance and faith must be part of this. Perhaps, their problem is with the word “share”. However, when I think of the word “share” in this sense. I think of proclaiming the Gospel to people.
I have no problem at all with gifted and ordained preachers preaching and that is certainly evangelizing. However, to say that only the gifted and ordained can do evangelism, goes against everything I have been told to do; both when I was an Arminian and as a Calvinist.
They are basically telling me that every time, I proclaimed the Gospel to those around me, I was actually sinning, because I am not “ordained”.
Of course, when it comes to who can administer Baptism and the Lord's Table, only elders can do this. Yet they add evangelism to this.

Also , Eph. 4: 11-16 comes to mind. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b]to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[a] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

If part of equipping the saints, does not mean equipping the saints (Christians) how to rightly divide Scripture, so we can properly share (proclaim) the Gospel, then every single Church I have ever been a member of taught me wrong.
I decided to see if Ligonier Ministries said anything on the issue. Here is a fairly short article on the matter.
Here is a quote from the article. “God has created us with different personalities and gifts, and some of us are more adept at the verbal proclamation of the Gospel than others. Nevertheless, declaring the message of salvation through Christ is the responsibility of us all, and we must seek opportunities to preach the Gospel. Only if we confess Him before men will He confess us before the Father (Matt. 10:32–33). “
Did you notice the words "declaring the message of salvation through Christ is the responsibility of us all."

I would be interested in getting some feedback on the issue.

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Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:46 PM Second Book of Discipline [by John_C]
I read an interesting blog article by Kevin DeYoung on the Spirituality of the Church doctrine. After starting with Calvin and Beza , he mentions the Second Book of Doctrine which he stated as the first explicit statement on Scottish Presbyterianism. What I'm wondering if it is the first explicit statement, then was their a First Book of Doctrine. A little help in the history of the Second Book of Doctrine.
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Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:18 PM By Whose Authority Do You Identify as Male or Female [by Pilgrim]
This month's Article of the Month deals with something which is most assuredly controversial and hotly debated. Unfortunately, the topic isn't just one which is found only in politics but also in many churches and denominations. It is something which effects everyone, both children and adults. The question is, on what side of the debate do you find yourself? How about your own local church or denomination? What is that topic which is in the forefront and is growing in strength? Gender Identity and all the ramifications it affects in one's daily life.

Read Dr. Paul Elliott's short, and to the point article here: By Whose Authority Do You Identify as Male or Female?.

Or for later reading, you can always head over to The Highway website and click on the "Article of the Month" logo which also has all the past articles listed as well.

In His service and grace,
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