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#1057 - Wed Jul 31, 2002 6:51 PM Man-Centered vs God-Centered  
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<center>[Linked Image] [color:blue](This topic has been moved over from within the Revelation 22:19 Thread)</font color=blue></center><br><br>Carlos,<br><br>In your reply to Josh you wrote...<br><br><blockquote><br>John 6:36 [color:red]"But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe </font color=red>[but ofcouse you still have the ability of you own “free-will to believe despite being ‘dead’, so don’t mind what what I just said].</blockquote> <br>This kind of thinking means that if man does this choosing or accepting then man can also reject or turn away. It really all comes down to the man! This is not God-centered thinking but man-centered thinking. It's human reasoning not divine revelation! <br><br>Wes<br>

Last edited by Pilgrim; Sat Aug 24, 2002 7:54 PM.

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#1058 - Wed Jul 31, 2002 6:59 PM Re: Hebrews 6 [Re: Wes]  
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wes,<br><br>You wrote [color:blue]<br>Since man does this choosing or accepting then man can also reject or turn away. It really all comes down to the man! This is not God-centered thinking but man-centered thinking. It's human reasoning not divine revelation! </font color=blue><br><br>I agree wholeheartedly with your observation. <br><br>Carlos<br>


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
#1059 - Thu Aug 08, 2002 9:11 AM Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: Wes]  

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IRT:<br>"Since man does this choosing or accepting then man can also reject or turn away. It really all comes down to the man! This is not God-centered thinking but man-centered thinking. It's human reasoning not divine revelation!"<br><br>God must choose us before we can accept or reject Him. The whole 'man-centered' catch phrase is just a word game to discredit sound Biblical and spiritual reasoning. Unless it is God's will, no one can be saved; this does not preclude the fact that God has sovereignly decreed that we must obey His commands to be saved. Though man has a part to fulfill, it is God who gives him the power to do so, and God who decreed what man must fulfill; therefore it is truly God-centered.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

#1060 - Thu Aug 08, 2002 9:56 AM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered  
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Fred Opines:<br>But Josh, if you are correct that it is God who gives the men the power to obey his will, then why are you opposed perseverance of the saints? Can not God fully save when he wills to do so? I would think that if God gives the power for men to obey, then he can equally give the power for them to remain in that realm of eternal life.<br><br>I do believe you are still confused about our God-centered vs. man-centered argument. You believe that God only does his part in the work of salvation, that is, he has provided a way to salvation. And moreover, you erroneously believe that man has a part to play in securing that salvation, or appropriating it on his own behalf. <br><br>The truth of the matter, though Josh, is that the Bible teaches that God has done all of this for man. He just doesn't open up a door and leave it up for mankind to choose whether or not he wants to come through the door. The Bible speaks of an accomplished and applied salvation that was completed in Christ upon the cross to fulfill the eternal plan to save a people elected out by the father in eternity past. That is what Paul is arguing for in Ephesians 1:4-2:10. <br><br>Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#1061 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 7:02 AM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered  
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Dear JoshT,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]God must choose us before we can accept or reject Him. The whole 'man-centered' catch phrase is just a word game to discredit sound Biblical and spiritual reasoning. Unless it is God's will, no one can be saved; this does not preclude the fact that God has sovereignly decreed that we must obey His commands to be saved. Though man has a part to fulfill, it is God who gives him the power to do so, and God who decreed what man must fulfill; therefore it is truly God-centered.</font><p><hr></blockquote><p><br>It becomes man-centered when you make it conditional. After God chooses… then man must accept of reject. Your further statement: "we must obey His commands to be saved," continues your focus on man and his works of obedience as part of his salvation. Your concern about eternal security is wrapped up in this argument as well. Thus calling it man-centered is appropriate. <br><br>Since God has provided this redemption or atonement at His own cost, it is His property and He is absolutely sovereign in choosing who shall be saved through it. There is nothing more steadily emphasized in the Scripture doctrine of redemption than its absolutely gracious character. The doctrine of Predestination cuts down every self-righteous imagination which would detract from the glory of God. It convinces the one who is saved that he can only be eternally thankful that God saved him. Hence in the Calvinistic system all boasting is excluded and that honor and glory which belong to God alone is fully preserved.<br><br>Grace and works are mutually exclusive; and as well might we try to bring the two poles together as to effect a coalition of grace and works in salvation. As well might we talk of a "purchased gift," as to talk of "conditional grace," for when grace ceases to be absolute it ceases to be grace. Therefore when the Scriptures say that salvation is of grace we are to understand that it is through its whole process the work of God and that any truly meritorious works done by man are the result of the change which has already been wrought.<br><br>Arminianism destroys this purely gracious character of salvation and substitutes a system of grace plus works. No matter how small a part these works may play they are necessary and are the basis of the distinction between the saved and the lost and would then afford occasion for the saved to boast over the lost since each had equal opportunity. But Paul says that all boasting is excluded, and that he who glories should glory in the Lord (Rom. 3:27; 1 Cor. 1:31). But if saved by grace, the redeemed remembers the mire from which he was lifted, and his attitude toward the lost is one of sympathy and pity. He knows that but for the grace of God he too would have been in the same state as those who perish, and his song is, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake."<br><blockquote>"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (I Peter 1:3-5)</blockquote><br><br><br><br>Wes<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#1062 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:41 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: Wes]  

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Great discussion! <br><br>Since God has already chosen those who will be saved, I presume our motivations to witness to and pray for unbelievers are love for and obedience to God and our rewards at the Bema Seat. Is there more to it than that?<br><br>I must admit that it sometimes feels odd that I'm praying for someone's salvation, when I know that God has already selected or not selected that person for salvation.<br>

#1063 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:41 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: Wes]  
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Wes - thanks for that beaut! <br><br>We don't even bring a willing "will" to God in salvation....as we see in Rom 9. It's all of God...from first to last..lest someone dare say on that Day that they 'teamed up' with God in making salvation a reality. Perish the thought....<br><br>blessings and thanks,

#1064 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:50 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered  
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IRT: [color:blue]I must admit that it sometimes feels odd that I'm praying for someone's salvation, when I know that God has already selected or not selected that person for salvation.<br></font color=blue><br><br>...praying for someone's salvation in the Calvinistic model is no different than in the Arminian model. In both cases, God knows all things down to the minutest detail. And since He is unchangeable....those whom God has always known will be saved....will in fact be saved. <br><br>So, do our prayers REALLY change anything? Can we change God's mind with prayer? (Would we ever WANT to?...NO WAY!!) <br><br>No...but they are still used as God's eternal means for effecting His desired, immutable, eternal, and holy will. <br><br>Will an Arminian dare say he/she can thwart what God ALREADY knows will happen with prayer?<br><br>Blessings,

#1065 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:19 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: lazarus]  

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Thanks Laz. One other question.<br><br>How do we explain these scriptures under the Calvinist position?<br><br>For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3.16<br><br>For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Pet 2.3-4

#1066 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:59 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered  
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rjskal,<br><br>See the following articles:<br><br>An Exposition of John 3:16 by John Owen<br><br>The 'World' of John 3:16 Does Not Mean, 'All Men Without Exception' by David Engelsma<br><br>God's Election in John 3:16 by L.R. Shelton, Sr.<br><br><br>The second text you quoted is not 1Pet 2:3-4, but 1Timothy 2:4 and thus read this:<br><br>An Exegetical Study of 1Timothy 2:4 by Gary Long<br><br><br>For a comprehensive article that deals not only with these texts but the overall subject of the atonement and its Gospel proclamation, you can do no better than to read this:<br><br>An Introductory Essay to the Death of Death in the Death of Christ by J.I. Packer<br><br><br>For many other articles which deal with the Atonement and its different aspects and perspectives, see this section, from which the articles above are also located:<br><br>The Atonement of the Lord Christ<br><br>In His Grace,


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#1067 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 3:32 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim,<br><br>thanks for great articles...guess I am going to feast. I always enjoy re-reading Packer's infamous article<br><br>Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
#1068 - Fri Aug 09, 2002 5:34 PM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered  
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rjskal,<br><blockquote>Since God has already chosen those who will be saved, I presume our motivations to witness to and pray for unbelievers are love for and obedience to God and our rewards at the Bema Seat. Is there more to it than that?<br><br>I must admit that it sometimes feels odd that I'm praying for someone's salvation, when I know that God has already selected or not selected that person for salvation.</blockquote>We don't know who God has elected but we know that Jesus is the only Savior. Good Calvinists can and ought to be good evangelists. They have the freedom to declare that salvation rests wholly and exclusively on God's love in Christ from before the foundation of the world, according to His sovereign, electing purpose. At the same time, we have the freedom to call every sinner to surrender to Christ in faith for salvation and eternal life. We plead with sinners to come to Jesus, not because we believe they have the native ability to do so, but because Jesus is the only Savior. We believe that "He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25)<br><br><br>If you want to read more on this Pilgrim has posted some very good links in his post on this thread.<br><br><br>Wes [Linked Image]<br> <br> <br><br><br>


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#1069 - Fri Mar 28, 2003 9:23 AM Still God-centered [Re: Wes]  

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Dear Wesley

IRT:
"It becomes man-centered when you make it conditional. After God chooses… then man must accept of reject. Your further statement: "we must obey His commands to be saved," continues your focus on man and his works of obedience as part of his salvation."

The idea that we must accept or reject God is quite clearly stated in the scripture, see Luke 13:34,

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!"

and as concerns obedience:

"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:6-11)

and Hebrews 5:9

"And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;"

Note that it is not our obedience that saves us, but God's grace. He simply requires that we obey Him. But since it is God who saves us, as well as God who sets the conditions, it is rightly Christ centered.


IRT:
"Since God has provided this redemption or atonement at His own cost, it is His property and He is absolutely sovereign in choosing who shall be saved through it."

But it does not follow that He forces it irresistably.

IRT:
"There is nothing more steadily emphasized in the Scripture doctrine of redemption than its absolutely gracious character. The doctrine of Predestination cuts down every self-righteous imagination which would detract from the glory of God. It convinces the one who is saved that he can only be eternally thankful that God saved him. Hence in the Calvinistic system all boasting is excluded and that honor and glory which belong to God alone is fully preserved."

There is no glory or boasting in what I believe; the big difference is that what I believe is supported by the scripture.

IRT:
"Grace and works are mutually exclusive; and as well might we try to bring the two poles together as to effect a coalition of grace and works in salvation."

If you mean works of the law, you are correct, if you mean obedience, you have no Biblical backing.

IRT:
"As well might we talk of a "purchased gift," as to talk of "conditional grace," for when grace ceases to be absolute it ceases to be grace."

Where do you get that from? God will not give His grace to those who reject it.

See Hebrews 12:15
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"


IRT:
"Therefore when the Scriptures say that salvation is of grace we are to understand that it is through its whole process the work of God and that any truly meritorious works done by man are the result of the change which has already been wrought."

That's nice. But met conditions are not merits, as I have proven at length.

IRT:
"Arminianism destroys this purely gracious character of salvation and substitutes a system of grace plus works. No matter how small a part these works may play they are necessary and are the basis of the distinction between the saved and the lost and would then afford occasion for the saved to boast over the lost since each had equal opportunity."

I don't think you quite understand what grace means. Grace is more than favor, it is divine influence whereby men can receive the gospel. Obedience to God is not works, it is a condition to receiving God's saving grace and being saved. Obeying God gives one no opportunity to boast, for were it not for God's grace, the obedient would be just as lost as the disobedient. This whole "nothing you can do can have anything to do with salvation" idea is pure fiction, and not supported in the Bible.


In Christ,
Josh

#1070 - Fri Mar 28, 2003 9:31 AM Re: Still God-centered  
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You stated: But it does not follow that He forces it irresistably.<br><br>Correct, it is not forced. God changes the will, so that we gladly believe. The caricature of Calvinism is that God takes people AGAINST their will, and that he damns people against their will (i.e. they really wanted to come to God, but He wouldn't let them). This is not so! Man by nature hates God. Only by God changing their will can man come to Him, and that is what He does! Once grace is given, man comes to Him...irresistably. This is far from being forced kicking and screaming against their will!<br><br>Steve C


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#1071 - Fri Mar 28, 2003 9:34 AM Re: Man-centered vs. God-centered [Re: fredman]  

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Dear Fred,<br><br>IRT:<br>"But Josh, if you are correct that it is God who gives the men the power to obey his will, then why are you opposed perseverance of the saints? Can not God fully save when he wills to do so? I would think that if God gives the power for men to obey, then he can equally give the power for them to remain in that realm of eternal life."<br><br>He does give them the power to remain by the Holy Ghost, but He does not force them to remain. I am opposed to eternal security on Biblical grounds.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I do believe you are still confused about our God-centered vs. man-centered argument. You believe that God only does his part in the work of salvation, that is, he has provided a way to salvation. And moreover, you erroneously believe that man has a part to play in securing that salvation, or appropriating it on his own behalf. <br>The truth of the matter, though Josh, is that the Bible teaches that God has done all of this for man. He just doesn't open up a door and leave it up for mankind to choose whether or not he wants to come through the door. The Bible speaks of an accomplished and applied salvation that was completed in Christ upon the cross to fulfill the eternal plan to save a people elected out by the father in eternity past. That is what Paul is arguing for in Ephesians 1:4-2:10. "<br><br>Ephesians says that it is God's will that the elect be saved, but many times the Bible makes it clear that God's will is not always done by men (see Luke 13:34). The Bible also speaks of us still striving towards the goal of salvation in Christ Jesus.<br><br>Philippians 3:8-11 says:<br><br>"Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, <br> <br>And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: <br> <br>That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; <br> <br>If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."<br><br>So there is no contradiction in having the righteousness of Christ, and still striving to enter the narrow gate.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>

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