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#16571 - Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:39 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  
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Well then Koreahog, with the part that smells good to you please answer my question.

neicey

#16572 - Sun Aug 01, 2004 4:07 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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Actually, when I first began watching pro football games I was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.


Still invalid. Were you born with an incurable disease for the Dallas Cowboys?

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The meaning of the verse seems very simple to me. The people were hesitating between two opinions. Spurgeon said they were undecided. They had not committed themselves one way or the other. They had not made an ultimate, final decision about whom to serve. Dr. House from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville said that Elijah was challenging these non-committal people to make a decision. Spurgeon remarked that most people in churches are in this non-committal category. He said that some people are clearly committed to Christ, and some people are clearly committed to evil, but the third category is very large. In 1 Kings 18:38 the people experienced the power of God when the fire fell. In verse 39 they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, He is God.” Their experience with the power of God caused them to make a choice. They were no longer undecided.

You said, “However, I did note that neither of your quotes mentioned equipoise either. neither quote claimed man chooses from anything else than from his nature.”

Neither quote mentioned equipoise, but the quotes described the people as non-committal and undecided. Regarding your comment about choosing from their nature, consider this: If they were choosing from their sinful nature, then why would they commit themselves to serve God and even be willing to seize the prophets of Baal for execution, knowing that those prophets were favored by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel? They fell on their faces to confess that the LORD was God in front of Ahab. They seized the prophets in front of Ahab. They took Elijah’s side in front of Ahab. Remember that Ahab wanted to kill Elijah. The people who experienced God’s power and confessed Him were obviously changed people. Ahab was not part of that group. He saw God’s power but did not commit himself to God. Ahab was already committed to evil. He had not been part of the group that was hesitating between two opinions. Ahab’s opinion was already formed.


Why does anybody choose God? Regeneration and irresistable drawing. Not due to anything in man. Yes, they still made a choice, and you haven't provided one scripture that says man chooses apart from his nature. Only those regenerated by the Spirit turn to God truly. I also noticed you're still quoting other sources.


God bless,

william

#16573 - Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:28 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise [Re: neicey]  

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Neicey, I’m not in equipoise anymore. I’m a free agent committed to Jesus, so I’m not in that “fifty, fifty” type of equipoise. My flesh, the smelly part, still influences me at times, but hopefully it won’t affect my answer to your question.

You asked, “Why would GOD put imperfect peoples in the middle of his perfect plan?”

I think you are asking how God could allow us to have any part in the salvation process, synergism versus monergism, or something like that. Again, we could ask the same question about Adam. Why would God put an imperfect person like Adam in the middle of His perfect plan? God did not directly cause Adam to sin. Adam was not entrapped by God. Adam’s free choice was foreknown by God. There was no doubt that Adam would choose to commit his first sin. As I mentioned earlier, Calvin, Augustine, and Pink have all said that Adam was in equipoise. Only Pink used the word “equipoise,” but Calvin and Augustine described Adam the same way. How could God allow Adam to make such a momentous decision when so much was riding on it? Well, God of course did allow Adam to make that free decision, and Adam was held responsible for it. We could say the same thing about Satan. God did not force Satan to form a bias toward evil. Satan’s self-generated bias also fit into God’s perfect plan. If God allowed Adam and Satan to make such freewill decisions, then certainly He can allow some humans to do the same thing.

#16574 - Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:46 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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Hi again, Averagefellar. You said, “Still invalid. Were you born with an incurable disease for the Dallas Cowboys?”

Well, I was drawing an analogy. Analogies are rarely perfect.

You said, “Why does anybody choose God? Regeneration and irresistable drawing. Not due to anything in man. Yes, they still made a choice, and you haven't provided one scripture that says man chooses apart from his nature. Only those regenerated by the Spirit turn to God truly. I also noticed you're still quoting other sources.”

Is it bad to quote from other sources?

Why does anybody choose God? Why does anybody not choose God? Those are two good questions. We could ask these questions to Adam and Satan.

I agree that one necessity for our choosing God is irresistible drawing. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” The ones who come to Jesus have been drawn to the Father. There is no debate about that. I believe in irresistible conviction. God coerces some people to taste Jesus. God does not, however, coerce them to swallow Jesus.

Gerald Borchert, professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, commented on John 6:43-48:

“Debates have raged in theology concerning the significance of the ‘drawing’ power of God and the ‘learning’ from God in this text. Those who are persuaded of an Augustinian/Calvinistic interpretation emphasize the force of God’s supreme power in drawing persons to Jesus. Those who are committed to an Arminian interpretation emphasize that the drawing power of God is on individual persons and that persons need to believe (cf. 6:47). In this discussion the ‘you’ of the negative imperative in the text of v. 43 most naturally is addressed to the Jews who are the grumblers but goes beyond to address the reader as well. The ‘you’ of v. 47 is important here as well and introduces a general statement that relates believing to eternal life. The force of these texts, therefore, is really neither an affirmation of strict Arminianism nor Calvinism. The Calvinists attach this discussion to texts such as 10:25-29 whereas the Arminians unite this passage with other texts such as 12:32; 15:5-6. The solution to such problems normally is best found in a modified Arminian-Calvinistic position that maintains the biblical tension of the divine and human aspects of salvation found in this text. Salvation is never achieved apart from the drawing power of God, and it is never consummated apart from the willingness of humans to hear and learn from God. To choose one or the other will ultimately end in unbalanced, unbiblical theology. Such a solution will generally not please either doctrinaire Calvinists nor Arminians, both of whom will seek to emphasize certain words or texts and exclude from consideration other texts and words. But my sense of the biblical materials is that in spite of all our arguments to the contrary, the tension cannot finally be resolved by our theological gymnastics. Rather than resolving the tension, the best resolution is learning to live with the tension and accepting those whose theological commitments differ from ours.”
(Borchert, “John 1-11,” The New American Commentary, pages 268-269)

You said, “You haven't provided one scripture that says man chooses apart from his nature.”

I think you are saying that before a person is regenerated, all of their choices are determined by their totally depraved nature. Thus, you say that no person could ever ultimately, finally surrender his life to Jesus in repentance and faith because his nature would not allow it. Thus, God must do something to counteract the effects of depravity so that the person can surrender his life to Jesus in repentance and faith. I think you would agree with me that a person is not a Christian until he surrenders his life to Jesus in repentance and faith. Five-point Calvinists who hold the elongated view believe that regeneration happens before faith/repentance in both temporal order and logical order. Thus, they believe that a person can be regenerated before he is saved, before he becomes a Christian. An example of this is James P. Boyce, the first president of The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville:

“V. The relation of regeneration to conversion will, therefore, appear to be one of invariable antecedence.

Wherever the appropriate truth is at the time present its relation is almost that of producing cause, for the prepared heart at once receives the truth. Hence, as this is so generally the case, they have been usually regarded as contemporaneous and by some even as identical. But that regeneration is the invariable antecedent is seen,

1. From the fact that the heart is the soil in which the seed, the word of God, is sown, and that seed only brings forth fruit in the good soil. The heart is made good soil by regeneration.

2. Regeneration (as in infants) may exist without faith and repentance, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Therefore, regeneration precedes.

3. Logically the enabling act of God must, in a creature, precede the act of the creature thus enabled. But this logical antecedence involves actual antecedence, or the best conceptions of our mind deceive us and are not reliable. For this logical antecedence exists only because the mind observes plainly a perceived dependence of the existence of the one on the other. But such dependence demands, if not causal, at least antecedent existence. Here it is only antecedent.

VI. There is not only antecedence, but in some cases an appreciable interval.

1. This is true even of conversion regarded as a mere turning to God. Between it and regeneration must intervene in some cases some period of time until the knowledge of God's existence and nature is given, before the heart turns, or even is turned towards that God.

(1.) This must be true of all infants and of all persons otherwise incapable of responsibility, as for example idiots.

(2.) There is no reason why it should not be true of some heathen. The missionaries of the cross have been sought by men, who knew nothing of Christianity, but whose hearts, unsatisfied with the religion of their fathers, were restlessly seeking for what their soul was crying out.

2. It is still more manifestly true of full Christian conversion.

(1.) The Scriptures teach this in many examples of persons pious, holy, and fearing God, yet unacquainted with the full truth which secures union with Christ.

Ethiopian Eunuch: Acts 8:26-40.

Paul: Acts, chapter 9, 22 and 26. Galatians, chapters 1st and 2d.

Cornelius the Centurion: Acts 10:2.

Lydia: Acts 16:14.

(2.) The experience of ministers in all ages with persons seeking and attaining salvation confirms this idea. The attainment of conversion may be marked by stages. The sinner is at first totally indifferent. The word produces on him no effect. Then (1.) There is an evident willingness to give serious attention to the truth of God. God has opened the heart as he did that of Lydia. (2.) There is conviction of sin, sense of its vileness, and of its dangerous effects. (3.) The soul, oppressed by these, strives to do something by which to attain salvation, but finds all in vain. (4.) At last accepting the truth of God's word it rests in trust of a personal Saviour.

VII. The term conversion is not technically applied to any change, except that which follows upon regeneration, and consists in the Godward turning of one heretofore turned entirely away from God. The return of men who have backslidden, or fallen into grievous sin, is also called ‘a return to God,’ and such a return is possibly what is called ‘conversion’ in Peter's case. Luke 22:32. But conversion is theologically used exclusively of the first act.”
http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/boyce/aos/chapter32.htm

Five-point Calvinists who do not hold to the elongated view believe that regeneration precedes faith/repentance in logical order but not temporal order. I’m not sure which view you hold, but in any case five-point Calvinists say that regeneration counteracts depravity so that a person can ultimately, finally surrender his live to Christ in repentance and faith. My concept of the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit is somewhat similar to that of regeneration held by five-point Calvinists who favor the elongated view. I prefer not to use the term “regeneration” to describe God’s action to counteract our depravity because I think that term and the term “rebirth” imply salvation. I believe that salvation in logical order comes after faith/repentance, not before it. I believe we are saved at the moment we ultimately, finally surrender our lives to Jesus in repentance and faith. John 1:12 indicates that those who receive Him and believe in Him are given the right to be regenerated (to become the children of God).

Now, back to your question about choosing apart from one’s nature. I think 1 Kings 18:21, 38-39 is a passage that illustrates how people can make a freewill choice when their depravity is at least temporarily counteracted. Pilgrim and I earlier had a discussion about the composition of this group of people. They were not yet committed to Baal or Asherah, and they were not yet committed to God before they experienced God’s power. According to verse 19, “all Israel” had been gathered at Mount Carmel. This may have meant every man, woman, and child, or it may have meant people who represented every group in Israel. In any case, since every group was represented or present, the 7,000 who had not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19:18) would also have been present or represented. I’m not sure what that phrase “bowed to Baal” means in 1 Kings 19:18. It could mean that they had never participated in Baal worship, or it could mean that they had never made an ultimate, final commitment to worship Baal. It is clear, however, that Elijah was committed to God, and the prophets of Baal and Asherah were committed to idols. The other people were not committed to either side. They were allowed to make a freewill choice between the one true God and idols. They were not forced to choose the idols by their depravity. They had been placed in a situation where they could make a freewill choice. In essence, they were being forced to make a choice, but the choice was theirs. Their freewill choice fit into God’s sovereign plan. The choice had lasting consequences. The prophets of Baal were seized by the people in front of Ahab, and the prophets were put to death.

#16575 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:03 AM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  
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Just out of curiousity, why is a state of "moral" or "spiritual Equipoise" even necessary? It just seems to me that you are saddling the Bible with philosophical assumptions about mankind that are not genuinely supported by any text. I know you think they are, but does solid exegesis bear this out? I haven't been convinced solid exegesis has been done in the first place.

I can only assume it is important to you, KH, for few reasons:

1) some how, it makes men really responsible.

2) It protects God from the slur of electing people to sin.

3) It is false assumed that men need to have some neutral freewill inorder to be genuine humans.

Is that somewhere in the ball park?

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
#16576 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:49 AM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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Once again, nearly no scripture. Also, nothing you posted, NOTHING, claimed an equipoise.

Quote

I agree that one necessity for our choosing God is irresistible drawing. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” The ones who come to Jesus have been drawn to the Father. There is no debate about that. I believe in irresistible conviction. God coerces some people to taste Jesus. God does not, however, coerce them to swallow Jesus.


The only person using harsh connotations is you. Why would saving somebody by force be wrong? However, you are correct.........we are drawn irresistibly and I never mentioned force.

I think you are confusing regeneration and conviction.

Quote

(2.) There is no reason why it should not be true of some heathen. The missionaries of the cross have been sought by men, who knew nothing of Christianity, but whose hearts, unsatisfied with the religion of their fathers, were restlessly seeking for what their soul was crying out.


Could you provide a passage showing where somebody was regenerated and wasn't saved? Could you show where somebody became illuminated to the truth aside from the Spirit's help? It is true that mankind recognizes a spirituality, but taking a quick look around shows your example to be fraught with error.

Quote

I believe that salvation in logical order comes after faith/repentance, not before it. I believe we are saved at the moment we ultimately, finally surrender our lives to Jesus in repentance and faith. John 1:12 indicates that those who receive Him and believe in Him are given the right to be regenerated (to become the children of God).


The passage is correct, but you got it backwards. Those given the right to believe are those regenerated. Otherwise, it is God reacting and not enacting. This would also exclude those incapable of making such professions and those incapable of comprehending the gospel.

Quote

Now, back to your question about choosing apart from one’s nature. I think 1 Kings 18:21, 38-39 is a passage that illustrates how people can make a freewill choice when their depravity is at least temporarily counteracted. Pilgrim and I earlier had a discussion about the composition of this group of people. They were not yet committed to Baal or Asherah, and they were not yet committed to God before they experienced God’s power. According to verse 19, “all Israel” had been gathered at Mount Carmel. This may have meant every man, woman, and child, or it may have meant people who represented every group in Israel. In any case, since every group was represented or present, the 7,000 who had not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19:18) would also have been present or represented. I’m not sure what that phrase “bowed to Baal” means in 1 Kings 19:18. It could mean that they had never participated in Baal worship, or it could mean that they had never made an ultimate, final commitment to worship Baal. It is clear, however, that Elijah was committed to God, and the prophets of Baal and Asherah were committed to idols. The other people were not committed to either side. They were allowed to make a freewill choice between the one true God and idols. They were not forced to choose the idols by their depravity. They had been placed in a situation where they could make a freewill choice. In essence, they were being forced to make a choice, but the choice was theirs. Their freewill choice fit into God’s sovereign plan. The choice had lasting consequences. The prophets of Baal were seized by the people in front of Ahab, and the prophets were put to death.


And your thinking is all you have brought forth as the passage, as you admitted past post, says nothing of equipoise, nor of any man choosing outside his nature.

I am also going to ask once more to leave out the fluff. I am actually getting complaints about your misrepresentations and your continuing desire to fluff your answers. I have purposely constructed my questions for easy answers and you haven't shown one scripture that speaks of equipoise without eisogesizing it.


God bless,

william

#16577 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:35 AM Re: Spiritual Equipoise [Re: fredman]  

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Hi Fred. I enjoyed looking at your web site. I noticed that you are a graduate of the Master’s Seminary. I visited the campus before it was Master’s Seminary. At that time it was L.A. Baptist College. I was the youth minister at a church in Tucson, Arizona, from 1983 to 1986, and I took a group of high school seniors to visit various Christian colleges on the west coast including Biola and L.A. Baptist. Anyway, I am a big fan of John MacArthur, and I noticed from your web site that you also are a MacArthur fan. He spoke at my home church (Bellevue Baptist in Memphis) a few years back during a Bible conference. He preached on Romans 1 and did a great job.

You asked, “Just out of curiousity, why is a state of ‘moral’ or ‘spiritual Equipoise’ even necessary?”

We’ve already discussed Adam on this thread and the “I have returned” thread. As I said earlier, Pink, Calvin, and Augustine believed that Adam was in equipoise before he committed his first sin. Equipoise for Adam and Satan was necessary to preserve their responsibility for sin and to prevent God from being the author of sin. If both of them had been inclined toward good, there would have been nothing in their natures that would cause them to sin.

You said, “I can only assume it is important to you, KH, for few reasons.”

It’s really very simple. I studied my Bible and reached the conclusion that forming a bias from equipoise, making a true freewill decision, is very important in the conversion process.

You said, “It just seems to me that you are saddling the Bible with philosophical assumptions about mankind that are not genuinely supported by any text. I know you think they are, but does solid exegesis bear this out?”

I think solid exegesis does bear this out. Solid exegesis done by two people, however, does not always mean that the two people will agree in their interpretation of a passage. Of course, there is only one correct interpretation, so the one person’s correct exegesis will be more solid than other person’s incorrect exegesis. Let’s use MacArthur’s conclusions about Hebrews 6 as an example and contrast his views with yours.

On the “I have returned” thread you said, “Moreover, Hebrews 6 really doesn't have anything to do with a person's individual salvation. The comments are primarily aimed at the finality of the New Covenant now being the only means by which anyone can approach God. Thus, if those Hebrews who wish to return to the Old Covenant as means to come to God leave the New Covenant, they will find there is no more sacrifice for sin, because the OC is no longer enforce. However, if the typical Christian interpretation is correct, that this is a passage addressing those rejecting God's grace, it still does not prove this notion of a temporary ability you are advocating.”

In contrast, notice MacArthur’s comments on Hebrews 6:

“Eternal life comes from eating, not simply tasting, God’s gift of salvation in Christ. One of the presalvation ministries of the Holy Spirit is that of giving the unsaved a taste of the blessings of salvation. This is part of His ministry of drawing men to Christ. But tasting is not eating. The Holy Spirit will give us a taste, but He will not make us eat.”
(John F. MacArthur, Jr., “Hebrews,” The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Chicago: Moody Press, 1983, page 144)

“But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost.”
(Ibid., page 146)

“When one rejects Christ at the peak experience of knowledge and conviction, he will not accept at a lesser level. So salvation becomes impossible.”
(Ibid., page 148)

I assume that both you and John MacArthur did solid exegesis on Hebrews 6:4-6, but the two of you obviously reached different conclusions about the passage.

#16578 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:59 AM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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Averagefellar, you said, “Could you provide a passage showing where somebody was regenerated and wasn't saved? Could you show where somebody became illuminated to the truth aside from the Spirit's help? It is true that mankind recognizes a spirituality, but taking a quick look around shows your example to be fraught with error.”

I was quoting James P. Boyce to show his elongated view of regeneration. Boyce said, “There is no reason why it should not be true of some heathen. The missionaries of the cross have been sought by men, who knew nothing of Christianity, but whose hearts, unsatisfied with the religion of their fathers, were restlessly seeking for what their soul was crying out.” I think you got his words confused with mine. This quote indicates that Boyce believed that a person could be regenerated before he became a Christian, before faith/repentance. I think a person is regenerated after faith/repentance. I think all spiritual illumination comes from the Holy Spirit.

You said, “Those given the right to believe are those regenerated.” That’s not what John 1:12 says. It says that those who received Him, who believed in Him, were given the right to become children of God.

Concerning my comments about 1 Kings 18 you said, “And your thinking is all you have brought forth as the passage, as you admitted past post, says nothing of equipoise, nor of any man choosing outside his nature.”

When I speak of equipoise, I am dealing with a number of issues. One is the fact that the person in equipoise has not made an ultimate, final commitment one way or the other. Thus, this passage is very relevant to a discussion of equipoise. The people truly did “hesitate between two opinions” (1 Kings 18:21).

You said, “I am also going to ask once more to leave out the fluff. I am actually getting complaints about your misrepresentations and your continuing desire to fluff your answers. I have purposely constructed my questions for easy answers and you haven't shown one scripture that speaks of equipoise without eisogesizing it.”

The difference between exegesis and eisegesis is important. I always try not to be guilty of eisegesis. I don’t think anything I have said has been “fluff.” That’s sort of subjective, isn’t it? You have not refuted anything I have said about the Scripture passages, except to say that you don’t see any equipoise there. I have gone into detail about the 1 Kings 18 passage. You have not. You only criticized my football analogy and my use of quotations. I suggest we leave off such caustic editorial comments about fluff and deal with the Scripture passages I have mentioned. Let’s maintain respect for each other and not criticize each other’s styles.

#16579 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:39 AM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  
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Quote
I think a person is regenerated after faith/repentance.


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Please stop calling yourself Reformed or Calvinist. To say you are one and yet make the above statement is like a "Pentecostal" saying he believes tongues have ceased!

Quote
You said, “Those given the right to believe are those regenerated.” That’s not what John 1:12 says. It says that those who received Him, who believed in Him, were given the right to become children of God.


John 1:12 does not disprove regeneration occurring before conversion (elongated view or not). I 've been taught that verse means that those who received/believed WERE given the right to become children of God. This is shown in Ephesians 1:

4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16580 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:01 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise [Re: MarieP]  
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Marie,

Couldn't agree more, in regard to what John 1:12 teaches, especially when grammatically, it is only part of a complete statement which includes the following verse, which reads:


John 1:13 (ASV) "who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."



This verse explains HOW those who received Him were able to do so, or the reason why they were able to believe on His name. We have had several discussions on the interpretation of this passage here before and argued effectively, that it is impossible to make the text mean that those who received Him were consequently "born of God". One of the negative reasons given that those who did receive/believe on Him were able to do so is because of their physical birth. To say that one antecedently believed before one was actually born is ludicrous. Another reason rejected is that it was not due to one's "choice", i.e., "will of the flesh". That alone should dispel any notion that one receives Christ prior to regeneration.

Secondly, the language itself forces us to understand that one is first "born of God" before believing. When one compares such classic texts as Jh 3:3-8, 5:21; 6:37, 44, 45, 64, 65;Acts 16:14; Eph 2:1-5; Job 14:4; Matt 7:17, 18; 12:33; 11:25-27; 13:10-23; Lk 10:21; Titus 3:5; cp. Deut 30:6; Ezek 36:26, 27; Acts 11:18; 18:27; 1Cor 2:14; Phil 1:29; 2Tim 2:25, 26; et al., it is incontrovertible, that God is the One Who brings a dead sinner to life so that he is able and most willing to receive Christ, to believe upon His name.

In His Grace,


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#16581 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:01 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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I was quoting James P. Boyce to show his elongated view of regeneration. Boyce said, “There is no reason why it should not be true of some heathen. The missionaries of the cross have been sought by men, who knew nothing of Christianity, but whose hearts, unsatisfied with the religion of their fathers, were restlessly seeking for what their soul was crying out.”


And I quote Saint Paul
Quote

Rom 3:10-11
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
(KJV)

And Jesus Christ
Quote

Joh 6:44
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(KJV)


Quote

I think you got his words confused with mine. This quote indicates that Boyce believed that a person could be regenerated before he became a Christian, before faith/repentance. I think a person is regenerated after faith/repentance.

Emphasis mine.


Exactly.......standard Wesleyan dogma. How does man overcome his depravity?

Quote

One is the fact that the person in equipoise has not made an ultimate, final commitment one way or the other. Thus, this passage is very relevant to a discussion of equipoise. The people truly did “hesitate between two opinions” (1 Kings 18:21).


Because a choice is presented does not necessitate that one be in any type of state, specifically; not perfect, fallen or equipoise. Choices are presented in life and because we "mull them over" doesn't necessitate man having an ability to choose against his nature. That's a typical arminian view of mans responsibility.


God bless,

william

#16582 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:42 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise [Re: MarieP]  

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Marie, you said, “Please stop calling yourself Reformed or Calvinist. To say you are one and yet make the above statement is like a "Pentecostal" saying he believes tongues have ceased!”

Marie, I never called myself “Reformed.” I fully realize that some five-point Calvinists believe that only five-point Calvinists deserve to be called Calvinists. I think I read on another post that you work in the library at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. You of course remember Danny Akin who was the dean of the school of theology at the seminary. He is now president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I think some people refer to Danny as a four-point Calvinist. Danny, like me, believes that repentance/faith precedes regeneration:

“In the fourth Gospel we read that faith is not only a sign but also a condition of the new birth: ‘To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12).”
(Akin, “1, 2, 3, John,” The New American Commentary, page 189)

I noticed on the “Choosen and Children” thread that you disagreed with what Drs. Mohler and Akin said about all children being saved and that you disagreed with the concept of an age of accountability. I’m guessing that you were not required to agree with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. It hints at the age of accountability and the salvation of all infants when it says, “Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.” Oh well, let’s go back to John 1:12.

You said, “John 1:12 does not disprove regeneration occurring before conversion (elongated view or not). I 've been taught that verse means that those who received/believed WERE given the right to become children of God. This is shown in Ephesians 1:

4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

Many Calvinists, including John Calvin himself, have seen adoption in the phrase “right to become children of God” in John 1:12. The Greek word translated in verse 12 as “children” is “teknon.” The Greek word for “adoption” is “huiothesia,” and the word for “son” is “huios.” If John had used the word “huios” rather than “teknon,” then you might be able to make a strong case for adoption in verse 12. Tom Nettles, a professor at The Southern Baptist Seminary, is an example of a strong five-point Calvinist who understands that adoption is not in view in John 1:12:

“In conformity with the birth figure, the interpreter should understand the word sons. This word is not an emphasis on adoption, as in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8, but focuses on community of nature (2 Peter 1:4).”
(Nettles, By His Grace and for His Glory, page 288)

Notice also the comment by Marvin Vincent, Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature at Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1887:

“Except in Apoc. xxi. 7, which is a quotation, John never uses huios to describe the relation of Christians to God, since he regards their position not as a result of adoption, but of a new life. Paul, on the other hand, regards the relation from the legal standpoint, as adoption, imparting a new dignity and relation (Rom. viii. 15; Gal. iv. 5, 6). See also Jas. i. 18; 1 Peter i. 3, 23, where the point of view is John’s rather than Paul’s.”
(Vincent, “The Writings of John,” Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. II, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1887, page 49)

Vincent continued:

“The present participle, believing, indicates the present and continuous activity of faith.”
(Ibid., page 49)

The people were believing in God when they were given the right to be regenerated.

#16583 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:59 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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Averagefellar, you asked, “How does man overcome his depravity?”

Man cannot. God does it for him.

You said, “Because a choice is presented does not necessitate that one be in any type of state, specifically; not perfect, fallen or equipoise.”

It depends on what kind of choice it is. The Bible distinguishes between willful sins and unintentional sins, for example. F.F. Bruce, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England, and editor of The Evangelical Quarterly, commented on Hebrews 10:26-29:

“But the writer to the Hebrews himself distinguishes (as did the Old Testament law) between inadvertent sin and wilful sin, and the context here shows plainly that the wilful sin which he has in mind is deliberate apostasy. People who commit this sin, he says, cannot be brought back to repentance; by renouncing Christ they put themselves in the position of those who, deliberately refusing His claim to be the Son of God, had Him crucified and exposed to public shame. Those who repudiate the salvation procured by Christ will find none anywhere else.”
(Bruce, “The Epistle to the Hebrews,” The New International Commentary on the New Testament, page 124)

The Bible makes it clear that sins of ignorance (unintentional sins) can be forgiven. Notice the following passages:

Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually
entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, but into the
second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood,
which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in
ignorance. (Hebrews 9:6-7)

And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who
goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that
he may be forgiven. (Numbers 15:28)

The apostle Paul said that even his blasphemy as a non-Christian could be forgiven because he “acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). He was not experiencing the special, illuminating, irresistible conviction of the Holy Spirit when he blasphemed. When Paul unintentionally sinned as a Christian, he said that he was not doing “what I would like to do” (Romans 7:15); rather, “sin which dwells in me” was responsible for his actions (Romans 7:17).

When Peter addressed the Jews in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus, he said that they “acted in ignorance” (Acts 3:17) when they put Him to death. Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Willful (defiant, intentional) sin, however, is an unforgivable type of blasphemy. Again, notice the following passages:

But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an
alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off
from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD
and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off;
his guilt shall be on him. (Numbers 15:30-31)

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but
blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31)

#16584 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:14 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  
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Quote
Averagefellar, you asked, “How does man overcome his depravity?”

Man cannot. God does it for him.


So how can man receive Christ and place faith in Him without God overcoming His total depravity? Just what do you think total depravity is?

Quote
Willful (defiant, intentional) sin, however, is an unforgivable type of blasphemy.


As a non-Christian, I sinned willfully and intentionally. I knew what God said in His Word, I just didn't want to do it. So I guess, in your theology, that's unforgiveable, then? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" />


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#16585 - Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:39 PM Re: Spiritual Equipoise  

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And all that shows what as far as equipoise goes?


God bless,

william

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