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Re: Falling away from what? #6885
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:28 AM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:28 AM

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It is impossible to give God too much glory. <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]"Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever." Fully being a very key word in that statement. To glorify God and completely enjoy Him. We can't completely enjoy God if we are not emphasizing Him and what He does. </font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>John Piper, the Christian hedonist, makes this a major theme in his books. I agree 100%.<br><br>[color:red]Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.</font color=red><br><br>Our main concern should be to discover how best to obtain that end.

re #6886
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:41 AM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:41 AM
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Henry Offline
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Well put, Acts2027. C.S. Lewis said a similar thing in "The Problem of Pain," but with a slightly more "Arminian" twist:<br><br>"It is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up "our own" when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we perfer everything else to Him, and come to Hom because there is "nothing better" now to be had. The same humility is shown by all those Divine appeals to our fears whoch trouble high-mided readers of SCripture. It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose Him as an alternative to Hell: yet even this He accepts. The creature's illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the creature's sake, be shattered; and by trouble or fear of trouble on earth, by crude fear of the eternal flames, God shatters it "unmindful of His glory's diiminuition." Those who would like the God od scripture to be ore purely ethical, do not know what they ask. If God.... would not have us till we came to Hom from the purest and best motives, who could be saved?"<br><br>I like the way Lewis puts it. I, for one, am a Calvinist- although I perfer to insert the word "moderate" in there. I find much of what goes on in the name of Calvinism is simply putting pat, if not un-Biblical, answers to questions that really are mysteries in the Bible- like the John 6 passage. (For another example, Romans 9 is just about the most "Calvinistic" passage in scripture, yet right after that, in 10:10-13, we have another open invitation.)<br><br>I cannot accept the "total depravity" expressed by some Puritans (there was a chapter on this in John Armstrong's "The Compromised Church.") i.e. humans are totally unable to even respond positively to God without His spirit. What about people who, for example, express an interest in God, begin reading the Bible, and then die in a car accident? Did God decide to play some cruel joke by bringing them part way, and then send them to Hell anyway? Salvation is a work of God, one who "stoops to conquer," who brings us to Himself rather than waiting for us to come for all the best motives, because we never could. But we must have a part- a small part, like Samson pushing on the pillars- but still a part. Otherwise Jesus was wasting His breath preaching the kingdom to the crowds that flocked around Him. Think of all those open invitations! Didn't he realise that most of those listening likely weren't part of the elect?<br><br>If we carry total human inability to it's furthest logical application, we end up with Hannah Wittal Smith and "The Christians's Secret for a Happy Life," in which she states that we, even after we are saved, can do absolutely nothing for God. Everything is completely His work; we do nothing becuase we can do nothing. She even states that the purpose of reading the Bible is not to learn and apply, etc., becuase we can't, but that reading the Bible is simply so that we can recognise what God is already doing in our lives so we can rejoice. Think about it! It's ludicrous, but it is what happends when you keep goind down the path of total human inability. Calvinism turns in to hyper-Calvinism quite quick, and soon we are stuck in vast reaches of theological quagmire.<br><br>Forgive my likely off-topic ramblings. Just trying to get some thoughts out!


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Re: Falling away from what? [Re: J_Edwards] #6887
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:52 AM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:52 AM

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The question is not whether they could repent or not. The question is "could the Savior pardon them?" He said He could. I have to believe that is true.<br><br>I don't remember which other question you are referring to. I'll try to find it.<br><br>

Re: re [Re: Henry] #6888
Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:31 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:31 PM

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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]If we carry total human inability to it's furthest logical application, we end up with Hannah Wittal Smith and "The Christians's Secret for a Happy Life," in which she states that we, even after we are saved, can do absolutely nothing for God. Everything is completely His work; we do nothing becuase we can do nothing. She even states that the purpose of reading the Bible is not to learn and apply, etc., becuase we can't, but that reading the Bible is simply so that we can recognise what God is already doing in our lives so we can rejoice.</font><hr></blockquote><p>But this idea isn't all wrong. Even once we are saved, we still sometimes have our selfish motives and we sometimes do things that contradict our chief and highest end. Sometimes it is important that we look at our inability to do good and praise God for giving us the grace to try. <br><br>And it is this inability to do good that makes salvation so much more amazing. God calls us and we can't resist and we run to His Son and be saved and He keeps us there because we can't keep ourselves there by anything we do.

Re: Falling away from what? [Re: Tom] #6889
Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:57 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:57 PM

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I don’t know very much about Gill. But sometimes, even extremists are able to rightly divide the word of truth. To be honest, I think it would be difficult for a sixteenth century reformer, to not take his doctrine to an extreme. They were in a very different struggle than we are today. <br><br>What I think may have happened is that the views these men actually held have been, over time, perhaps misrepresented to some degree. ‘Calvinism’ has taken on a life of its own apart from its foundation and actually become something that Calvin himself might not totally approve. It is possible that we may have just stumbled upon proof that that is the case.<br><br>The problem we face now is gross division in the body of Christ. These things ought not to be. I’m not on any kind of an ecumenical crusade here, but what I have sensed from this discussion is that there is a kind “us vs. them” mentality among Calvinists with those who are not. This is not at all unique either. Pentecostals do it, Church of Christ and probably others. <br><br>I hope people reading this thread understand that Bible doctrine is something I take very seriously, but if I have learned anything in that regard, I hope it is not use my interpretation of scripture to measure a fellow Christian by. <br><br>I took the name Costello from the comedy team “Abbott and Costello” after listening to their famous “who’s on first?” routine recently. Part way through the skit, Costello finally says it right, and then he shouts, “I don’t even know what I’m talkin’ about.” That’s how I feel about the Bible. I’m only part of the way to the understanding God is leading me to and even when I think I’ve have something right, I still “don’t even know what I’m talkin’ about.”<br><br>The Word of God simply can not be reduced to pat answers, there is always more.<br><br>If you are not constantly refining and rediscovering what you believe you are missing the big adventure.<br>

Re: re #6890
Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:47 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:47 PM
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Definately, there is a side to this. But it's only one side. It's not the whole picture, otherwise verses like "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" mean absolutely nothing. I think there's a balance here that's easy to miss, but which, if my aforementioned friend was right, both Calvin and Arminuis found.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Re: re [Re: Henry] #6891
Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:15 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:15 PM
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline
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Where it says "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" it is talking about sanctification. Salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification. In sanctification we do cooperate with God, though it is God that does the work in the believer.<br><br>Tom

Re: Falling away from what? #6892
Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:39 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:39 PM
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"][color:red]The question is not whether they could repent or not</font color=red>. The question is "could the Savior pardon them?" He said He could. I have to believe that is true.</font><hr></blockquote><p> So, you are now advocating a gospel without repentance--interesting, but false again. There is election, calling, and regeneration, but after this there is faith and repentance, and only after this is there full pardon from Christ. Thus, what you are advocating is that Christ was offering a false gospel--pardon without repentance. Clearly, this is not the meaning of the text.<br><br>Jesus WILL pardon ALL who are enabled to repent. As the other Scripture in 2 Tim 2:24-26 revealed (in my previous post), repentance is a gift of God. Christ, being God, knew they did not have the ability in and of themselves to repent. His challenge to them was to see their own depravity and thus come to the end of themselves, but He also knew this was only possible by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit (calling, regeneration). To think otherwise to is say Christ did know His own Scriptures.<br>


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Re: Falling away from what? #6893
Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:43 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:43 PM
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No, He died for the SPECIFIC sins of ALL His elect alone. God did not waste one drop of His Son's blood.


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Re: Falling away from what? [Re: J_Edwards] #6894
Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:09 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:09 PM

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His blood was finite but that speaks nothing of his love for the whole world, and His willingness to suffer on the behalf of His creation.

Re: Falling away from what? #6895
Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:15 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:15 PM
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Do a study on common grace and you will see the love for the world God has. But, as a primer:<br><br>1. God does not execute you and put you to death for your first sin, though He would be just in doing so.<br>2. God pours out blessings upon the reprobate.<br>3. God has the Gospel preached to ALL the world.<br>4. Many of the laws governing Nations were established from the Scriptures.<br><br>These are a few ways that God has poured out His love upon all humanity and even with this, they still spit upon His name, His servants, and His Word and disobey in the power of their own wills.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Falling away from what? [Re: fredman] #6896
Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:46 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:46 PM

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Dear Fred:<br><br>Thanks for the reply. I'm not exactly sure where all the men I mentioned stood on the issue either, but I have a pretty good idea and I believe it to be the traditional reformed view.<br><br>In one of his sermons on this subject, "So Then", Alexander Whyte quotes from Owens' writings on this traditional reformed view as follows:<br><br>====================================================================================<br><br>"For lessons in the doctrine of original and indwelling sin Paul had not sat at any man's feet: prophet, nor psalmist, nor apostle. Whether they all taught that doctrine or not he does not stop to say. But what he does say, and with all his might, is this: that indwelling sin is not a doctrine at all to him. No; to him it is a sure experience. It is not even a divine doctrine to him, so much as a spiritual and a personal experience: a daily, a bitter, a hateful, a loathsome, a cruel, and a lifelong spiritual experience. <br><br>"And then, among other things," says John Owen, that most Pauline of men, "this inward experience of Paul is the great guarantee and the sure preservative of evangelical truth in Paul's mind, and heart, and doctrine; just as it is in every man's mind, and heart, and doctrine who has Paul's spiritual experience." No man need attempt to argue Paul - no, nor any of Paul's successors - out of this so experimental and so personal truth, because they all "find" it in themselves. Incontestably so, according to the depth and the sincerity and the spirituality of their minds and their hearts. 'I know it,' says the Apostle. 'I know it, beyond all possible dispute or shadow of doubt. For I find it within my own soul, continually and incessantly, and that to my cost, to my shame, and to my deepest pain; to a shame and to a pain that are simply indescribable and inconsolable.' "Some," says John Owen, summing up his great masterpiece on this deep matter - "some pretend to great natural virtue, and some to great gospel perfection, but I am resolved to believe the Apostle and my own experience." And so am I. "<br><br>======================================================================================<br><br>I find my theology and my experience firmly in line with that of Whyte and Owen on this important matter.<br><br><br>In Him,<br><br>Gerry<br>

Re: Falling away from what? [Re: J_Edwards] #6897
Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:02 PM
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I am rather astonished at how fast you change gears and accuse me of some new heresy.<br><br>It is perfectly possible and logical that the savior would purchase the pardon of individuals knowing that person would never accept it, by dying for all the sins of all men. An infinite God can give all of himself, to all us. Tozer said that.<br><br>I would say it would be a false gospel if he sent us into all the world to preach the gospel to every person if there were no pardon for every one. Would you go to your neighbor and invite him to a diner you never prepared, knowing he has other plans and won’t come anyway? That would be a false and vain invitation.<br>

Re: Falling away from what? #6898
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:22 PM
Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:22 PM
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Good point, and food (pun?) for thought. I think of Matt. 22:1-14.<br><br>Jesus, in the parable of the wedding supper, makes it very clear what when the invitation was made to the first group, the meal (salvation) was there, ready and waiting. Had they responded, which for all appearances they could have, they would have had the meal. This does not make salvation a human effort. After all, the meal was prepared and offered by no volition of their own, nor did they seek it out. They themselves were sought out, invited to accept. But they did have a choice, and they rejected.<br><br>This might cause some to ask, why would God go to all that trouble if He knew He would be rejected? Lewis, again the The Problem of Pain, said some excellent things in regards to Abraham from which we can draw application:<br><br>"'If God is omniscient He must have known what Abraham would do, without any experiment; why, then, this needless tourture?' But as St. Augustine points out, whatever God knew, Abraham at any rate did not know that his obedience could endure such a command until the event taught him: and the obedience which he did not know that he would choose, he cannot be said to have choses. The reality of Abraham's obedience was the act itself; and what God knew in knowing that Abraham 'would obey' was Abraham's actual obedience on the mountain top at that moment. To say that God 'need not have tried the experiment' is to say that because God knows, the thing known by God need not exist."<br><br>For the "non-elect" to truly be said to have rejected the gospel, they must have been given the chance to accept it (as scripture says all will), and it follows that this chance must have been a real chance- not a fake invitation to a non-existant meal.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Re: Falling away from what? [Re: Henry] #6899
Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:50 AM
Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:50 AM

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Again, thanks for your post Henry. That is a scripture I had in mind. That quote from Lewis is familiar also but I don't where.<br><br><br>Who would take a bride that did not come to the alter of her free will? If it is entirely of God’s will, and none of our own being completely free to choose apart from any act on God’s part, then Jesus would be marrying Himself.<br><br>Further, He would gain nothing that He did not have before He created the world.

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