Hi Zionseeker:

You said:

The passage never actually says that a dead man cannot believe,

Right, the passage never actually says that, but your response illustrates it beautifully <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.

I wonder if you are Strict Baptist, since most Calvinists do not speek on these things as you do?

No, I am not Strict Baptist, and neither was Bunyan, or Owen his good friend who encouraged him to publish the "Pilgrims Progress" when he didn't know if he should. Owen, Calvin, Edwards, T. Goodwin, M'Cheyne, Whitefield, etc. all emphasized the witness of the Spirit and a spiritual knowledge of the things of God, in conjunction with correct doctrine, the Word always being the guide and structure for that experience. Spiritual knowledge never contradicts but rather enhances the understanding and is in full accord and harmony with the Word and correct doctrine. It imparts a relish for it and an insight into it that is not conveyed by the natural understanding.

But I agree these things are not emphasized to the extent they were at one time. That is why I was suggesting that you look at Nichols book on Edwards theology of the Holy Spirit. Joel Beeke delves into these issues also in his work "The Quest for Full Assurance".

Since you express an experiential knowledge of these things and yet see the scriptures entirely different on these matters than I, other than to pray for you and to wish you my kindest regards and extend my love and best wishes to you, I can offer you nothing more.

May the Lord Bless you richly and draw you to Him is my prayer.

In Him,