Originally Posted by hisalone
Just because others disagree does not change my convictions, it isn't that easy. Don't you think I would change my mind if I was convinced of what you are saying?
Several times you have brought up the matter of "conviction". And it would appear that the only legitimate reason for someone to embrace a certain doctrine, teaching or practice when it is shown to be biblically evident is if one "experiences conviction" that it is so. Again, I sadly must take issue with this type of view. I remember vividly pointing out a sin in a brother's life, clearly showing him that what he was doing was sin according to the Scriptures. And his response was, "What you have shown me is true, but until the Holy Spirit convicts me of that sin, I will not repent." Now, I am going to presume that you would also find this brother's response fallacious, no? And why is it fallacious? Because it matters not if one "feels conviction" before one stop sinning. Perhaps another example on the matter of theological doctrine. Many of those embracing neo-orthodoxy and even Liberalism are more than knowledgeable concerning what historic Presbyterian holds to be true. In fact, many of the neo-Orthodox and even some Liberal denominations still give recognition to the Westminster Standards. But when pressed as to their hypocrisy and/or their unbiblical "views" they refuse to recant and embrace biblical Calvinism. Now, why is that? Yes, yes.... only the Spirit can bring one to faith, etc. That's a given. So, that isn't an issue here. What stands out is that EVEN when shown the truth they flatly reject it because it contradicts what they believe. The point here is that we must never bifurcate the head from the heart. The two are complimentary.

Jonathan Edwards was one who firmly held to the depravity of man as you well know. In fact, the world disdains some of his more well-known sermons, e.g., "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". He was aware that in his congregation there were unbelievers; unregenerate sinners who of themselves had no desire nor ability to repent and believe on Christ. Yet, this did not prevent him from rebuking them for not doing what they had no interest in nor ability to do. Was he nuts? Was he totally inconsiderate of their condition? Was he unkind? Was he unChristlike? nope not on your life. He was simply emulating his Lord and God. What he told these individuals is that even though they had no desire and no ability to convert they were still wholly responsible. For, what they could do is make use the means available to them, e.g., attend worship services where the Word of God was faithfully preaches, for faith comes by hearing the Word of God, they could read the Scriptures for in them Christ is found, they could pray that God would convict them of their sin and draw them to Christ. Am I making any sense here? One may not be "convinced" in his heart that a certain doctrine is true, but that doesn't relieve that person from the responsibility of embracing the truth. True doctrine can be and most often is comprehensible, for how else would one reject or accept it, right? And thus one can embrace something with the intellect even though it is not fully understood, tasteful, etc. If one can be shown that biblically, logically and reasonably that a particular view doesn't square with Scripture, then convicted or not, it is incumbent that one abandon the erroneous view even though there is no "conviction" that the other view is 100% correct.

Okay, this is my attempt to try and get you to understand that one is not excusable for embracing error just because they don't "feel convinced" that it is error. Again, this is NOT to say that conviction isn't relevant or even important, but rather it is not the all-and-all of why a believer embraces any particular teaching. You can believe something but still not like it! wink

In His grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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