Dear Carlos,<br><br>IRT:<br>"ONCE AGAIN…big difference between saying according to ‘foreknowledge’ and “what He foresees in people’s hearts.” In such verses, it states that God "foreknows" PEOPLE not ACTIONS (Romans 8:29). BIG DIFFERENCE. Check the grammar. God is foreknowing a personal object. God foreknows (foreloves) his Elect (ver34) as free sovereign choice. I have given you so many scriptures that prove this very fact. Leads me to wonder what you would make of such a passage as 1Peter 1:20."<br><br>Not that big a difference. Since God foreknows His people, He foreknows how they will respond to His call; the scriptures make it plain that He foreknows both men and the actions that they perform (as I have already pointed out). Either way, it doesn't back up the case of Calvinism. The meaning of 1 Peter 1:20 is self evident: God ordained that Christ die before the foundation of the world.<br><br>IRT:<br>"The point of Romans 9 is that GOD CHOOSES from the 'SAME LUMP' of clay. God is the one that makes one ‘clay’ from differ from another through election and that He purposed within himself. It is his free choice. He decided between Jacob and Esau, without regard to anything they DID. God foresees the good in the people's heart because He caused it to be there (see Old Testament prophesies in Eze, Jer)."<br><br>We are all of the same lump. Big deal. What you are saying is partially correct: All men are innately sinful and doomed to hell (of the same lump), the difference is that God foreknows those who will receive His grace when it is offered, and shapes their lives and circumstances so that they can receive it. And indeed, He did make His decision about Jacob and Esau without regards to what they had done (for they were not yet even born); but He made His decision because He knew that Esau would not value the things that God valued, but that Jacob would. I do not believe that God ordained that Esau be stubborn and proud, but because He knew that Esau would, shaped him to be a foolish man who would eventually lose his inheritance.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Also, Paul would not have stated the answers to the objections of election that He did ROMANS in 9:6-24 if He was teaching your Arminian view of election."<br><br>I have no objection to the doctrine of election, I fully believe that God has chosen those who will be saved from the foundation of the world. I simply do not accept the Calvinist view of election which makes the basis for election 'just because God felt like it.' I am not saying that is not God's prerogative, I am saying that is not God's method as revealed by scripture.<br><br>IRT:<br>"It is interesting that you stated that it his according to His purpose and plan and then you write the BUT. That’s problem within Arminian theology; in one sentence they start with grace, and then comes the BUT, and end up nullifying grace in the same sentence."<br><br>The 'but' comes from a plethora of scripture. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of grace. Calvinists seem to think that grace is simply 'unmerited favor,' i.e. 'God has already done it all, it's out of your hands entirely.' But this is not what grace is, grace is God's divine power whereby He works to transforms us from darkness to light. The key difference in Arminian or similar theology (such as mine) is that grace can be resisted and even fallen from (see Galatians 5). So grace is not nullified by what we believe, it is simply stated that one may resist God's grace.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Rather, The verse of Eph 1:11 ends as such, “ HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE WHO WORKS ALL THINGS [note all things] after the COUNSEL of HIS WILL, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY."<br><br>Concerning "all things," as I stated in my rebuttal to your post on perseverance; God can use the conditional things of His will that are violated to fulfill the unconditional things of His will. I am assuming that you think that 'ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE' and 'COUNSEL of HIS WILL' present a problem for what I believe. Not so, for God's will is to seek those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). So essentially, the purpose of His will is that we willingly yield to Him and believe in His Son Jesus Christ, not 'just because He wanted to.'<br><br>IRT:<br>"The very fact that God chooses one because He foresaw how one person would react leaves room for that person to boast and share in the glory."<br><br>I don't see how. Without God's grace, it would not matter how any person 'would react,' for they would still be lost in sin if God hadn't had mercy. I know that I myself am nothing but a worthless sinner without God's grace, and glory only in knowing that Christ loved me enough to die and save me from my sins. I made an analogy on a previous post: If a man falls from a ship and someone on the ship tosses him a lifering within his grasp, then the same man grabs the ring, and after he has grabbed it, is pulled to the boat safely, who saved him? Did he save himself by grabbing the ring? Hardly! He only reacted as any person that was not too proud to accept help would react. It was the person on the ship who threw the ring to him and then pulled him back in. So likewise, God has given us a way out, a means of escape from the wrath to come. We would be complete idiots (or just stubborn) not to take it. We could not do it by ourselves, and if we do receive it, we receive no glory; for our Saviour is God, not ourselves.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Scripture will not support the statement that it is 'based on what He foresees in people’s hearts'."<br><br>Election is based on God's foreknowledge (2 Peter 1:2). As I have pointed out before, foreknowledge can mean knowledge of things beforehand, as well as people (Acts 2:23). Your stretching of the word to say 'foreloved' violates simple denotation (I am not saying that God does not love people before they are born, but that is not what this passage states). God does foreknow people, and hence, He also knows whether or not they will hear His word. To say that this passage strictly means 'forelove' is to change the obvious meaning and read another one into it (all the while you keep telling me to read it for what it says...). Because both definitions of foreknowledge fit what I believe, then either way it stands that 2 Peter 1:2 is ample evidence that God's election is based on what He foreknows of men's hearts.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Just as God exercised freedom in loving & choosing national Israel ( Deut 10:14-15, Deut 7:6-8, Amos 3:1-2), so does He with believers (Romans 9:6-24, 1 Cor 1:26-31, Eph., etc)."<br><br>Also note that having Israel as His people was conditional. When they turned their backs on God, He cast them out as He would any of the heathen.<br><br>IRT:<br>"IT IS because of GOD that we are in Christ (1Cor 1:30), and this because He chose us to put in Christ . What GOD foresaw was what GOD would DO (Romans 9)!!!!!!!!!!"<br><br>The evidence that men must humble themselves when faced with a Holy God to be saved is overwhelming. For He "resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble," not "humbles those to whom He gives grace, and makes proud those He does not." So while it is God Who brought us into Christ, He requires that we accept His offer, that is His divine right. The idea that 'What GOD foresaw was what GOD would DO' is a bit odd. God predestinates us according to His foreknowledge of what He would do? That seems a bit redundant.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Clearly in the new birth, it is stated the God the holy spirit has the freedom to regenerate whom He will (1 John 3: 6-8)."<br><br>I assume you meant John 3:6-8. True, but whom He will is those that He knows will hear God.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Before the Call, God Had foreknown (foreloved) and Predestined them from all eternity. That is WHY they receive the effectual Call, which EFFECTS faith and results in Justification, that will eventually lead to ultimate Glorification (including conformity to the image of Christ as purposed (v 28)."<br><br>There is no indication in scripture that God's call is irresistable, Acts 7:51 proves the opposite in fact.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Your idea of foreseen faith makes no sense of the passage of Romans 8:28-38"<br><br>I don't see how. This passage says nothing against it, and makes no points that would contradict it.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I end with this summary, that those verses on God’s foreknowing or foreknowledge state that the object of the divine foreknowledge is not the actions of certain people but the people themselves."<br><br>And as I have pointed out, it is both. For to divinely foreknow someone is to foreknow their lives as well.<br><br>IRT:<br>"You confuse two things Election and salvation. Election leads to salvation trough the means of sanctification and faith."<br><br>I don't see how I have confused them. Please clarify. If you are referring to my arguments about conditional election, I tend to group them together because conditional election would imply conditional salvation. The two are not exactly the same thing, but very closely related.<br><br>IRT:<br>"2 Thes 2:13-15 : But we should always give thanks to God for you [why?] ..because God has CHOSEN [election] you from the beginning FOR [note the distinction] SALVATION through [means] SANCTIFICATION by the Spirit and FAITH in the truth. And it was FOR THIS that He called you through our Gospel. Once again you have not proven that ELECTION (unto salvation) itself is based on conditions, from the scriptures you have quoted."<br><br>I have actually. If God does not give grace to a man, it is obvious that he is not one of the elect. But since He gives grace to those that are humble, this proves a condition to being elected.<br><br>IRT:<br>"You also confuse the election of national Israel as a people and the election to salvation within that nation. See below."<br><br>That's strange, you were just making comparisons between them a few paragraphs above. But as far as my comparison's, the scriptures state that they are our examples that we may not fall in like disobedience, therefore he who thinks he stands should take heed, lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:11-12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"It is clear from Romans 8:28-38, that NOTHING CREATED can separate God’s Elect (verse34) Is there anything ‘not created ‘that can separate the The Elect from Christ??"<br><br>Yes. God the Father cuts off branches that do not abide (John 15:1-2). So while it is the apostate's fault for departing, it is God who will cast him out.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Again, I again submit you do not know the context of the book of Romans. For “they are not all Israel[national elect] who are descended from Israel[spiritual elect] (Roman 9:6). Why?? Because “The children of the promise are regarded as descendants (Rom 9:8),"<br><br>Right. How does that prove Calvinism?<br><br>IRT:<br>"and “ For though the TWINS were not yet born, and HAD NOT done ANYTHING good or bad, in order that GOD’s purpose according to HIS CHOICE might stand, not because of works, but because of HIM who calls( NASB Rom 9:11), “So then it DOES NOT DEPEND on the MAN WHO WILLs or THE MAN WHO RUNs, BUT ON GOD who has mercy (16),"<br><br>Agreed, but the passage says nothing of the basis for His making that choice. God's choice was not based on man's desires or works, but was based on the fact that Jacob would hear His voice and love Him, and the fact that Esau wouldn't. Despite innumerable objections, these are in fact, not works. So this passage does not contradict what I believe.<br><br>IRT:<br>"“So then HE has mercy on whom HE DESIRES, and HE hardens whom HE DESIRES (18),"<br><br>Yes. He hardens those who will not hear Him. Those who will not hear the words of Jesus will be hardened so that even tangible and physical evidence will not convince them, even if one were to rise from the dead (Luke 16:31). Pharaoh was the perfect example of this: For after he rejected the word of the Lord through Moses, God hardened his heart so that even after seeing God perform all of His mighty wonders (which would convince any rational person), he still stiffened his neck and tried to fight God. Notice in the first chapter of the same book it speaks of some that changed the truth of God into a lie...and it was for this cause that God gave them over to vile affections (Romans 1:25-26). God resists (and hence hardens) the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So the passage you cited here also presents no problem for me.<br><br>IRT:<br>"“it is the REMANT that will SAVED (27)”, “I say then that God has not reject His people, has HE? May it never be! For I am too am an Israelite, a DESCEDANT of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, GOD HAS NOT rejected His people, WHOM HE FOREKNEW [foreloved, note that God has not rejected those whom he chose to place a special love upon] …I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN who have not bowed the knee to Baal… A REMANT ACCORDING to GOD’s gracious CHOICE (Romans 11:1-5)…"<br><br>God has not permanently rejected them as a nation, but many of the people that He foreknew were cut off (as is stated in the same chapter). So likewise, while some elect may turn from Him, He will not cast off the redeemed as a whole, but will destroy those who deny Him.<br><br>"You will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said, Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therfore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you will also be cut off." (Romans 11:9-22)<br><br>So even after we have been grafted into Christ, if we do not remain in His goodness, we will be cut off just as the unbelieving of Israel are. <br><br>IRT:<br>"God’s has always been choosing those to salvation even within the election of national Israel. The whole point of the previous verses is that Who God has chosen for salvation is conditioned in himself. He preservers those He has chosen."<br><br>I agree, but I disagree with the notion that His preservation is unconditional. God did reserve seven thousand men unto Himself according to the election of grace. For without His grace, they would have been idolaters like their neighbors. But He reserved them because they heard His voice and received His grace (unlike most of Israel that stopped their ears and hardened their hearts so that they could not hear the words which the Lord sent in His Spirit by the prophets - Zechariah 7:11-12).<br><br>IRT:<br>"God’s word, purpose and decrees will stand and not fail (Romans 9:5, Isaiah 55: 11, Dan 4:35, Prov 16:9, Prov 19:21)."<br><br>As I have already put forth, part of God's will is conditional. Some things cannot be averted, while others can (see Luke 13:34). While the decrees of God are irrevocable, I believe that He permits men the ability to violate the conditional things of His will. Is that not within His right to do?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh