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#16601 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:16 PM
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Yes, I have interacted. You claimed the passage put forth a notion of equipoise and I showed how this must be read into the passage.

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We started with 1 Kings 18. I take it that you have said all you want to say about that passage. If you are ready to move on to Hebrews 6 and 10, I will be glad to do so.

Right after admit that this passage does not show equipoise.......


God bless,

william

#16602 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:21 PM
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You seem to be disagreeing with Marie about whether the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message teaches an age of accountability and whether it teaches that infants are born under condemnation. This is an important issue. Marie works at the library at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, so I’m sure she’s interested in your interpretation of our confession of faith. There are a lot of Southern Baptists in America, and our confession of faith influences important decisions, so maybe you should go into detail about how our confession of faith is in error. If our confession of faith is truly in error, and if you succeed in convincing us that our confession of faith is in error, then you will have performed a great service.

I'm no longer a Baptist. Marie knows we differ. The confession is in error at least on baptism, but I haven't read it entirely as it doesn't pertain to me in any way.

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As I said in my last post, I thought we agreed to discuss each one of the passages I mentioned earlier. By the time we finish, I think you will understand how they all fit together to explain how a person can form a bias from equipoise while under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit.

You are never going to convince me of your unscriptural position. Sorry. That's why I suggested a new topic, because this thread doesn't have much longer unless you produce something of weight.


God bless,

william

Wes #16603 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:27 PM
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Hi again, Wes. You said, “Man does not understand spiritual things unless he is born again by the Spirit of God. Paul tells us: ‘The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ (1 CORINTHIANS 2:14)”

I agree that a man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. Five-point Calvinists believe that a non-Christian’s depravity must be counteracted by regeneration before he can accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. I believe that a non-Christian’s depravity must be counteracted by the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit before he can accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. I noticed in the quote by Packer that he used the word “illumination.”

You defined regeneration as “an inner re-creating of fallen human nature by the gracious sovereign action of the Holy Spirit.”

I believe that when a person is regenerated, the Holy Spirit indwells him and begins changing him. To regenerate means to rebuild. We are given new life, eternal life. This is salvation. The Bible tells us that in logical order, salvation follows faith and repentance:

“If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:17-18)

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:29-31)

And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

“I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Five-point Calvinists have regeneration preceding faith/repentance in logical order, if not temporal order (as I demonstrated when I quoted James P. Boyce). Thus, according to five-point Calvinists, at least in logical order, a person is not yet saved when they are first regenerated. In other words, the person does not yet have eternal life. Salvation, according to the verses I gave above, comes after repentance/faith in logical order. Eternal life is only received when faith/repentance occurs. That is also when the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the person.

I think the most powerful verse for showing that regeneration follows faith in logical order is John 1:12. Let’s look at the Greek:

“hosoi de elabon auton, edoken autois exousian tekna theou genesthai, tois pisteuousin eis to onoma autou.”

Let’s look at each of the words:

Hosoi – as many as
De – but
Elabon – received
Auton – him (accusative, singular pronoun)
Edoken – gave
Autois – to them (dative, plural pronoun – indirect object)
Exousian – ability, right, power, privilege
Tekna – children
Theou – of God
Genesthai – to become
Tois – to them
Pisteuousin – believing
Eis – into
To – the
Onoma – name
Autou – His

As I mentioned earlier, John used the word “tekna” (children) rather than the word “huios” (sons). The word for adoption is “huiothesia.” Notice the connection between “huios” and “huiothesia”? Regeneration, not adoption, is being referred to in John 1:12.

A.T. Robertson, a Greek authority and former professor at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, commented on the verse:

“As many as received him (osoi elabon auton). Effective aorist active indicative of lambanw ‘as many as did receive him,’ in contrast with oi idioi just before, exceptional action on the part of the disciples and other believers. To them (autoiß). Dative case explanatory of the relative clause preceding, an anacoluthon common in John 27 times as against 21 in the Synoptists. This is a common Aramaic idiom and is urged by Burney (Aramaic Origin, etc., p. 64) for his theory of an Aramaic original of the Fourth Gospel. The right (exousian). In Luke 5:27 edwken (first aorist active indicative of didwmi) exousian means authority but includes power (dunamiß). Here it is more the notion of privilege or right. To become (genesqai). Second aorist middle of ginomai, to become what they were not before. Children of God (tekna qeou). In the full spiritual sense, not as mere offspring of God true of all men (Acts 17:28 ). Paul's phrase uioi qeou (Galatians 3:26) for believers, used also by Jesus of the pure in heart (Matthew 5:9), does not occur in John's Gospel (but in Revelation 21:7). It is possible that John prefers ta tekna tou qeou for the spiritual children of God whether Jew or Gentile (John 11:52) because of the community of nature (teknon from root tek-, to beget). But one cannot follow Westcott in insisting on ‘adoption’ as Paul's reason for the use of uioi since Jesus uses uioi qeou in Matthew 5:9. Clearly the idea of regeneration is involved here as in John 3:3. Even to them that believe (toiß pisteuousin). No ‘even’ in the Greek, merely explanatory apposition with autoiß, dative case of the articular present active participle of pisteuw. On his name (eiß to onoma). Bernard notes pisteuw eiß 35 times in John, to put trust in or on. See also John 2:23; 3:38 for pisteuw eiß to onoma autou. This common use of onoma for the person is an Aramaism, but it occurs also in the vernacular papyri and eiß to onoma is particularly common in the payment of debts (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary). See Acts 1:15 for onomata for persons.”
http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/...=1&verse=12

In John 1:11 some people did not receive Him. In John 1:12 other people did receive Him. Using Robertson’s explanation, “to as many as did receive Him” – to those people he gave the right to become children of God. In literal Greek it would be as follows: “As many as but did receive Him gave to them the right children of God to become.” The rest of the verse in literal Greek would be as follows: “To them believing into the name of Him.” “Received” (elabon), “gave” (edoken), and “become” (genesthai) are all aorist tense and indicative mood, indicating punctiliar action (action at a point in time) in past time. Two are active voice, and one is middle voice. (The imperfect tense has continuing action in past time.) One of my seminary textbooks (written by professors Vaughn and Gideon) says of the aorist tense: “In the indicative it expresses punctiliar action in past time.” (A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, page 144) “Believing” is a present participle, and this is significant for our discussion. My first Greek textbook was “An Introduction to New Testament Greek” by Huber Drumwright, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. Here’s what Drumwright said about present participles: “A present participle must be given time that is the same (contemporaneous) as the time of the leading verb with which it is associated” (page 106). Remember that Robertson said that the phrase with “believing” was in apposition with “them” (autois) who became children of God. So, at the same point in time that the people became children of God, they were believing. The people who believed were regenerated. The people who received Christ were given the right to become children of God at the point in time when they were believing in Him. In my belief system the logical order is first repentance/faith and then regeneration. But in chronological order they would be simultaneous.

#16604 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:28 PM
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but it would be helpful if you show how my commentary on 1 Kings lacked proper interpretation.

I did. Next passage?

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If you convince me that I was in error, then I will be glad to admit I was in error.

We may never convince you of anything. This, however, does not necessitate you being correct.

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Ouch! That is a serious accusation. It might be helpful for you to define heresy as you understand it. Is anyone who is not a five-point Calvinist a heretic? I’m sure you know that not all five-point Calvinists agree with each other. Are some five-point Calvinists heretics? Are heretics people like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny the Trinity? When you make such a serious accusation, I think you should provide evidence. What have I specifically said that leads you to think that I am a heretic?

1) You continuously put forth an unscriptural position.

2) You place man at the center of your philosophy.

3) You deny Total Depravity.

4) You aren't any type of calvinist, so, yes.

The arminian gospel is a different gospel. And while calvinists may disagree on some things, we all agree on soteriology.


God bless,

william

#16605 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:32 PM
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KoreaHog......I am going to explain, for the last time, that your illustration means nothing. It does not prove a state of equipoise. You have not shown, not one time, that man chooses contrary to his nature. Please stop putting forth this position, as it is heretical.

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It might be more edifying, however, for us to discuss Scripture passages rather than making charges of heresy.

Yes, a new passage, because the 1Kings one doesn't uphold your position.


God bless,

william

#16606 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:33 PM
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Averagefellar, you said, "This thread doesn't have much longer unless you produce something of weight."

Why have you changed your mind? Earlier you said, "This will be easier if we discuss one scripture at a time." I have only discussed one passage so far. Well, it's bedtime in South Korea. You can think about it and let me know what you want to do. If you don't want to discuss the other verses, then maybe someone else will. If not, that's okay. I'll check the thread tomorrow morning.

#16607 Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:52 PM
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KH,
I am not sure what more I could add to what others have stated in their posts in answer to your's in regards to Adam before the fall. I believe it is improper, let alone unbiblical, to try and equate our existence wtih that of Adam before his fall.

Be that as it may, I want to try and respond to at least two of your posts specifically addressed to me with just this one, because they are similar in content and argumentation.

This one paragraph is taken from the other post:

you write:
Lets look at Adam again. Adam's first sin was a very important event in God's sovereign plan for the universe. His sovereign plan was not based on His foreknowledge of Adam's free choice, but His sovereign plan was in agreement with His foreknowledge of Adam's free choice. That's not a contradiction. That's a paradox. God did decree the circumstances that influenced Adam's choice, but God did not directly cause Adam's choice. Thus, God is not the author of sin. God did not entrap Adam. Adam was held fully responsible for generating a sinful bias from a position of equipoise. No one forced him to commit the first sin.

(Fred) You still do not escape the problem of first cause with God and sin with this solution. God could still be charged as the author of Adam's sin in that he decreed the circumstances that brought Adam to sinning. If you acknowledge God's absolute exhaustive foreknowledge, Adam had to fall, there would be no choice about it, or God is proven to be mistaken. If your idea of "equipoise" is correct, then your scenerio would have to envision the potentiality that Eve could had rejected Satan's offer, Adam could had slapped the fruit out of Eve's hand, or any other number of reactions other than choosing to rebel. Yet, he did fall, and contrary to your last sentence, in your system God did force him to commit the first sin if he in deed decreed the circumstances that led to it. If your solution is correct, that God decreed the circumstances and knew full well how Adam would react, then God can rigthly be accused of being an accesory to the crime of Adam's sin. Your solution neither establishes equipoise or man's freedom.

Quote
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.

(Fred) Both of these ideas about Adam and Satan are speculative at best. We know that Satan and Adam fell, but we do not know the nature of their will and how it would react to influences or how it is inclined. You are just assuming that they were opposite of being totally depraved as the Bible teaches how all men exist now post fall.

A second problem to your objection is your notion that their responsibility must be preserved. Why? Gordon Clark in his excellent little book Religion, Reason, and Revelation points out that many authors assert something like, "If we don't have free will we cannot be responsible for our actions," but no one bothers to prove it. Responsibility simply means answerability and it is not dependent upon a libertarian will or in the case of your position, moral and spiritual equipoise. Robert Reymond explains it as,

"[A] reference to the obligation to give a response or an account of one's actions to a lawgiver...Whether or not he has a free will in the Arminian sense of theat term is irrelevant to the question of responsibility. To insist that without free will a man cannot lawfully be held responsible for his sin completely fails to appreciate the meaning of the word. Freewill has nothing to do with the establishment of responsibility. What makes a person "responsible" is whether there is a lawgiver over him who has declared that he will require that a person to give an account to him for his thoughts, words and actions. Hence, if the lawgiver determined that he would require every human being to give a personal account to him for his thoughts, words and actions, then every human being is a "responsible" agent whether free in the Arminian sense or not. In other words, far from God's sovereignty making human responsibility impossible, it is just because God is their absolute Sovereign that men are accountable to him."

Further more, quoting from RK McGregor-Wright once more, he shows how the Bible grounds responsibility, not in man's freewill (or equipoise), but in four other areas:

1) God is our creator and we are his creatures.
2) God is our moral reference point for right and wrong, and not we ourselves.
3) We are answerable to God for the knowledge we have.
4) The purpose of creation is the glory of God, and we are responsible as stewards of God's blessings to fulfill the end or purpose of God in creating us in the world.

Now, you may detract from those points, but the burden is upon you to show us where in scrpture is responsibility dependent upon man's freewill or equipoise, and explain why such a position on man's part is necessary for him to be answerable to God. I would also ask why is it necessary for conversion as you insist. This was Pelagius's dilemma. He refused to acknowledge a sovereign and insisted that man cannot be charged with, and held guilty for, his sin unless he had this freedom. To do so would be unjust, argued Pelagius. The Bible knows nothing of this make believe problem.

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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.

(Fred) If you believe solid exegesis bears this out, then why have you failed to provide any? You have listed several passages that you think support your position, but in all honesty, I see you reading more into those passages before you "exegete" them, rather than allowing the exegesis form your position. You presuppose that it is necessary for men to have this notion of "equipoise" in order for them to be held responsible and to be converted. You then pick passages that you believe proves your conclusion. What is even more annoying is that you have not provided reasonable answers to those who have shot holes in your overall argumentation. This is pretty serious.

True exegesis involves the breaking apart the passage grammatical and syntatically (that involves more than quoting a few Greek words in your post), making sure it is being interpreted according to the author's original intent, conforms to the overall context of what is being discusssed by the original author, and takes into consideration the whole of the Bible. The last point is significant, because you insist that faith/repentance preceeds any regeneration, but regeneration is consistenly taught through out all of the NT as a spiritual work by God that begets faith and repentance in the heart of the receipient. Your apologetic for what really is the Arminian/Weslyan notion of prevenient grace that brings a person into spiritual equipoise that then leads them to a place of being able to choose, then that belief is followed up with regeneration, is built upon verses that are stripped from the normal rules of exegesis I listed above.

On top of that, you have the bad habit of doing this with the quotes you provide from historic theologians. Your citation from MacArthur is a good example of this. Originally, when you mentioned Hebrews 6, you were claiming that it is an example of individuals brought into this equipoise you keep talking about. I stated that it is not, and I would argue that it is not even dealing specifically with the work of salvation, particularly in the sense regarding a man's will. That is not even being addressed or is even the overall point of the passage.
You then follow up by quoting from John's commentary on Hebrews. Hopefully you do not think he is supporting your position? If you read that chapter in its entirety, John is not arguing for this equipoise nonsense you are arguing for. In fact, he concludes quite the opposite. In sum, John holds to one of the main understanding of this passage, that being how there are lost people who have a knowledge of Christ, but are not saved. I believe your intention is to you use his comments as an example of how two Christians can do exegesis on a passage and come to opposite interpretations (though I do not believe John's and my conclusions are "that opposite" of each other, only only add one other factor to draw the conclusion I do), however, no solid exegesis is going to conclude that the author of Hebrews is speaking to moral equipoise. That is a belief absolutely foreign to the context and is being brought to the text to force it to support it. If you sincerely believe this passage is an illustration for what you are claiming, you are unique and alone in your take on Hebrews 6. Who else can you list that comes to the same conclusions about what you are saying that this passage represents?

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
#16608 Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:40 PM
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Because, after no less than forty posts in this and other threads, you are still putting forth a view which several of us have shown to be false. This board has a standard.......it is reformed, holding the calvinist understanding of soteriology to be truth. What you teach isn't and will eventually become unwelcome here. I don't see you willing to admit you are eisegesizing the passages and I am definitely not willing to claim calvinism is wrong.......much less the other staff members. You may move on to a new passage, and please do, because the 1kings passage does not support your view, and you aren't convincing anybody here.
However, I cannot say how much longer the thread has left to be open, as consistently upholding a very questionable view will be eventually viewed as negatively affecting the board, which looks to uphold Biblical truth.


God bless,

william

#16609 Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:27 PM
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Hi again KH

You have lasted longer on here than I ever could have believed respectfully.I really must say you outdo yourself now by saying we are not All sinners but seeminly become sinners please explain this from the bible please. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

#16610 Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:17 PM
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Hi, GraceAlone. You said, "I really must say you outdo yourself now by saying we are not All sinners but seeminly become sinners please explain this from the bible please."

I never said that we are not all sinners. I agree with Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I'm not sure why you have that impression. I have discussed willful sin, unintentional sin, and the unpardonable sin. Maybe you got the impression from one of those discussions.

#16611 Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:10 PM
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I never said that we are not all sinners.

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />

Ok, this is the last post I'm making in response to you. Quite honestly, you are dodging questions, twisting words, and trying to confuse the issues.

Let me just quote this from James P. Boyce's Abstract of Systematic Theology:

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(2.) Its early appearance in man's life is another proof that corruption is the effect of Adam's sin. Certain passages of Scripture are supposed to refer to young children as though innocent of guilt. These are such as Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 18:15-17, "Of such is the kingdom of God." Also Matt. 18:3: "Except ye turn and become as little children." Also 1 Cor. 14:20: "Be not children in mind: howbeit in malice be ye babes, but in mind be men." [See Gill's Body of Divinity, I., 474.]

But these passages do not teach freedom from corruption. On the other hand, corruption in early infancy is plainly taught. "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies," Ps. 58:3. "Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me," Ps. 51:5. "Foolishness (wickedness) is bound up in the heart of a child," Prov. 22:15.

(3.) The fact of this corruption. Before the flood it is said: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," Gen. 6:5. "Every one of them is gone back; they are altogether become filthy," Ps. 53:3; see also Ecc. 8:11; Matt. 15:19; Rom. 1st chapter at length, as to the heathen, in connection with Paul's question, Rom. 3:9. Similar descriptions appear in Isa. 59:3-14; in Gal. 5:19-21; Titus 3:3; 2 Pet. 2:13-18.

(4.) This corruption extends to every affection of the heart and mind. Mr. Goodwin, in the Lime Street Lectures, p. 128, says: "The soul is corrupted with all its faculties; the mind with darkness and ignorance, Eph. 5:3; being subject to the sensitive part, and strongly prejudiced against the things of God, 1 Cor. 4:24; the conscience with stupidity and insensibleness, Titus 1:15; the will with stubbornness and rebellion, Rom. 8:7; the affections are become carnal and placed either upon unlawful objects, or upon lawful in an unlawful manner or degree, Col. 3:2; the thoughts and imaginations are full of pride, and vanity, and disorder, Gen. 6:5. And as for the body, that is become a clog, instead of being serviceable to the soul, and all its members and senses instruments of unrighteousness to sin, Rom. 7:19. It is, I say, in general a universal depravation of every part in man since the fall; and more particularly it consists in a privation of all good, in an enmity to God and the things of God, and in a propensity to all evil." See also Hodge, vol. 2, p. 255, and Gill's Divinity, vol. 1, p. 474. [Better proof texts than those referred to in the above quotation are Eph. 4:18 and Rom. 1:21 instead of Eph. 5:3; and Rom. 6:12; 7:24 and 8:5-7 instead of 1 Cor. 4:24.]

(5.) This corruption has not been equally developed in all. The doctrine of total depravity does not mean such equal development. The Scriptures recognize degrees of wickedness as well as of hardening of the heart, and even blinding of the minds of some. But they also represent that the lack of this development is due to differing circumstances and restraints by which some men are providentially surrounded.

(6.) This corruption does not destroy accountability or responsibility for present sins.

(a) The Scriptures universally recognize man's liability to punishment for all the thoughts of his mind, and the desires of his heart or the emotions of his physical nature, as well as for his acts. These are characterized by more or less of heinousness according to their nature and the circumstances under which they are committed. The more intense the corruption, the more guilty is the man regarded.

(b) The conscience of mankind approves these teachings of Scripture. We do not excuse men because of any state of moral corruption. The evidence of this is seen in the immediate difference which is made whenever physical compulsion or physical disease (insanity) leads to an act which otherwise would be regarded as sinful and blameworthy.

(7.) This corruption does not destroy the freedom of the will. This is the ground upon which men are held responsible by God and by human law and conscience. The condition of man is indeed such "that he cannot not sin," but this is due to his nature, which loves sin and hates holiness, and which prefers self to God. When man sins, he does so of his own choice, freely, without compulsion
Chapter 23: THE EFFECTS OF THE SIN OF ADAM


(I found it online, so I didn't have to type it out!) http://www.founders.org/library/boyce1/toc.html


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
fredman #16612 Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:35 PM
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Hi Fred. You said, “Yet, he did fall, and contrary to your last sentence, in your system God did force him to commit the first sin if he in deed decreed the circumstances that led to it.”

What I said was that God did not directly cause Adam’s choice and that God decreed the circumstances that influenced Adam’s choice. I think most five-point Calvinists would agree with me about God not being the direct cause and about God decreeing the circumstances that influenced Adam’s choice. Pilgrim has eloquently stated that Scripture does not give us all the answers about why and how Adam committed the first sin. That being said, Scripture plainly indicates that God does not directly cause any sin, and yet He has decreed all things that happen. That paradox leaves us with the dilemma that you have mentioned. I think there is only one way to solve the dilemma. We must first realize that we are not like mechanical robots. A robot’s actions can only be explained in two ways. First, the robot’s actions may be completely deterministic. In other words, everything the robot does is due to its programming. Every response to stimuli is pre-programmed. Second, the robot’s actions may be due to chance glitches in its programming (indeterminism). In other words, sometimes the robot does something unexpected because an outside force has somehow “mutated” its programming. I think you agree with me that these explanations are not satisfactory to explain the first sins of Adam and Satan. There was a mysterious spiritual dimension to Adam and Satan that mechanical robots do not have. I’m not sure that we will ever be able to fully understand this dimension, but it provides a third option. Adam and Satan self-caused their sinful bias, but God still influenced their choice by circumstances and was able to know in advance exactly what their choice would be. So, in some sense God decreed their fall just as He has decreed everything else that happens. Adam and Satan, however, are prime examples of the fact that God can utilize human freewill decisions to accomplish His sovereign plan for the universe. As previously stated, Pink, Calvin, and Augustine all stated that Adam was in equipoise. I think all three of them would agree with me that Adam’s equipoise was not a threat to God’s sovereign plan for the universe.

You said, “You are just assuming that they were opposite of being totally depraved as the Bible teaches how all men exist now post fall.”

The opposite of being depraved (inclined toward sin) would be “inclined toward good.” I don’t believe that Adam and Satan were inclined toward good before their first sins.

You said, “A second problem to your objection is your notion that their responsibility must be preserved. Why?”

God punished Adam because God held Adam responsible for his sin. If there had been no responsibility, then there would have been no punishment.

You said, “What makes a person ‘responsible’ is whether there is a lawgiver over him who has declared that he will require that a person to give an account to him for his thoughts, words and actions. Hence, if the lawgiver determined that he would require every human being to give a personal account to him for his thoughts, words and actions, then every human being is a ‘responsible’ agent whether free in the Arminian sense or not.”

I think that free will does impact responsibility. Imagine a scientist at a robotics factory who has always programmed all his robots to do bad things. After the robots do bad things, he punishes them. We would ask, “Why do you punish them? They are only doing what you programmed them to do. They were never allowed to have a choice in the matter. You are at fault, not them. They are not responsible for their pre-programmed actions.” On the other hand, if the first created robot had somehow made a true freewill decision to do a bad thing and represented all the future robots, then we could hold the other robots responsible for their bad behavior even though such behavior is pre-programmed.

You said, “You then follow up by quoting from John's commentary on Hebrews. Hopefully you do not think he is supporting your position?”

I fully realize that John MacArthur is a five-point Calvinist. I quote frequently from five-point Calvinists for a reason. When I post on a forum where I am the only non-five-point Calvinist, I fully realize that my lone voice carries very little weight. I’m a nobody in the eyes of five-point Calvinists. Some on this site have in fact called me a heretic. I have found nuggets of truth in the writings of famous five-point Calvinists. Since their writings have more credibility in the eyes of five-point Calvinists than do mine, it is only logical to quote them when I am in agreement with them on a certain point. Many times these nuggets in some way support my position, and I want to share them with five-point Calvinists to help build my case. I think it’s okay to quote them to make a certain point even though I don’t agree with them about all five points of Calvinism. I realize that John MacArthur does not agree with my concept of equipoise, but we are in agreement in regard to the points he made when I quoted him. He clearly related Hebrews 6 to salvation, and I am in agreement with the points he made in the quotes. I have simply been trying to clarify the pieces of the puzzle. At the end of our discussion of all the passages I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, hopefully all will understand how the pieces fit together to form the whole.

You said, “In sum, John holds to one of the main understanding of this passage, that being how there are lost people who have a knowledge of Christ, but are not saved.”

But what he said goes beyond that. Notice again what he said:

“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)

You had said the following about Hebrews 6: “Moreover, Hebrews 6 really doesn't have anything to do with a person's individual salvation.” I think you can see that there is a rather large difference. MacArthur’s comments indicate that the people were tasting salvation. He would probably agree with John Calvin that this “presalvation” ministry was common grace, not special grace, but it still helps me make my point that the passage is talking about non-Christians tasting salvation. He also said that this was part of the Holy Spirit’s ministries of “drawing men to Christ.” I doubt that all five-point Calvinists agree with that statement. Many of them see the “drawing” of John 6:44 as regeneration only. Finally, MacArthur made the point that rejection during this type of conviction is the unpardonable sin, and salvation thus becomes impossible. This statement, of course, is in agreement with my thinking. I know that I have zero credibility on this forum because I am not a five-point Calvinist. Thus, when a respected five-point Calvinist like MacArthur agrees with me on such crucial points, I think it makes sense to quote him even though he would not agree with my entire soteriological view.

#16613 Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:57 PM
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#16614 Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:07 PM
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Before I get into a detailed discussion of those two passages however, let me provide a summary of truths from 1 Kings 18 that are relevant to the discussion of how some people form a bias of equipoise:

1. The people had not made an ultimate, final commitment. They were hesitating between two opinions.
2. They were asked to make a commitment and become followers (disciples) either of God or Baal.
3. After a demonstration of God’s power they indicated that they had decided to follow Him.
4. They were obedient to their first command as followers of God.

Once again, you have failed to provide meaningful exegesis of the passage and have instead eisegesized it to include a condition not found within scripture. I have answered every one of those claims and so have others.

I also notice, despite my consistent pleadings, you continue to fluff your posts. I have no desire to read out of context quotes from men who would admonish your views. Please refrain from such in the future, and please stop putting forth a false gospel. Thanks.


God bless,

william

#16615 Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:09 AM
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Elijah did not proclaim the gospel in the same way we would today, but the key phrase is “follow Him” in 1 Kings 18:21

Though MANY may have followed God unto salvation where is your Scriptural evidence that ALL did? You failed to see the national-covenantal structure of what was happening here. A general reading of the rest of the O.T. reveals what? I would suggest reading the rest of the O.T. to see if in fact ANYONE did fall. Your definitive statement: ‘I assume that no one fell’ is contrary to Scripture.

Your assertion of ‘Spiritual Equipoise’ is a false doctrine. By your philosophy they ALL entered into Spiritual Equipoise and then SOME denied Christ. Thus you deny the doctrines of Irrisistible Grace, Salvation by Grace alone, etc.

Quote
That’s the first time I have seen that definition. Your definition seems to be totally subjective. You did not mention any essential doctrines such as the Trinity that non-heretics hold.

This is the first time that I have seen an embracement of orthodoxy that did not accept salvation as an essential doctrine! We ‘still’ consider salvation an essential doctrine of the faith. One who asserts and teaches salvation by works embraces false doctrine! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

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Titus 3:7-11 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
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