Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dialogue on John 6:44 with oldtruth.com

Jim writes: "I'd love to interact with you on all of things on your website, as time allows. Your page on John 6:44 for example, is one of the best 'cart before the horse' examples of eisegesis that I've seen."

Jim also writes: "The scriptural claims made on it are false. And that's not your only page like that, by a long shot. For a detailed commentary on John 6 - see this page. "

I invite you to clarify.

Here are links to John 6:37 and John 6:44.

90 comments:

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

I have a proposal for you. I'll be happy to discuss John 6 with you on this page of your blog, if you'll agree to the following:

1) This will be a discussion about what scripture says, and not about "what Calvin says". I have no interest in defending his (or any other dead theologian's) point of view. So in other words, I would be representing my own point of view as it relates to John 6. Likewise, you would confine your side of the discussion to what YOU believe John 6 is saying according to your Arminian view.

2) When we get done discussing this passage, you'll cut and paste both sides of our entire discussion at the bottom of your page at: http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

How about it?

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

Sounds fair to me.

Here are the two passages under discussion:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_37.html

The main premise of what I had written was that those whom the Father had given His Son were His own sheep (i.e. John the Baptist, Nathaniel, Simeon, ect.), coming to know the Father through "Moses and the Prophets" (Luke 16:31), such that these were then drawn by the Father to His Son in order to be brought into His Son's flock in a transfer of sheep, just as John the Baptist had stated, "He must increase; I must decrease." (John 3:30) These the Father gave (v.37) and drew (v.44) to His Son, that is, those whom God was their Father (John 8:42), being His true disciples who had "heard and learned from the Father" (John 6:45) through "Moses and the Prophets." (Luke 16:31) I contend that the reason why they infallibly "all" came to the Son to become His was not due to irresistible Regenerative Grace but rather, due to the natural consequence of what Jesus said: "If God were your Father, you would love Me." (John 8:42) Jesus didn't say may, or might, or possibly, but an absolutely affirmative, "would".

I further contend that God, having given and drawn these to His Son to completion, the Son, since the cross, now is the One who alone does the drawing, of all men unto Himself through the world-wide preaching of the Gospel. (John 12:32)

In closing (and I must add this, even if it is off-subject, only because it very relevant to Total Inability), I do not believe that Ezekiel 36:26 explicitly teaches that men receive a new heart preemptively in order to repent, but that on the basis of 2Cor 5:17, receive that new heart solely in Christ through faith in Him, such that when the Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:8), pricks (Acts 26:14), pierces (Acts 2:37) and opens hears to respond to the Gospel (Acts 16:14), it is not upon the new heart, but upon the old heart which kicks against the goads (Acts 26:14), such by Free Grace, not Free Will, can a man with the old, rotten, unregenerate heart surrender to Christ in repentance through the power of the "living and active" Gospel (Heb 4:12), through which we receive "faith." (Romans 10:17)

If you wish to briefly stray from John 6 in order to make what you feel is an essential point, feel free to do so.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

My first question to you is this. It should be a pretty short answer ("yes "or "no" would do nicely).

John 6:44a says: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws HIM". So we see that there is a group of people within humanity that is drawn by the Father.

John 6:44b (the second half of that verse) says: "And I will raise HIM up on the last day." And we see in this second part of the verse that there is a group of people that are raised on the last day.

Do you agree that all those HIM's in verse 44a end up being 44b raised HIM's on the last day?

Note: I understand that you feel that there is a limited scope of Jews for this passage, and that you also feel that there is a process that goes on (teaching, etc) that is involved. But when all is said and done, my question still stands, do the 44a HIM's all become 44b HIM's.

If you say yes, then I will proceed forth assuming that you feel that the 44a and 44b groups contain the same exact set of people (whoever they may be). If you say no, I will assume then that you feel the 44b group is a smaller subset of 44a.

By the way, I contend that these two groups are the same set of people and thus the two groups are the same size.

Chad said...

"We might also ask, if this giving involved sovereign predestination, why is there no mention of it?, and why is there no mention of an eternal decree? Predestination had nothing to do with it."

Hi Richard, my name is Chad. I'll deal just with your comment on John 6:37 for now. You ask why there is no mention of predestination. Well, there is. The only way you can hang on to your question is to isolate scripture from itslef. Paul teaches us quite clearly predestination. Eph 1:4-5

"4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us [2] for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will"

Also 1 Peter 1:1

1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

"To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:"

This says quite clearly that they are elect according to God's forenknowlege. How do we define God's foreknowledge? Did he look down the corridore of time? No. IF that were so then God would not have all knowledge. There must have been a time when He didnot know somehting and had to learn. This only leads us to open theism. Acts 2 will help us to define foreknowledge.

"23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men."

God planned the crucifixion of Jesus. He didnot simply look down the corridore of time to see that men would do this. He planned it and ordained it and caused it to come to pass. So too does God save all whom he calls. See Romans 8.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

My point is that since there is no mention of an eternal decree in the context of John 6:37, the meaning of the passage therefore may not necessarily have anything to do with an eternal decree. The fact that an eternal decree is missing from the passage, means that you are left with having to do some inferring.

As for Foreknowledge: Consider Matthew 11:20-25 and Luke 10:13. If God’s knowledge is based upon what He decrees, then what do you make of these two passages which shows that God knows what would have come to pass, though had not come to pass? Arminianism explains it from the perspective of “Middle Knowledge.” Furthermore, Arminianism does not teach that God looks through a crystal ball, but rather God stands independent of time, such that the future is actually the past to him. As an illustration, God both knows the day of your death, but is also there right now listening to you. Arminianism teaches that God’s knowledge is infinite and timeless, such that there is neither space nor time which can hide from Him. No crystal balls here. Arminians further contend that God’s knowledge of the future no more determines the future than man’s knowledge of the past, determines the past. Arminians contend that foreknowledge doesn’t create the future, but knows the future as if it were the past because it cannot hide from Him, such that God is not waiting to catch up with time, but that for time to catch up with Him, which it cannot, since He is an eternal, timeless being.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

You’ve proposed 3 questions:

Your wrote: “So we see that there is a group of people within humanity that is drawn by the Father.”

1) Yes, which I've interpreted as the true Jewish sheep of the Father who have made God their Father according to John 8:42.

You wrote: “Do you agree that all those HIM's in verse 44a end up being 44b raised HIM's on the last day?”

2) Yes, each of the 44a Him's (true Jews) become 44b Him's insomuch as they are raised up on the last day.

You wrote: “But when all is said and done, my question still stands, do the 44a HIM's all become 44b HIM's.”

3) Yes, all of the 44a Him’s (true Jews) become 44b Him’s (raised).

However, do the 44b Him’s constitute all who are ever raised? Realize that Jesus was only speaking to the Jews. Jesus went on to say to these Jews, “I have other sheep [presumably Gentiles]...I must bring them also [Jesus does the drawing post resurrection per John 12:32]…become one flock [raised, adding to the Jewish group of 44b Him’s].” (John 10:16)

You are correct in assuming that I feel that the 44a and 44b groups contain the same exact set of people, which by my interpretation was the true Jews.

The question for you is: Can it be proven that only the 44b Him’s are raised? If it could, then I would infer that the Gentiles would be left out of God’s plan.

44a = 44b, and 10:16 adds an additional group to 44b

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

In addition to the comment above, I gather that you were suggesting that since only 44b are raised, and since some Gentiles are raised too, this must place Gentiles within 44a as well. However, my point asks you to prove that 44b represents the only people that will ever be raised. That would be essential for your logic to avoid a dead end.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

You say that those that the Father draws in John 6:44a relates only to "the true Jewish sheep of the Father who have made God their Father according to John 8:42".

We see Jesus saying in the context of John 6 that "All that the Father gives me will come to me" (v. 37) and "no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (v. 65). And of course there is the drawing and raising of verse 44. When we read things like "no one can come unless" - it would seem to apply to mankind in general, but you insist on restricting the scope of this entire John 6 passage to a certain set of Jews.

Allow me to ask you this question, when you read the Sermon on The Mount, do you use this same restriction there as well? In other words, do you tell yourself that Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on The Mount was just for certain Jews of that time period of whom He was addressing, or do you believe that Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on The Mount is also for you today? If you believe that it's also applicable for you today, why do you not restrict the scope to "audience only" (or the people of that time) there, but over here in John 6 you insist that Jesus is only talking about people in that time period?

Lastly, when you teach a new believer how to read their bible, how do you explain to them which of Jesus' instructions are for them, versus which of them were only for the Jews of that time. If your answer is, anything before the cross (before Jesus is lifted up) is for only the Jews of that time, doesn't that make a huge amount of the Gospels unnecessary for them to heed and follow? Please explain.

Examining Calvinism said...

I cannot agree that the matter of the drawing makes a "huge amount of the Gospels unnecessary."

Nevertheless, Jim, you can prove me wrong, by proving yourself right. For example, if you can just find one example, post Calvary, where it is clearly shown that it is the Father presently doing the drawing, then you can prove your case.

However, the only thing that I can think of is Jesus knocking (Rev 3:20), and whether you infer that is of the lost Laodiceans, or in a more general sense to all men, Jesus appears to be the One doing the drawing there. Jesus persued Paul (Acts 26:14), opened Lydia's heart (Acts 16:14), ect. There is also the involvement of the Holy Spirit with Phillip/Eunich and Peter/Cornelious.

Although perhaps an argument from silence, is it not odd that IF the Father is still drawing, that there is no reference, post Calvary, that He still does so? Evidence of Jesus drawing, post Calvary, is plain to see. Evidence of the Helper's shepharding is also plain to see. But no mention of the Father still drawing?, yet it is insisted that He does still draw? And why would the Son be the One drawing, per Jn 12:32, if the Father is still drawing? What would be the point of duplication? That's why I believe that the Arminian explanation has better grounding, because it explains the purpose in the two drawings, and the purpose of the Father's draw to His Son: "He must increase." Personally, I think that John 6:37, 44 has nothing to do with either Calvinism or Arminianism, and that a more relevent discussion is Romans 9.

Chad said...

Richard, are you seeking to make a rigid dicotomy between the Father and the Son, Christ said if you have seen me you have seen the Father(John 14:7-9) and that Christ can only do the will of the Father(John 14:10).
Christ has already established that none can come to him accept the father draw him(John 6:44). So at each example of one coming to faith in Christ we know that Father drew him. Pretty easy. As far as John 12:32 you cannot seek to set that passage against John 6:44. We must seek to find their harmony.

May I ask you Richard; this may help me to understand your frame of reference pertaining to these discussions. Are you a Dispensationalist? It is my observation that you might be. If so then I think I see where you are coming from. I used to be a Dispensationalsit and the hermeneutical approach to scripture between that system and Covenant thelolgy is quite a bit differrent. Knowing the answer here may help me to address your specific questions more accuratley. The docrtine of election may not really be the place for us to be dialoguing at the present time(although I am willing to continue this discussion). The matter of how we differ in our interpretation of the bible as a whole may be the real issue.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

I confess that I do not know what Dispensationalism teaches.

My view: The Father drew His true Jewish sheep (6:44), and Jesus now draws the “other sheep” [Gentiles]. (12:32) These will become one flock, but not to the detriment of God’s promises to Israel. Perhaps that may disqualify me from Dispensationalism.

You wrote: “Christ has already established that none can come to him accept the father draw him (John 6:44). So at each example of one coming to faith in Christ we know that Father drew him.”

I believe that the reference to “none” at 6:44 had relevance until the time that Jesus said that He would be the One doing the drawing.

Regardless, all you would need is just 1 example, perhaps in Acts, where the Father is said to be drawing someone to His Son, and it’s GAME OVER for my explanation. However, IF none can be shone, except more examples of Jesus drawing (Acts 26:14, Acts 16:14, Rev 3:20), then my argument is bolstered.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

By the way, if you wish to discuss the Doctrine of Election, we can address it on a new Blog post, but first, turn to 1st John 2:24 and note the reference to "in the Son" and "in the Father". Cross examine what "in the Father" means, and its bearing on Reformed Election. My allegation was that "in the Father" is the true essense of Reformed Election, such that being chosen in the Father was the primary election, and that being chosen in Christ (Eph 1:4) was a secondary Election. Mu allegation is that any discussion on Reformed Election apart from a basis of being eternally chosen in the Father, is a fundamentally deficient view of Reformed Election.

Review the following link and then we can come back to Election when this discussion on 6:44 is complete.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/CalvinistElection.html

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

Please answer my previous question about who the Sermon on The Mount pertains to. See above. I'll wait for your answer on that.

Examining Calvinism said...

You wrote: “Allow me to ask you this question, when you read the Sermon on The Mount, do you use this same restriction there as well? In other words, do you tell yourself that Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on The Mount was just for certain Jews of that time period of whom He was addressing, or do you believe that Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on The Mount is also for you today? If you believe that it's also applicable for you today, why do you not restrict the scope to ‘audience only’ (or the people of that time) there, but over here in John 6 you insist that Jesus is only talking about people in that time period?”

As we would both agree, The Sermon on The Mount is for all men, for all time, and as such, there is no basis for restricting it. However, I argue that there is indeed a basis at John 6:44 if Jesus is taking over the drawing duties when He is lifted up (Jn 12:32). The “none” in that draw would reasonably lose relevance if a change in operation takes place, and the Son takes over the drawing, and that being of the “other sheep.” My interpretation is that Jesus was explaining to the Jews why they were not believing in Him, because the Father did not draw them to Him, and He did not draw them, because they were not His, despite their claims to the contrary. I feel that Jesus was telling them that they were not right with God, though they thought they were. I feel that this also explains John 10:26.

You wrote: “Lastly, when you teach a new believer how to read their bible, how do you explain to them which of Jesus' instructions are for them, versus which of them were only for the Jews of that time. If your answer is, anything before the cross (before Jesus is lifted up) is for only the Jews of that time, doesn't that make a huge amount of the Gospels unnecessary for them to heed and follow? Please explain.”

The instructions are for them, unless there is reason to believe something has changed. A new believer may say, “The Father draws?” And then a helper clarifies, “Keep reading. Since Calvary, Jesus now does the drawing. That had to do with the Jews, and was especially meaningful for why they were not believing in Jesus, that is, because they didn’t believe in the Father either, though they thought they did.”

Examining Calvinism said...

I've taken down the article on Pastor Jody. My intent was not to offend, but to caution. Obviously, there is no comparison in embracing Reformed Theology vs the WT. My concern was in recalling JW conversions where I heard similar themes, but worst of all, once in, or even close to committing to the WT, new converts would cease all objective counter-research, and the thought troubled me that this particular RT convert might similarly cease objective research, on the basis that he "used to be an Arminian" and therefore there is no need to further research that position because he "used to believe that stuff." The whole purpose of my website is to offer a free source of comparative theology in order to stimulate deeper study and counter research. I would rather have a multitude of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes than to have out-right misrepresentations or un-Christlike tone. Well reasoned inference are fair game, but only if well tempered. Describing the doctrine of Reprobation as the doctrine of divine abortion might be over the top. The website needs a lot of editting, and I'm still in the very early stages, but the discussions that have take place thus far bodes well for content improvement and balance.

Chad said...

Richard, You say that John 6 is the Father drawing the Jews and that John 12 is Christ drawing the "other sheep(gentiles). What will you do then with John 10:2,16. Here Jesus calls not only the Jews verse 2, but also says that he must also bring the "other sheep", verse 16. Here Jesus is calling both Jews and Gentiles long before John 12. Perhaps you will contend that since the word "draw" is not in the text then we are not addressing "drawing". Then I sahll apply your hermeneutic to Acts 16 and your interpretation of the converion of Lydia.(yourposting December 28th 2006, 7:29pm.)

Who is the "Lord" who opened Lydia's heart? The Father or the Son. If you say Son then you separate the Son from the Father, if you say Father, then you have just shot yourself in the foot. If you contend that "Lord" means "Son" then how did you come to this conclusion? The text doesn't say "Son" or "Christ" or "Jesus", it says "Lord" and the overwheling number of appearances of the word "Lord" in the scripture do not make a distinction between the Father or the Son so why should you? Do you see the point? Christ is the expressed image of the Father Heb 1:3, and if we see the Son we see the Father John 14:7-9.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

John 10:16: Jesus explains to the Jews that Jesus has other sheep (Gentiles) and that He must call (draw) them also. This He did not do during His ministry, but rather, did through Paul. (Acts 9:15) Although Jesus had briefly met with the Samaritans (John 4), the ministry to the Gentiles would not take place until after Calvary when He would draw all men of every nation in a world-wide out-reach. (Mattt 28:19, John 12:32)

Acts 16:14: "The Lord" is a reference to Jesus. (John 21:7; Acts 5:14; 7:59; 9:28, ect.)

Examining Calvinism said...

Jesus was sent to the house of Israel:

Jesus said: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)

Post Calvary, Jesus drew the Gentiles through Paul:

Acts 9:15 "But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel."

2Tim 4:17: "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth."

All of this is consistent with what I've said about John 6:44, 10:16 and 12:32.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

Ok, so I think I'm getting a little better understanding of where you are coming from. I will summarize your position (correct me if I'm misrepresenting you on any of it), and then I will ask you some questions:

1) Jesus makes directives and commands for everyone throughout the gospels, and these (such as the sermon on the mount) are not only for the Jewish audience of the day, but also for us today.

2) You disqualify John 6 as being for us today however, because you feel that (the larger scope of) the drawing in John 12:32 forces John 6 into a "for the Jews of that time only" audience. You insist that John 6 can only be understood by us today, by bringing John 12:32 into consideration. You also insist that the "all" of John 12:32 means everyone, everywhere, in every time. And you attach great pivotal significance to the Father being the one drawing in John 6, versus the Son doing the drawing in John 12, even though we know that "the Son can do nothing of his own accord" (John 5:19).

3) In order to understand why these Jews did come to belief, you look outside of John 6 to answer that question, citing a host of other passages such as John 8:42. The teaching that the Father's giving, drawing, enabling, is the first cause of belief (as is clear here in John 6) you insist can not be the case, therefore you enlist help from scriptures outside the immediate context.

First off, let me make an observation here, comparing your interpretation of John 6 to mine. I am allowing John 6 to speak for itself, where as you are jumping all over the place (outside the immediate context) to import verses into your interpretation. Let the reader ask themselves, why is Richard doing this? Is he avoiding a conclusion that John 6 makes on it's own? Yes, John 6 is part of a larger book and bible context, but the reader should ask, what mandates that an interpreter look outside of the immediate context in order to explain what is going on? Clearly, in allowing himself to do so, Richard has changed the whole meaning and outcome of this passage.

This entire section of John 6 is an explanation as to why some still don't believe, even though they have seen the son of man. The reason is, the unbelieving ones have not been given to the Son by the Father. They have not been drawn by the Father. And as verse 65 further demonstrates, nobody can come unless they are enabled by the Father.

Question for Richard: In verse 37 we can think of "coming" as "believing in". When Jesus says "All that the Father gives me will come to me", which action is first in the temporal order? The "giving" or the "coming" (believing)?

We are now forced to talk about John 12:32, since Richard has made it a linchpin for understanding John 6.

Question for Richard: You earlier agreed that all of those who are drawn in John 6:44a are raised in John 6:44b. This is acceptable to you in that passage, because you agree that the drawing is not universal in scope, and only applies to a subset of humanity. Since you insist that the John 12:32 drawing happens to everybody, what conclusion does that leave us with then - when we consider the reality of "all drawn are raised"? Doesn't that mean that everybody will be saved then? That's the heresy of Universalism. Or are you going to say that "all drawn are raised" is only for John 6 but not John 12?

The fact of the matter is, John 12:32 is not talking about every last man on earth who lives, has lived, or will live, being drawn. First of all, logic defies this. There were already people in hell by the time Jesus went to the cross. Secondly, the context of John 12 demonstrates that Jesus is talking about "all without distinction" and not "all without exception". So, in the verses of John 12 leading up to verse 32 there is discussion of whether salvation is just for the Jews or whether gentiles will be allowed in as well. Jesus answers in verse 32 by telling them it's ALL men (Jews and Gentiles); in other words - not just Jews only.

Scott O. said...

Richard:

The attempt to show a transfer of sheep between the Father and Son based on John 3:30 is tenuous at best. The context of this verse is not to show that those that are being baptized by John the Baptist are being transferred but to address the jealousy that some of his followers felt of Jesus having greater crowds. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were baptizing for the remittance of sins. The synoptic gospels in Mat 3:3, Mar1:3 & Luk 3:4 quote Isa 40:3 that John the Baptist is the “A voice cries out, ‘In the wilderness clear a way for the LORD; construct in the desert a road for our God.” John the Baptist’s followers are not his followers but the followers of God both of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist proclaims this in Joh 3:31-36 ”He that cometh from above is above all…The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand.” and Mar 1:7-8 ”He proclaimed, ‘One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” These are not the statements of a man that believes that any followers of his belong to him but are one of a man who realizes that God’s place for him is as a clarion of the Christ. Joh 3:22-23 Jesus is baptizing in the same vicinity of John the Baptist. Joh 3:25-26 A dispute about the fact that Jesus has greater crowds. Joh 3:27 John the Baptist replies “No one can receive anything unless it has been given him from heaven” Joh 3:28 He affirms that he is not the Christ. Joh 3:29 He recognizes and is happy in his place as a friend of the bridegroom. Jesus’ success is his success and by inference his followers success if they are friends of the bridegroom (Christ). Joh 3:30 The KJV translates this verse “He must increase but I must decrease.” but it is better translated as the NET does “He must become more important as I become less important.” This translation is better because the Greek word elattoo which is translated decrease actually means to lessen in rank or influence (see Strongs 1642) This is not referring to transferring those who were baptized by John the Baptist and his followers to Christ for they were all followers of God and Christ. It is preparing his followers for the diminishment of his ministry and the rising prominence of Christ’s ministry. For soon John the Baptist’s ministry is to be extinguished by Herod as John noted in Joh 3:24 that John the Baptist had not been thrown into prison yet. Therefore John 3:30 does absolutely nothing to bolster your interpretation of John 6:44 and 37.

Examining Calvinism said...

You wrote: “Question for Richard: When Jesus says ‘All that the Father gives me will come to me’, which action is first in the temporal order? The ‘giving’ or the ‘coming’ (believing)?

Answer: the giving of these to His Son precedes their coming to His Son. The basis for the Father giving these to His Son, is because they were His to give, namely those who had “heard and learned” from Him (John 6:45) and had made “God” their Father. (John 8:42)

You wrote: “Or are you going to say that "all drawn are raised" is only for John 6 but not John 12?

Answer: Yes, the drawn of 6:44 results in being raised, because they were already the Father’s, which is the whole point, having “heard and learned” from Him (John 6:45), having made “God” their Father (John 8:42), while the drawing of John 12:32 does not necessarily result in being raised (and hence no connection to raising in 12:32), since that drawing was Jesus bringing His other sheep, the Gentiles. (10:16) Two drawings, two distinct purposes.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

If I understood you correctly, you intend "increase" to mean "importance." I think that the NET version butchers John 3:30 on account of the "increase" (3:30) is based upon the shear numbers of those who were now coming to Jesus instead of John. (3:26)

If you don't mind, I've added a "summary" to my writeup on John 6:44. If you would ablige, please consider viewing the "summary" (in lime green at the base of the page)

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

You may offer your feedback on the whole of that summary.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

Just to piggyback on my response to the question in your previous post, the drawing of 6:44 was the Drawing of the Saved, to the extent that the OT Patriarchs like like Moses, David, Abraham, John the Baptist, Simeon, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Zacharias, ect., could be saved, which is actually morel ike a protective custody in Abraham's Bosom. (Luke 16:22, 25) Obviously, I'm not comparing them to NT believers in Christ. But my point is that the drawing of 6:44 is the drawing of those who had made "God" their Father, having heard and learned from Him (6:45), through Moses and the prophets. (Luke 16:31)

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard said: "The basis for the Father giving these to His Son, is because they were His to give, namely those who had “heard and learned” from Him (John 6:45) and had made “God” their Father. (John 8:42)"

Richard, please demonstrate how John 8:42 teaches that they "MADE God" their father. The very next verse says "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word." and verse 47 says "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”"

But you seem to be insisting that people that are described that way CAN be taught of God, and can be convinced to make a decision to make God their Father. We all start off in that "don't understand / don't hear" condition, and Richard espouses that man can be taught to make God their father while still in that condition.

Question for Richard: How can you justify that position when verse 47 clearly says that the reason they don't hear is that they are not of God, and they don't understand (John 8:43)? How does someone get taught (John 6:45) if they don't hear or understand?

For the reader:
I contend that an unbeliever must first be made a child of God, by God, and THEN they will begin hearing and understanding and will become teach-able. The burden of proof is on Richard to prove from these passsages that he has selected, that someone can "make God" their father while in that "don't hear / don't understand" condition. I also continue to underscore the fact that we have strayed into discussion that is outside the context of John 6 when there is no need for us to do so in order to understand what John 6 is telling us. Richard's interpretation of John 6 requires this, mine does not.

Chad said...

Richard, you haven't addressed John 10:2, in the parabel the illustration is clear that Jesus is the one calling the Jews or the flock from the house of Isreal yet you contend that that does not heappen until John 12. In regards to Acts 16 are you contending that "Lord" in the Old Testament is different from "Lord" in the new? If so you seem to be inadvertantly following a form of modalism.

Also in Acts 2 you have Peter calling the house of Isreal post calvary. Nearly everyone in the early church was a Jew until Peter is summoned to Cornelius. It is in point of fact Peter who begins the ministry to the gentiles, not Paul(Acts 10). In fact the Holy spirit is given to the Gentiles thorugh Peter's ministry (Acts 10:44). Paul does not begin his minisrty until Acts 13. Your division of who is doing what is entirely inaccurate. You must harmonize that with your interpretaion of John 12, which quite frankly cannot be done with out alot of hermeneutical hopscotch on your part.
What you have done is erect a rigid dicotomy between national Isreal and the Church which violates Romans 4 and Galatians 3 where we are taught that those who belong to Isreal are those who beleive in Christ, not those who are born Jewish. This dicotomy is coloring the way in which you view scripture as a whole, and to answer the comment on the earlier post, this is a Dispensationalist doctrine which incedently is a doctrine not taught in the whole of Church history until the 1800's. The man who came up with this dicotomy betewwn Isreal and the Church is John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren some time in the 1800's. If you hold to this view then you must contend that no one had proper understanding of the New Testament for at least 1800 years. And that idea, frankly just doesnot hold much water.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

You wrote: “please demonstrate how John 8:42 teaches that they "MADE God" their father. The very next verse says "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word." and verse 47 says "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.””

Answer: Those of 8:41 did not make God their Father, which was Jesus’ point at 8:42. They refused God’s Word through Moses, whom they claimed to serve. (9:28) Jesus presents the solution in that IF they had made God their Father, then they would not have rejected His Son, and would instead have been among those who, like Nathaniel (1:49), being of the Father, being taught of the Father (6:45), being the Father’s own, were drawn by the Father to His Son. (6:44)

You wrote: “How can you justify that position when verse 47 clearly says that the reason they don't hear is that they are not of God, and they don't understand (John 8:43)? How does someone get taught (John 6:45) if they don't hear or understand?”

Answer: Those in 8:42 who did not make God their Father, were not “of God” (8:47), and hence do not hear His “words.” (8:47) In contrast, “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” (6:45) Again, these are the Father’s sheep which are drawn by the Father to His Son in order to be His followers now.

IF you are asking me how anyone at all in the OT could make God their Father, according to John 8:42, Abraham answers: "They have Moses and the Propehts; let them hear them." (Luke 16:29)

Scott O. said...

Richard:

Nothing in your lime green summary makes Joh 3:30 mean what you wish it to. I can appreciate you not liking the NET translation but it better fits the Greek in this instance than the KJV. But you can look at the NIV which translates the Greek to “He must become greater; I must become less” The verb increase is auxano which means to grow or enlarge (Strongs 837). As I stated before the verb decrease is elattoo means to lessen in rank or influence. “He must increase” is not referring to the number of followers but to the scope of influence or rank which is clarified by the use of the verb elattoo in the second half of the sentence “I must decrease (in rank or influence)” The verse says nothing of transferring followers between John the Baptist to Jesus or for that matter within the context of the whole chapter there is no reference to a transfering of sheep between the two. In addition this translation of the verse better fits the context of the remaining verses in 31-36 where John the Baptist puts his own scope of influence or rank in perspective with that of ”He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (NKJV for your benefit) In addition some of the manuscripts and translators have verse 30 as the beginning and part of John the Baptist’s soliloquy in verses 31-36 which makes a great deal more sense than your hermeneutic method of attempting to force the meaning to be applied to a transfer of followers between them. Again since this verse seems to be the lynch pin in your interpretation of John 6:37 and 44 it is not much of a lynch pin and is in fact non-existent.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

To break it down even further:

Those who did what Abraham said at Luke 16:29, were the Father's OT flock, and following John the Baptist. From John the Baptist, these were now coming to the Son in droves (3:26) because John the Baptist had indicated that He must increase, on account of the plan of the Father to draw His own to His Son. You go from the Father's to the Son's, and those who had not come to the Son, was because they were not the Father's and because they did not lsiten to Moses, whom they claimed to serve (9:28), and as such MOSES will be the one to condemn them.

Jesus says: "Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would beleive Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not beleive is writings, how will you believe My wrds?" (5:45-48)

That spells it out in black & white.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

You wrote: "In regards to Acts 16 are you contending that "Lord" in the Old Testament is different from "Lord" in the new?"

I contend that the same Jesus as "the LORD JHVH" in the burning bush, is none other than Jesus Himself. I contend that Acts 16:14 is Jesus being there called, the Lord. The most clear example is John 12:37; Is 6:1, which is what I use to prove that the Jesus of the NT is the JHVH of the OT.

As already mentioned, I do not claim to be a Dispensationalist, nor do I take anything away from the promises of God toward Israel.

As for John 10:2, please place your objection in the form of a question, so that I know exactly what point you intend to make.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

How am I forcing the meaning of "He must increase; I must decrease" (Jn 3:30) when 3:26 explicitly defines the "increase" as "all are coming to Him"? How can you suggest that all coming are not in fact, the sum total of the increase? What you call tenious and non-existent, I call explicit and cut & dry.

Scott O. said...

Richard:

Just because you call it cut and dry does not make it is so. There is no connection between 3:26 and 3:30 “explicitly” in the manner you have cited. Just because one sentence discusses all are coming to one it does not follow that a succeeding sentence is discussing the same all when an increase is referenced. For instance I can tell you that all my customers go to the competition. In a succeeding sentence I can state that my competition’s stature has increased and my stature has decreased. The interrelation of those concepts exists in the context of the paragraph or the facts that made or caused each of the circumstances to occur. My competition may have a better product which causes them to have more customers. My competition may have more awards and degrees that increase their stature which in turn causes more customers to go to them. I may have been purchased by a competitor and that may make my customers to see my stature as decreased. Anyone of a myriad of factors may come into play to move the customers to my competition both implicit and explicit within the context of the paragraph.

To answer your first question “How you are forcing the meaning?” Lets go back to Joh 3. In verse 25-26 “Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” These verses are pointing a certain jealousy of John the Baptist’s followers over Jesus having larger crowds. John answers 27-29 “John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” We can both agree that verse 27 refers to all of his followers and everything else are given to him from heaven whether they are many or few. But the discussion shifts by John the Baptist to rank, position, influence or importance when he uses the analogy of a bridegroom and his friend. John then moves on to verse 30-36 where he further clarifies his rank or position in relation to Christ. I have shown that in the previous post but I reiterate some of it again below.

You ask “How can you suggest that all coming are not in fact, the sum total of the increase?” Easily, because the increase that John the Baptist is discussing in verse 30 is the changing of the guard in rank or influence not the numbers of people being baptized in the original question to John from his disciples in verse 26. As I stated previously the increase of Joh 3:30 is tied to the decrease and is clarified by the verb elattoo. We can tie these two facts or portions of sentences because they exist in the same sentence. The sentence clarifies itself. It does not relate to the fact in verse 26 that Jesus’s crowds are greater than John the Baptist’s except as an explanation of John the Baptist’s reduction in influence. His purpose and ministry is coming to its fulfillment per Isa 40:3-6 and Jesus ministry is gearing up to fulfill more of the prophesies.

Again as stated previously John the Baptist is not transferring his disciples or followers to Christ. The followers are already owned by the Triune God which is what John the Baptist is stating to his disciples. This should be plainly evident to you by the entire context of versus 22-36 along with his statements in Mar 1:7-8. The connection that you are attempting to make along with the interpretation just does not exist.

Examining Calvinism said...

You wrote: "The connection that you are attempting to make along with the interpretation just does not exist."

Picture a multitude of people coming to John the Baptist to be bapized by him. They include Romans, Levites, all sorts, and they are asking him questions: "Then what shall we do? (Luke 3:10, 12, 14) John the Baptist had an enormous ministry, and while I agree with you that the coming of Christ means the lessening of John's significance, you are denying a larger truth in that people are now being directed to Jesus, as the multitudes come to Him. John's followers begin leaving him, to follow Jesus. This is every bit as much of the truth as "He must increase; I must decrease." (John 3:30) You have not in the slightest, disproven this. But you have exposited an additional truth. Therefore, you are using one truth to overthrow another.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

A perfect example is John 1:35-37. John the Baptist was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God!' And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus."

Clearly, they went from John's disciples to being Jesus' disciples. All are coming to Him, now. He must increase. I must decrease. I repeat my allegation that you are trying to use one truth to overthrow another. John both diminished in importance, as well as the fact that his disciples, his followers, his crowds, now were turning to Jesus. How can you deny these things?

Scott O. said...

Richard:

First, when you ask me to “[p]icture a multitude of people coming to John the Baptist” I can only think about the slippery slope we can get ourselves on when we start to use our imagination when we exegete scriptural texts.

Second, I am not ignoring or denying the fact that disciples of John the Baptist are moving over to Jesus. What I am disputing is your assertion that the disciples of John the Baptist are owned by him and that they are transferred to Jesus like some sort of legal tender. The disciples and followers of John the Baptist are followers of the Trinity searching for the Messiah. He states this eloquently in Joh 3:31-36 ”He that cometh from above is above all…The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand.” and Mar 1:7-8 ”He proclaimed, ‘One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John the Baptist’s disciples are searching for the Christ that is why he has no issue with sending them directly to the source of their search as you pointed out in Joh 1:35-42.

”Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).”

In fact John the Baptist constantly has to tell his own followers along with the Pharisees and anyone else that asks that he is not the Christ. Note that Andrew states that we have found the Messiah which indicates that is who they are searching for. All of John’s disciples and followers are looking for one person and that is the Messiah to deliver them from the hands of the Romans and restore the Davidic kingdom (as they perceived it to be given to them in the prophets but we can discuss this later). They were not some sort of currency that was held by a John the Baptist and at a prearranged time they were transferred to Christ. John the Baptist followers and disciples were never his they were God’s and specifically Chirst’s. Again this is plainly evident in Isa 40 & Joh 3:22-36 which I went through in a previous post.

Lastly, I am not using one truth to overthrow another. I have pointed out that the meaning that you have subscribed to John 3:30 is not what the verse states. The verse in context is speaking directly to the decrease in rank or influence and not the physical change in numbers being baptized by one camp or the other. So the verse does not state what you said it did. You have attached great significance to the change in numbers between John the Baptist and Jesus but have failed to grasp the true significance of the shift. The numbers shift for three reasons.

1. They do not belong to John the Baptist and they are searching for the Messiah. Once He is found they naturally go to whom they have been searching and waiting on for hundreds of years.
2. The waning of John the Baptists influence and his fulfillment of Prophecy.
3. The commencement of Jesus’ ministry and His fulfillment of the OT prophesy in the Messiah.

I cannot reiterate it enough: there was no transfer of sheep between John the Baptist and Jesus. They were always His sheep Joh 3:35.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

You wrote: “John the Baptist followers and disciples were never his they were God’s and specifically Christ’s. ... I cannot reiterate it enough: there was no transfer of sheep between John the Baptist and Jesus. They were always His sheep Joh 3:35.”

I agree that John the Baptist didn’t own the sheep on par with the Father or the Son.

Where we disagree, is that I'm suggesting that John the Baptist is the faithful custodian of the Father's sheep, and next I point to Matt 3:16-17 as the inauguration of the transfer of sheep between the Father and the Son. There, the Father vocally tells His sheep, the faithful of Israel, under the custody of John, that this One, Jesus, is His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased. Then, John’s role as custodian decreases, as you’ve pointed out, and the Father’s flock of faithful Israel, who have been purified by John's baptism, are are drawn by the Father to the Son in order to become His sheep. It is on this basis that I interpret that draw as a transfer.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

In addition to the above, you can say that they were Jesus' sheep all along by virtue of being JHVH of the OT, the angel of the Lord in the burninb bush, but I would not diminish the Father's role in having sent the Son, and having drawn His own to His Son. By alleging that there is no transfer, period, I think that you are diminishing the Father's role.

Chad said...

Ricahrd, my question in regards to John 10:2 is how do you hold that John 12 is the place where Christ becomes the one drawing the Gentiles and John 6 is where the Father just draws the lost sheep of the house of Isreal? In John 10:2 we clearly have Christ drawing the lost sheep of the House of Isreal long beofre John 12. Please explain.

Also you said that Christ called the Gentiles through Paul but as I have already stated in my previous post it was through Peter's minstry in Acts 10 that the Holy Spirit is given to a Gentile church already established, long before Paul. You have made an incorrect distiction between the House of Isreal and the Church. It may have been Paul's primary mission to minister to Gentiles but he also called the "lost sheep" of the House of Isreal after Calvary(Acts 13:16-46). How do you explain this light of your division between Isreal and the Church?

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

One other thing is that if you suggest that the Father was simply drawing Jesus' sheep to Jesus (I'm not saying that you're saying that, but if you are), then how would you explain the fact that the Father "gives" people to His Son? In other words, how can they be Jesus' all along, if they had to be "given" to Him? This is why I see a sheep transfer between the Father and the Son, being described at 6:44, not that it started there. I argeu that it started at Matt 3:16, as mentioned above.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

You wrote: “In John 10:2 we clearly have Christ drawing the lost sheep of the House of Israel long before John 12. Please explain.”

Let's look at the verse again: “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.” The way I see it, it’s merely Jesus contrasting the manner of the true Shepherd vs. the false ones. How do you feel that it's Jesus drawing? The fact is that Jesus said that He would begin drawing after Calvary, i.e. "If I am lifted up."

You wrote: “How do you explain this light of your division between Israel and the Church?”

I don’t think that I am distinguishing between Israel and the Church, but rather, between Jew and Gentile. Also, I agree that, after Calvary, Jesus also called the Jews, and hence, “all men” at John 12:32. Paul initially ministered to the Jews, until they rejected Christ for the last time and he said: "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold,we are turning to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)

Chad said...

Richard, I failed to add verse 3 in with verse 2, my mistake, I was reading the bible on line and missed the verse division but my point still stands. In verse 3 it says "the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." So as I said we clearly have Christ calling "his own" sheep. beofore John 12 yet you contend that Christ is not doing the drawing until John 12. Again, your distinction between cahpters 6 and 12 seem arbitrary. Please explain in this light.

Scott O. said...

Richard:

You state ”I agree that John the Baptist didn’t own the sheep on par with the Father or the Son. Where we disagree, is that I'm suggesting that John the Baptist is the faithful custodian of the Father's sheep” But you can not point to any Scripture that supports that John the Baptist had any ownership or custodianship of God’s sheep. This is just an unsubstantiated assertion on your part. John the Baptist never claims that he has any ownership of his followers. What you have done is taken your interpretation of John 6:37 and 44 and projected it back onto John 3:30, which has been proven to not say what you said it does, to provide yourself with some Scriptural support. In actuality no Scriptural support exists of any ownership or custodianship of God’s sheep by John the Baptist. You have built your interpretation of John 6:37 and 6:44 on a foundation of sand.

In future posts I will work with Jim and Chad to respond to interpretations of John 6:37 and 44. But first I will respond to some of your latest comments. You state that in ”Matt 3:16-17 as the inauguration of the transfer of sheep between the Father and the Son. Here again you make an unsubstantiated assertion or what I would term a speculation based on what you would like the text to state. Let us start at the beginning of the subject purveyed to us by Matthew 3:13-17 ”Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Where is the textual or contextual support for your assertion that this passage institutes in your words an “inauguration of a transfer of sheep from under the custody of John the Baptist (for the Father) to the Son?" There exists none in the text. The fact that the Spirit of God descends to Jesus and the Father publicly recognizes Jesus as His Son it does not follow that there is some transfer of sheep occurring at that moment in time. What is in progress, which we can prove from a myriad of OT & NT texts, is that the new covenant is being revealed and the mediator of the new covenant is Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Next you state “you can say that they were Jesus' sheep all along by virtue of being JHVH of the OT, the angel of the Lord in the burning bush, but I would not diminish the Father's role in having sent the Son, and having drawn His own to His Son. By alleging that there is no transfer, period, I think that you are diminishing the Father's role.” You are mischaracterizing what I stated earlier, what I stated is that there is no transfer of sheep between John the Baptist to Jesus because John the Baptist has no ownership (or what you now call custodianship) of the sheep. They belong to the Triune God. This in no way diminishes the Father’s role in drawing his sheep to himself and turning them over to the Son per Joh 6:37 & 44. We are working our way to your interpretations of those passages because I believe it all starts with what you think and speculate occurs with John the Baptist and his followers. This has been proven in this and previous posts to not support your speculations and interpretations.

Lastly, I agree with Chad that much of what you have espoused is in-line with classical dispensationalism. Let me ask you two questions that could provoke some further thought and discussion. (after we work through 6:37 and 6:44) Could have the Jews accepted Christ as their Messiah? (even though this may have closed the door to us Gentiles) In other words with their free will could the Israelites have accepted Jesus as the Messiah and circumvented His crucifixation? Food for thought, tread carefully.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

Chad,

John 10:3 describes the normal operation of a Shepherd and His sheep. Nevertheless, pre-Calvary, Jesus most certainly called the lost to salvation (As we would both agree), but the drawing was being conducted by His Father. Therefore, it stands to reason that the two are evidentally not the same. The calling is an invitation, while the drawing is something deeper, that is, the preparation to the invitation, and furthermore, 6:44 and 12:32 involve two different types of drawings, with two different effects. 6:44, I’ve interpreted as the drawing of the Father of His own to His Son, while the drawing of the Son, post-Calvary per 12:32, is the drawing of the lost, that is, all of the lost (Jew & Gentiles alike), to Himself. For one, where is the Dispensationalism in that? Two, perhaps you can share what you feel is the difference between calling and drawing, if you believe that there is a different, as I do.

Examining Calvinism said...
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Chad said...

The distinction between John 6 and 12 that you hold is not a dispensational distinction, but other statements you have made are very dispensational. Secondly, you are the fisrt person I've ever heard make such a distinction. Even the most die hard arminian theologians that I am familiar with would not make the disinction that you are making. Is this a distinction that you've learned from someone else or did you glean this on your own?

Your distinction was earlier rooted in that the Jews were the Father's people, (I hope I'm reading you correctly), so in chptr6 the Father is doing it and in Chptr 12 Christ does it becuase then he will call both Jews and Gentiles. You correctly sated that Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isreal but let me test you then with this question. Who drew the Syrophoenician Woman in Mark 7:24-30? The Father or the Son? She is a Gentile and this event takes place somewhere between the end of John 6 and the beginning of John 7.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

I deleted the prior post in order to answer the last question with a question.

However, in terms of your first question: If you had lived in the day of John the Baptist, would you have been baptized by him? Jesus did, and called it necessary. That means, through John the Baptist, you would have been baptized, purified, taught, trained, pointed to Christ and left him to follow Jesus. (John 1:35-37) But by your rules, I’m not allowed to consider that a custodial capacity. Think of it this way: Your pastor may have baptized you, taught you, trained you, and he may be called the guardian of your soul. (Heb 13:17) Similarly, Paul became the father of the Corinthians (1Cor 4:15), but I am not allowed to consider John the Baptist as the guardian or father of the OT faithful whom he baptized and turned over to Christ.

You wrote: “with their free will could the Israelites have accepted Jesus as the Messiah and circumvented His crucifixation? Food for thought, tread carefully.”

I deleted my prior post specifically to answer this with another question. However, 1) Acts 2:23 shows that foreknowledge was involved in the crucifixion, and you are invited to review my write-up on that passage at a later time, 2) Is 6:10 reveals that much of Israel had been hardened due to persistent spurning of God’s grace (Is 65:2), 3) Arminianism teaches free will in conjunction with free grace, so it’s not just a matter of Pelagian free will. That said, let me ask you this: With their free will, could the Babylonians have accepted Jesus as the Messiah?

Examining Calvinism said...
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Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

In answer to where I first read it:

Walls and Dongell explain: “Had they received Moses fully, thereby coming to know the Father to the degree possible at that time, they would have belonged to the Father’s flock, and the Father would have drawn them to the Son. But in rejecting Jesus, they demonstrated that they never surrendered to God in the first place, that they had set their faces like flint against all of his continued overtures. Since they did not belong to the Father’s own flock, they wouldn’t be part of the transfer of sheep already trusting the Father into the fold of the Son (Jn 6:37, 39).” (Why I am Not a Calvinist, p.75)

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

I deleted my prior post to state it differently. It's late.

If the Father draws them, then they get raised [saved]. (6:44) Agreed.

If the Father does not draw them, then they cannot come to Jesus. (6:44) Agreed.

Therefore, the Father is the gatekeeper. Why is it that no one can come to Him, but by the Father’s drawing? The answer is because Israel had been hardened by God's judgment (Is 6:10) due to their persistent rejection of His grace. (Is 65:2) That places them in a different situation than either the Syrophoenician woman or the Samaritans. Therefore, the "no one" of John 6:44, as maintained from the onset of this discussion, had relevance to the Jewish nation to which it was spoken. At John 12:32, Jesus stated that He would draw all men, but what is that to stop Him from drawing some men before that, such as the Syrophoenician woman or the Samaritans?

Chad said...

Richard, your distinction is based on the idea that Christ draws all men only after he is lifted up yet Mark 7 happens long before Christ is lifted up. Here is your statement;
"I believe that the reference to “none” at 6:44 had relevance until the time that Jesus said that He would be the One doing the drawing." (Dec 28th 10:24pm).
So by your reasoning Christ is not drawing until John 12. These are your words. You seem to double back in your last posting though by posing a question as follows:

"At John 12:32, Jesus stated that He would draw all men, but what is that to stop Him from drawing some men before that, such as the Syrophoenician woman or the Samaritans?"

What must stop him according to your hermeneutic is that Christ has not said that he would draw all men to himslef until John 12 and that the Father is drawing only those who belong to the House of Isreal. So who is drawing this Gentile woman? I contend that it is as it says in John 6:44. The Father has drawn her to Christ. Notice Christ does not even call her or evangelize her in Mark 7. Christ actually seems to be discouraging her here. He tells her that it is not right to give the dogs(a racial slur about Gentiles) what belongs to the children(ie. the House of Isreal). It doesn't seem to me that Christ is doing much drawing here. How can your position on John 6&12 fit with what is happening in Mark 7?

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

You wrote: “Christ actually seems to be discouraging her here. He tells her that it is not right to give the dogs (a racial slur about Gentiles) what belongs to the children (i.e. the House of Isreal). It doesn't seem to me that Christ is doing much drawing here.”

First, I don't think that Jesus is discouraging her, but is reflecting the views of His disciples in order to spurn it. When he mentioned the dog comment, likely every one of His disciples nodded their head, yes, in agreement, but Jesus did not agree. Therefore, I believe that Jesus arranged His schedule specifically to have this encounter, so as to shape the attitude of His disciples, which does not affect John 12:32 (also described below).

You wrote: “How can your position on John 6&12 fit with what is happening in Mark 7?”

To clarify, starting with 6:44, God hardened Israel's heart and dulled Israel's eyes. (Isaiah 6:10; John 12:37-41) Therefore, none of them can come to Christ apart from the Hardener (the Father) drawing them. For some, this hardening remained until after the crucifixion, and then some of hardened crucifiers were convicted and repented of their sins. (Acts 2:37)

As for John 12:32, we agree that Jesus was only sent to the Jews (Matt 15:24), and yet He went to the nearby Samaritans anyway. (John 4) My explanation is that the ministry of Matthew 28:19 in which Jesus would draw (12:32) Jews & Gentiles throughout Asia (by the apostles), would not occur until after the resurrection. However, why should that plan preclude a local drawing in Samaria, pre-Calvary? Logically, it shouldn’t, and that’s why I don’t have a problem affirming it.

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

In addition to my two posts above, let me add a third. A "Pastor" baptizes, preaches, trains and answers questions, among many other things. I point those things out because John the Baptist did everyone one of those things on a grand scale. He was the Pastor to the OT faithful, ushering in the coming of the Messiah. Yes, he was a prophet, but will you deny him the role of a Pastor? Then add father. (1Cor 4:15) Then add guardian of souls. (Heb 13:17) What do all of these things add up to the role of John the Baptist in terms of the faithful of Israel as the messanger who clears the way before the Lord. (Mal 3:1) IF you answer that it makes him no more than just a prophet, then I feel that you are being unreasonable, and ask you to reconsider.

Chad said...

Ricahrd, your interpretation of John 12 is that Christ will only draw gentiles when he is lifted up. That's your preminse. Verse 32 reads as follows:

"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

It says he will do this when he is lifted up and you contend that this is a change from the Father drawing people to the Son drawing People.

As far as your interpretation of Christ's attitude toward the woman in Mark 7 I beleive you to be in error here also. He was not saying those thing to her for the sake of his disciples, but to show the woman her utter unworthiness. She replies to him in verse 28:

28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs.”

For this statement Christ grants her request. The attitude of the disciples was clearly not what it should have been but Christ also promises to reciecve all who come to him by faith, regardless of nationality, there is no partiality with God.

I beleive your premise to be entirely false. The whole sheep transfer concept is erronious. There is no transfer of sheep for all that are God's regardless of what time period they lived are also Christ's. For example, Heb 11:24-26:

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

Moses suffered the reproach of Christ. A major teneant of Reformed theology is that all are saved by faith in Christ from Adam to the last. It is the same Christ who saves. He did not start to exist at his incarnation, he always was(John1:1). Surely we now have the complete revelation but their faith was still in the Christ who was at that time the savior who was promised to come. Now our faith is in Christ who has come. This is why we are goin to go around in cirlces. To address only one or two verses without addressing the major foundational differences in our theologies is going to be difficult at best but I will try until I think we've exhausted the issue.

Chad said...

Richard, you said that you took down the page on comparing Pastor Jody's change to Calvinism to a conversion to Jehova's Witnesses but i'm looking at it on line right now. It still seem to be up.

Pator Jody's page

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

As for the Pastor Jody article, only you know that it is there because I had removed the link to it. Click here and you will see:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/Articles.html

I put in its place the "Banned from the Gadfly" article, which did kind of upset me. Yesteray, I invited Gadfly members to come over and participate in this discussion, and Alan forbade my invitation from being posted. That's his right, but many on his cite might also profit from reading good dialogue. (So I'm a little miffed with Alan). And as you can see, I was simply defending Calvin's, Martin Luther's and Erwin Lutzer's "secret will" interpretation of 2nd Peter 3:9, and Alan said that he would ban them too, if they didn't engage his exegesis. Nevertheless, I thought that I had, and if he felt that I hadn't, he should have asked a more pointed question to clarify his point. Neverthess, I have an article on that verse which you can check out later.

As for John 6:44, I have revised me writeup on that article. In the initial dialogue box, I have stated:

Question: Why could no one come to the Son apart from the Father drawing them?

Answer: Because God hardened their hearts and dulled their eyes. (Isaiah 6:9-10; John 12:37-41) Therefore, none of them could come to Christ until the Hardener (the Father) draws them. For some, this didn’t occur until after Calvary. (Acts 2:37) Nevertheless, this hardening was specifically with Israel, and not the Samaritans, and not with the Gentiles of today. And it’s not like this was a big secret. As students of Scripture, the Jews had to be very aware of Isaiah 6:9-10, which Jesus explicitly reminded them at John 12:37-41. John 6:44 is connected to a hardening which neither had anything to do with the Samaritans then, nor the Gentiles today.

We can discuss that further, but first, I want to address your point about John 12:32. We know that Jesus drew the Gentile woman, and we know that He drew the Samaritans. I don't see how that is debatable. Therefore, I infer that the drawing post-Calvary refers to a world-wide mission throughout Asia by the Apostles, but cannot logically exclude a local drawing of the Samaritans. You insist the opposite, but regardless of what I previously said, you still need to provide a logical basis for why a world-wide, post-Calvary drawing would logically a local drawing to Samaria. I would ask you where at John 12:32 does it say that He would begin drawing? Rather, all it says is that when He is lefted up, will draw all men to Himself. Ok, so before that, He did draw the Samaritans, which you still need to prove that that was not a matter of Jesus drawing. So you have some challenges ahead of you.

As for the sheep transfer of Scott's point, I would like to put it to you as well: If you had lived in that day, would you have been baptized by him? Sat under his teaching? Asked him questions? Assisted him? Followed him? Been his disciple? Left him for Jesus when he said so? Don't you see that those are all traits of a Pastor? (Heb 13:17; 1Cor 4:15) My point is that it is undenyable that the Father "gave" people to His Son (John 6:37), and what does that mean except that He passed these to His Son, and pointed them to His Son at Matt 3:17, that is, these whom John Pastored, as the forerunner who makes straight the way of the Lord, whose baptismal ministry was of repentance and preparation for the Lord. These things all seem to be cut & dry to me, but I will certainly listen to your critique, and I appreciate your time in doing so, and I will continue to be here for other arguments that you may wish to raise later.

Examining Calvinism said...

The Pastor Jody page now has a broken link and is compeltely down.

Typo to correct: "You insist the opposite, but regardless of what I previously said, you still need to provide a logical basis for why a world-wide, post-Calvary drawing would logically [*preclude*] a local drawing to Samaria."

In other words, where in Jn 12:32 does it say that that is the first time He would ever draw anyone at all? All it says is that when He is lifted up, will draw "all men." Thus, I argue that it is undenyable that He did draw "some men" prior to that, namely the Samaritans whom He both called and drew to Himself. I would argue that they weren't the Father's to give because Jesus said that salvation comes from the Jews and they were outside the covenance of Israel, hence dogs not sheep, yet even as a dog, Jesus' heart burst when He heard her pleadings, which I maintain was set up for His disciple to specifically to hear in order to show them His heart.

Chad said...

Richard;
Once again it is your original premise that the drawing of John 12 is the point at which Jews and Gentiles would be drawn together and yet we have gentiles being drawn prior to that point. You are the one who has set up the restriction and now you are removing it. There are even gentiles in the Old Testament who are drawn, the Queen of Sheba, Nabuchadnezzar, etc.. Was the Father or the Son drawing them? My point still stands. Christ has told us how it goes at all times in John 6:44. The only way anyone can come to Christ, pre or post Calvary is that if the Father Draws him.
I donot accept the "sheep transfer" idea.

Also you haven't addressed the fact that Christ always existed and therefore all that had faith in God had faith in Christ regardless of when they lived.
I'm going to cease from this debate now, thankyou for your hospitality. May the Lord use this discussion to alow those reading this debate to grow in the knowledge of Christ.

P.S. I can still access the Pator Jody page. Click on the phrase "Pastor Jody's page" at the end of my previous posting and it will take you right to it.

Your's in Christ; Chad

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

When I click on Jody's page, it does not display.

You raise an intriging point about who drew the Queen of Sheba and Nabuchadnezzar. You also raise a terrific point about how to distinguish between the roles of the Father and the Son in the OT. That makes it difficult for me to answer the question. At first glance, I think the Father. If you wish to come back for another visit, I welcome you to address how that might affect my viewpoint.

Yes, you are correct that I did initially contend that Jesus drew no one prior to Calvary, but I have admitted that that point was incorrect, and that He absolutely did draw people prior to that, specifically the woman mentioned, as well as the Samaritans. That leaves you with having to explain where John 12:32 says that He drew no one whatsoever, prior to then. You've not answered how John 12:32 might preclude a prior, local drawing.

As for John 6:44, I understand your view, but I wish that you would also consider the fact that the reason WHY they could not come to Him was precisely because of a hardening (Isaiah 6:10), which we both agree took place. You may still maintain your understanding of Total Inability, but I caution that at 6:44, that statement was relevant to a hardening. You haven't addressed that point yet.

You also didn't answer whether you felt that John the Baptist was qualified to be called the very things that you call your own Pastor, since John also baptized, taught, trained, shepherded. You haven't answered whether that gives him the right to be called a Shepherd. My argument is that you deny John the Baptist, far less what you credit your own Pastor.

Examining Calvinism said...

By the way, if each one of you wishes to give a final word on John 6:44, I will post it directly in my article at the bottom of the page. I have already quoted each of you in my article, so its only fair to offer each of you a final say.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

Scott O. said...

Richard:

You insist on trying to force John the Baptist to fit into various roles or positions to fit your interpretation of John 6:37 and 44. You state ”IF you answer that it makes him no more than just a prophet, then I feel that you are being unreasonable, and ask you to reconsider.” I guess I am going to be unreasonable because I am not the one trying to make John the Baptist fit any position other than the positions he held and revealed by Scripture. John the Baptist did not hold the office of pastor he held the office of priest, by virtue of his father, Zacharias being a priest in the division of Abijah and his mother Elizabeth being a descendant of Aaron (Luk 1:5). John the Baptist specifically held the priesthood of Aaron. The announcement of the angel Gabriel in Luke 1 along with the prophesies of Mal 3:1 and Isa 40 proclaim him also a prophet of God.

Luk 1:13-17 “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Lastly, the office of pastor was not instituted until much later during the early new covenant church after the execution of John the Baptist during the apostolic period. You are again trying to take disparate Scriptural texts and projecting your speculations and assertions onto them. My gut feeling is you are grasping at things and throwing them at us to attempt to make your transfer of sheep speculation stick. Again you can point to no Scripture that substantiates either that John the Baptist had any ownership of the sheep or that there was a transfer a sheep from John the Baptist to Jesus. Again as stated and proved earlier this is because he had no ownership of the sheep or followers to transfer.

You have misconstrued my purpose for my question to you “In other words with their free will could the Israelites have accepted Jesus as the Messiah and circumvented His crucifixation?” as being primarily about free will but that is not primarily what I am probing for with the question. I am more interested in the way you are separating into specific time periods ala classical dispensationalism. Let me ask the question more specifically; could the Jews at any point in Jesus’ ministry have accepted Jesus as their Messiah and circumvented the crucifixation? When you fully answer that question I shall answer yours, but if I were you I would spend some time formulating your answer. We can table it for now if you wish and address it at a later time.

Chad said...

Fair enough Richard, I'll answer your question about John the Baptist then I'm done. He's not a pastor period. No where in the whole of scripture has he ever been attributed with such an office and I won't waste time repeating what Scott O. has so skillfully explained about John the Baptist as revealed by scripture. Even if he was a pastor, a pastor does no transferring of sheep between the Father and the Son. In all of the descriptions of a pastor's role as described in the bible they are never given the role or responsibility of transfering sheep between the Father and the Son. (Nor is anyone else for that matter.)

As for whether or not I give John the Baptist less credit than my own pastor I'll let the scriptures speak to that.

Matt 11:11
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

Thanks for participating in this discussion. Feel free to email me if you wish to take up a dialogue on any other verse. Before you go, I'd like to know what website you represent. Are you the primary editor for Biblehelp.org? Also, if you wish to offer a final word on 6:44, I will post it verbatim at the bottom of the following link. I had quoted all of you in the writeup, so I think its only fair to offer you a final word.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

Examining Calvinism said...

Scott,

I'm in no rush to table anything. As for John the Baptist, I realize that he is a priest and a prophet, but also has taken on an unusual role, which another Reformed believer has confided with me that he has no problem with viewing him in a shepherd's role, given his role. Of course, I didn't tell him where I was going with it. :)

Nevertheless, as for your question about the crucifixion, there is a variable involved that makes the answer difficult. They were hardened. (Isaiah 6:9-10) I would like to say that they could have taken a better course, and I based that on Matthew 11:20-24 and Luke 10:13. The reason why Tyre and Sidon will rise up against them is because if they were in their shoes, and seen the Lord's miracles, they would have repented, and hence they will rise up at Judgment and condemn them. That's where I was going with my return question to you. So it's a question that I cannot easily answer, but on the basis of Tyre and Sidon, I am led to say that they would have chosen a better course. If I say otherwise, then I erode the objection of Tyre and Sidon.

By the way, what is your primary website so that I may link it from mine?

Examining Calvinism said...

Welcome visitors from the Gadfly!

You are encouraged to join in with the discussion with Jim, Chad, and Scott O from oldtruth.com and Biblehelp.org.

Before posting, however, I have but one request. Please first review my writeup on John 6:44 so that you may know exactly what I am stating about the verse.

Additionally, www.examiningcalvinism.com is a newly created website, and much of the material has not received final editting, which is why you may catch spelling and gramatical errors. If you find any, please notify me so that I may correct it. Also, if you feel that the tone in any of the writeups is inappropriate, or if you feel that any of it is truly misrepresentative, you are encouraged to bring it to my attention for review. For background, I am a former 4-Pointer and now a Classical Arminian who believes in Eternal Security. Thanks again, and if you wish to strike up a dialogue on any other verse, I would be glad to start a new post to begin a dialogue on it.

Thanks again,
Richard Coords
Editor of examiningcalvinism.com

Examining Calvinism said...

Here is the link to John 6:44:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Yes, welcome visitors from Calvinist Gadfly, some of whom I'm sure are wondering why Richard Coords was posting there again, after he acknowledged that he had been been previously banned earlier.

I'm wondering if Richard will answer Gene Bridges' questions presented to him in that thread:
http://www.calvinistgadfly.com/?p=368

If Richard does not want to answer over there, perhaps he could provide some answers below.

Gene points out, as I did, that Richard's interpretation of John 6:44 involves bringing in numerous other verses from outside of the John 6 context. The goal of doing so is to change the meaning of this passage from it's natural "The Father Draws/Gives and then people believe" to what Richard aims for instead - which is "The Father Draws/Gives those who have already chosen to believe". Richard is putting the cart (believing) before the horse (drawing), and in doing so has provided us with one of the best examples of eisegesis I've seen in a while. Once again, I note that the Calvinists like Gene, Scott, and myself are simply allowing John 6 to speak for itself.

One of the questions Gene Bridges asks Richard is:

"Can you find any commentators from the standard works that agree with you here, namely that (a) this text is restricted to Jews in that time and place and (b) that this drawing is referring to Luke 16:29? If so, what are their reasons? You know, Arminians have a doctrine of universal prevenient grace to keep from arguing what you are arguing. For them, the drawing is “inward” as well, so you’ve put yourself into an awkward position, because you’re not arguing from effectual calling / monergistic regeneration or universal prevenient grace that moves a person inwardly from a state of inability to a state of libertarian equilibrium. You’re arguing for real semi-Pelagianism here. You need to be made aware of that."

Gene makes numerous other points and presents Richard with other questions related to the other scriptures that Richard insists on using to interpret John 6.

Will Richard answer Gene's questions at the Gadfly?
http://www.calvinistgadfly.com/?p=368">http://www.calvinistgadfly.com/?p=368

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

Thank you for continuing in this discussion. I would be glad to address Gene's points, but my only stipulation is that we do not respond to each other with an A-Z Thesis, but 1 point at a time, in order to enjoy a meaningful dialogue between us. Thanks to you, you have chosen one of his points to begin this dialogue, and I'm glad that we can continue.

First, a word to James. I posted on the Gadfly that I had quoted you at Matt 22:14, and if you wish to begin a dialogue on your quote, feel free to contact me and I would be glad to begin a blog discussion on that verse.

Now to Jim's opening point:

Jim wrote: "what Richard aims for instead - which is 'The Father Draws/Gives those who have already chosen to believe'."

It is fair for him to infer this, without me complaining about misrepresentation. However, my duty is to clarify how I'd rather Jim had put it:

"what Richard aims for instead - which is "The Father Draws/Gives those who have already
[heard and learned from the Father, 6:45] and chosen to believe in Him so that they might now believe in His Son]." I believe that's faithful to John 6:44.

Jim is correct that I was banned from the Gadfly. Judge for yourself if I did anything remotely deserving of such action:

Banned:
http://www.calvinistgadfly.com/?p=348#comments

Jim asks where I had gotten my view of John 6:44 from:

Walls and Dongell explain: “Had they received Moses fully, thereby coming to know the Father to the degree possible at that time, they would have belonged to the Father’s flock, and the Father would have drawn them to the Son. But in rejecting Jesus, they demonstrated that they never surrendered to God in the first place, that they had set their faces like flint against all of his continued overtures. Since they did not belong to the Father’s own flock, they wouldn’t be part of the transfer of sheep already trusting the Father into the fold of the Son (Jn 6:37, 39).” (Why I am Not a Calvinist, p.75, emphasis mine)

Jim, thoughts?

As for previent grace of Arminianism, also known as FREE GRACE, like Walls and Dongell, in the mold of Classical Arminianism, I agree. Refer to the article: "In a Nutshell"

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Articles/ac_nutshell.html

Lastly, you asked how John 6:44 relates to Luke 16:29. That is what I infer. If Chad can say that the absence of any mention of an eternal decree at 6:44 means nothing because the Bible teaches it at Eph 1:4, and that the Bible "cannot be separated" (see his comment above), then, Jim, why can I not do the same? Will you similarly condemn Chad?

Jim, I will answer any post tomorrow. I will spend the rest of today with family.

Best wishes In Christ. (Matt 25:40)

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

Gene asked "Can you find any commentators from the **standard works** that agree with you here, namely that (a) this text is restricted to Jews in that time and place and (b) that this drawing is referring to Luke 16:29? If so, what are their reasons?"

Citing a modern paperback theology book is hardly what Gene had in mind.

Also, can you show us where the Father's drawing in John 6:44 is conditional based on someone first being responsive to the teaching in verse 45? That seems to be the case that you are attempting to make in your last comment.

So you are espousing:
Successfully Taught --> Drawn --> Raised

But John 6 is not communicating that at all. Please show us how "Teaching" is placed before "Drawing" in the temporal order of this passage. The burden of proof is on you to do this.

As far as the Gadfly banning, it seems from your statement above that you believe rules are to be followed so long as you agree they are justifiable. Yet another logic breakdown.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

You wrote: “Citing a modern paperback theology book is hardly what Gene had in mind.”

Then I encourage Gene to contact Walls and Dongell, professors of Asbury Theological Seminary, and ask them the same question.

Since you did a critique on Laurence Vance, http://www.oldtruth.com/calvinism/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.188, surely you recall his words on John 6:44:

Vance: “…we have here the separation of the Jewish sheep from the goats and the drawing of them to the Messiah. The ones given are Jewish disciples. They are said to be his sheep. (John 10:27). John baptized that Christ should be manifest to Israel (John 1:31). Although Israel as a whole received him not (John 1:11), he was known of his sheep (John 10:14), the epitome of which can be seen in Simeon, who was ‘just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him’ (Luke 2:25). … The error of the Calvinists on John 6:44 is two-fold. First and foremost is the misapplication of a verse with a decidedly Jewish context as a doctrinal statement on salvation in this age. And secondly, in a spiritual sense, there is the fallacy of making the drawing of God irresistible and equating it with salvation.” (The Other Side of Calvinism, pp.510, 511)

Jim from oldtruth.com wrote: “Also, can you show us where the Father's drawing in John 6:44 is conditional based on someone first being responsive to the teaching in verse 45?”

I infer, by interpretation, that having “heard and learned from the Father” was the basis for why the Father draw His own to His Son, and especially since Jesus stated at John 8:42: “If God were your Father, you would love Me….” Would they, Jim? Do you agree that loving the Son was clearly shown, in Jesus’ words, to be conditional on having made God their Father?

You wrote: “As far as the Gadfly banning, it seems from your statement above that you believe rules are to be followed so long as you agree they are justifiable. Yet another logic breakdown.”

Do you believe that we are to place God’s rules ahead of man’s rules? Acts 5:29 states: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” With your reasoning, you might also say: “Hey Peter, you believe rules are to be followed so long as you agree they are justifiable. Yet another logic breakdown, Peter.” The question is whether or not posting a clarification on a Bible verse (John 6:44) is in obedience to “God”, despite being in clear violation of the rules of “man”, namely Alan K. That’s why I wonder who is really leading Alan, when he bans a person who politely and respectfully interacts on a Bible verse. I know that it cannot be God, and therefore it leaves only one person left. So whose side are you on, Jim? God’s side, or on the side that motivates Alan to banish a sincere servant of the Lord?

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard said: "I infer, by interpretation, that having “heard and learned from the Father” was the basis for why the Father draw His own to His Son, and especially since Jesus stated at John 8:42: “If God were your Father, you would love Me….” Would they, Jim? Do you agree that loving the Son was clearly shown, in Jesus’ words, to be conditional on having made God their Father?"

Absolutly not; it does not teach a conditional human decision as a prerequisite to the Father's drawing, at all.

And now you are back to John 8:42, from where you once before retreated. Jesus is stating a fact when He says "If God were your Father, you would love Me". The verse says nothing of how God became their Father. So, since you have gone back to this passage again, I'll ask you the same question that you dodged the first time. Here it is again:

-----------------------
Richard, please demonstrate how John 8:42 teaches that they "MADE God" their father. The very next verse says "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word." and verse 47 says "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”"

But you seem to be insisting that people that are described that way CAN be taught of God, and can be convinced to make a decision to make God their Father. We all start off in that "don't understand / don't hear" condition, and Richard espouses that man can be taught to make God their father while still in that condition.

Question for Richard: How can you justify that position when verse 47 clearly says that the reason they don't hear is that they are not of God, and they don't understand (John 8:43)? How does someone get taught (John 6:45) if they don't hear or understand?
-----------------------

And finally, back to what I just asked . . .

“Also, can you show us where the Father's drawing in John 6:44 is conditional based on someone first being responsive to the teaching in verse 45?”

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

For the readers:

Here is an excerpt from a Reformation Theology blog page on the "teaching" in John 6:45 as it relates to the drawing of the previous verse.

First, who is "they"? The "all" is all of "them," whoever they are. Context tells us: the preceding verse speaks of the one who is drawn by the Father and who, as a result of being drawn, comes to the Son (and is raised up by Him). The being "taught by God" is not some general revelation, some peanut-butter activity that is devoid of connection with the preceding context. No, this is a restatement, an expansion, explanation, of what it means for the Father to "draw." The drawing of the Father leads those drawn to the Son. Why? Well, part of it has to do with imparting knowledge, teaching. God does the teaching. And just as the drawing of the Father brings all who are drawn to the Son (and hence to eternal life), so too He never fails in imparting the knowledge that leads to life. All who are taught "hear" (aorist) and "learn" (aorist), and as a result of this action, come to Christ (just as v. 37 and 44). Here all truly does mean all, because it has a specific delimiter in the context: all drawn, all given, all taught, all hearing, etc. In v. 45 the emphasis remains upon the Father, not upon those taught, those who, as a result, hear and learn. I may comment just in passing that in reality, man looks rather desperate when he tries to find in passages such as this the much vaunted free will of man.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

I didn't intend to "retreat" on anything. If I missed it, I apologize, and will certainly address it here:

You wrote: “Richard, please demonstrate how John 8:42 teaches that they ‘MADE God’ their father.”

They didn’t. But IF they had, then Jesus plainly says that they would love Him instead of hating Him, showing that they were not right with the Father, whom they claimed to serve. (v.41) However, the thrust of your point seems to seek the answer to HOW a person can MAKE God their Father, which I've answered from Luke 16:29. You're answer is that it's impossible apart from being drawn to Him according to John 6:44. However, I’ve pointed out that the drawing of John 6:44 had begun in Jesus’ ministry. But doesn't your argument require that the “draw” of John 6:44 be stretched all they way back to Genesis, being allegedly the only way anyone could have ever made God their Father? John 6:44 is clearly teaching how men come to the Son, but you've used it to explain how men come to the Father, from the Genesis.

You wrote: “But you seem to be insisting that people that are described that way CAN be taught of God, and can be convinced to make a decision to make God their Father. We all start off in that "don't understand / don't hear" condition, and Richard espouses that man can be taught to make God their father while still in that condition.

Those of v.41 had been hardened. (Isaiah 6:10; John 12:37-41) Jesus is basically diagnosing the source of the cancer which is that they were not right with God (first and foremost), so Jesus is pointing out that they need to go back to the Father, whom they claimed to serve, and get right with Him, and then IF they do, the hardening will cease, and the drawing will begin, and they will see that the Father is in the Son, and believe in Him.

You wrote: “Question for Richard: How can you justify that position when verse 47 clearly says that the reason they don't hear is that they are not of God, and they don't understand (John 8:43)? How does someone get taught (John 6:45) if they don't hear or understand?”

Once they get right with the Father, and His teachings, then they will be able to bear the Son’s teachings, since the Son's teachings are the Father's teachings, being exactly what the Father tells Him to say.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Regarding John 8:42 . . .

Richard now says: "I didn't intend to retreat on anything."

Earlier you said:

"...the true Jewish sheep of the Father who have made God their Father according to John 8:42. ..."

But when I asked you how they MADE God their Father in John 8:42, you said . . .

"Answer: Those of 8:41 did not make God their Father, which was Jesus’ point at 8:42. They refused God’s Word through Moses, whom they claimed to serve. (9:28) Jesus presents the solution in that IF they had made God their Father..."

. . . and you said . . .

"Answer: Those in 8:42 who did not make God their Father, were not “of God” (8:47)"

How are people which match the description given in John 8:40-47 supposed to MAKE God their Father, when in fact - it says they can't hear and they can't understand?

Richard says: "Jesus is pointing out that they need to go back to the Father, whom they claimed to serve, and get right with Him, and then IF they do, the hardening will cease, and the drawing will begin, and they will see that the Father is in the Son, and believe in Him."

How does someone who is hardened do that? How does someone who "can't hear" and "can't understand" cause themselves to start hearing and start understanding in order to get themselves "right with God"? You apparently would have us believe that hardened people (take for example Pharoah) can "snap themselves out of it". Deuteronomy 29:2-4 is passage similar to the one that you keep bringing up in Luke; it says:

"“You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the LORD HAS NOT GIVEN YOU a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear."

So let me get this straight Richard: In passsages like that, you believe that some people were able to "snap out of it" (break out of a hardened state that God put on them), and make God their Father? Then if they do, afterwards God draws them in John 6:44? Am I getting that right?

You never addressed my earlier point about the temporal order of the drawing and teaching in John 6:44-45 but I'll let that go for now.

Next, you ask me . . .

"However, I’ve pointed out that the drawing of John 6:44 had begun in Jesus’ ministry. But doesn't your argument require that the “draw” of John 6:44 be stretched all they way back to Genesis, being allegedly the only way anyone could have ever made God their Father? John 6:44 is clearly teaching how men come to the Son, but you've used it to explain how men come to the Father, from the Genesis."

Ok, I'll answer that if you address the very similar point that I made much earlier about the drawing in John 12:32 not being for everyone. If "all means ALL" in that passage, did this drawing go back prior to the time of the cross, including even people who were already in Hell at the time of the cross? If you say "no", then you are conceding the Calvinist's point that "ALL doesn't necessarily mean everyone who ever lived everywhere during every time" and are admitting that the scope of "all" can (and should) be limited at various times based on context. If you are going to say that the John 12:32 drawing didn't apply during OT times, but the (limited for Jews only) John 6:44 drawing did, then please explain what drawing applied to the (non-Jewish) people in Ninevah during Jonah's time.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

You wrote: “How are people which match the description given in John 8:40-47 supposed to MAKE God their Father, when in fact - it says they can't hear and they can't understand? So let me get this straight Richard: In passages like that, you believe that some people were able to ‘snap out of it’ (break out of a hardened state that God put on them), and make God their Father? Then if they do, afterwards God draws them in John 6:44? Am I getting that right?”

No. First, I’ll say what caused the problem, and then I’ll explain the solution, and that should clear up the misconception of “snapping out of it.”

Those of John 8:41 were hardened because they rejected the Father’s grace numerously (Isaiah 65:2), and finally because they rejected Him by rejecting John the Baptist who was sent to them for a ministry of repentance. (Not all rejected him.) But those of 8:41 did indeed reject John the Baptist. God graciously provided the way of repentance and preparation for His Son, and those of 8:41 refused. Each time they said “No” to John, they actually said “No” to the Father, and became harder each time, without even realizing it. And now they are completely stiff-necked. God had warned: “Harden not your heart.” (Psalm 95:8) Now they’re in big trouble. In contrast, others who had heard and learned through John, and who had submitted to the ministry of repentance, were being drawn to Jesus, and were believing in Him. However, the 8:41’s remained unwilling. Even the miracles, which they were witnessing first-hand, were not having any impact on them, as they simply attributed them to the power of demons. (Matthew 9:34) In the case of the Jew, Saul of Tarsus, who had been kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14), it literally took Jesus having to make a personal encounter with him, for him to become broken, in which afterward, he fasted for three days prior to meeting up with Ananias. (Acts 9:9) For many of the 8:41’s, like Saul of Tarsus, they have come to a point, nearly, of no return. You ask me how the 8:41’s, at this stage of the game, can MAKE God their Father, and for many, like Saul, it takes divine intervention. The “draw” of John 6:44 has absolutely nothing to do with the 8:41’s making God their Father. My point, which I was very consistent about, is that IF they had made God their Father, they would have been drawn by the Father to His Son, and have loved the Son. But now, being in such a hardened state, they are unwilling to listen to God, even if one of the foremost of them, should convert, such as Saul, and plead with them. However, previously, they could have made God their Father back when John the Baptist was calling them to repentance, when instead, they stood there on the shoreline, smug and indifferent, merely seeking ways to catch John in his words, so that they could use it to bring accusation against him. So there is no snapping out of it, until or unless, God breaks their stiff-necked heart.

You wrote: If ‘all means ALL’ in that passage, did this drawing go back prior to the time of the cross, including even people who were already in Hell at the time of the cross?”

In my discussions with Chad, I mentioned that the draw of John 12:32 had pointed to a time in which Jesus would reach out to the Gentile world, which He did through the apostles, after the resurrection. (Matthew 28:19) “All men” means all nations of men, and what is a nation but so many units of so many people?, which is tantamount to the same thing as individuals since, what is a nation but the sum of its parts? To suggest that it must also include those in Hell is a red herring.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

I'll come back to the elaborate explanation that you have given above related to John 6:44, but I want to address "the red herring" idea right off the bat, with a couple of yes or no questions:

1) Does the ALL in John 12:32 include ALL men that lived before Jesus went to the cross?

2) Does the ALL in John 12:32 indicate a drawing of every last person who will ever live after Christ's resurrection?


For the readers, here is an excerpt from John Gill's commentary, which I think does a good job of phrasing the significance of John 12:32:

I will draw all men to me; which is not to be understood of the concourse of people about him, when on the cross, some for him, and others against him, some to bewail him, and others to reproach him; but rather of the gathering of the elect to him, and in him, as their head and representative, when he was crucified for them; or of the collection of them, through the
ministry of the apostles, and of their being brought to believe on him for eternal life and salvation: and this drawing of them to him, in consequence of his death, supposes distance from him, want of power, and will, to come to him, and the efficacious grace of God to bring them, though without any force and compulsion; and this is to be understood not of every individual of human nature; for all are not drawn to Christ, or enabled to come to him, and believe in him. There were many of the Jews who would not, and did not come to him for life; and who instead of being drawn to him in this sense, when lifted up on the cross, vilified and reproached him; moreover, in the preceding verse, “a world” is spoken of, whose judgment, or condemnation, was now come; and besides, there was at this time a multitude of souls in hell, who could not, nor never will be, drawn to Christ; and a greater number still there will be at the last day, who, instead of drawing to him in this gracious way and manner, will be bid to depart
from him, as having been workers of iniquity. Christ died indeed for all men who are drawn unto him; but this is not true of all men, that are, were, or shall be in the world. ... [This drawing] designs some of all sorts of men, of every state, condition, age, sex, and nation, Gentiles as well as Jews...

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

You wrote: 1) Does the ALL in John 12:32 include ALL men that lived before Jesus went to the cross?

No.

You wrote: 2) Does the ALL in John 12:32 indicate a drawing of every last person who will ever live after Christ's resurrection?

Yes, while they’re alive. Obviously, He does not draw those in Hell, and that's all that I meant by the "Red Herring" comment. If I misunderstood your intention, then I apologize.

Classical Arminianism has taught:
"all men" = "all nations" and what are the nations but the sum of the individual units, which is tantamount to the same thing as individuals?

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Ok, so you are saying that "ALL" in John 12:32 does not include the sum total of humanity in it's entirety, because you limit "ALL" as being every human being after the cross. Whereas when scripture says that He is the "savior of all", on the other hand, then you interpret "ALL" as meaning the sum total of humanity in it's entirety. Is that accurate to say that you interpret the word "ALL" differently in passages like these, with "ALL" in one passage encompassing more people than "ALL" in another passage?

If so, then I hope you don't have any pages on your website that disparage Calvinists for interpretting the scope of the word "ALL" differently, in different contexts. Since that is what you are doing yourself, above. If you do have pages like that on your website, I hope you will have the integrity to change them, if you agree that the scope of "ALL" can be different for various contexts.

I hope you will agree that "ALL" is less than everybody in these passages as well:

John 8:2 - All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them
2 Cor 3:2 - our letter of recommendation...to be known and read by all [men].
Luk 16:16 - the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone [all] forces his way into it
Acts 4:21 - all men glorified God for that which was done,
Luke 21:17 - Jesus told his disciples that they would be "hated of all men"
Acts 21:28 - Paul was accused of teaching all men everywhere against [the law]

To answer your previous question, yes I do believe that the John 6:44 drawing goes all the way back to Genesis, as does Christ's role as savior span backwards to Genesis as well.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

[First of all, I apologize for not responding in a timely manner. I seem to have come down with a bit of a fever, but a little rest will take care of that.]

Your wrote: Ok, so you are saying that "ALL" in John 12:32 does not include the sum total of humanity in it's entirety, because you limit "ALL" as being every human being after the cross. Whereas when scripture says that He is the "savior of all", on the other hand, then you interpret "ALL" as meaning the sum total of humanity in it's entirety.

On the one hand, Jesus draws the living post-Calvary, indiscriminately from among all humanity, whereas Jesus being the “Savior of all” has an additional element, namely that when He was on the cross, Abraham’s Bosom was already a place of the righteous dead from the OT. So He’s the Savior of them too, i.e. Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, ect.

Or, perhaps you are alluding to 1st Timothy 4:10: “He is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” This shows that “all men” does not merely constitute believers (.i.e. the elect in Christ), and that the “Common Grace” of 1st Timothy 4:10, according to Arminianism, is the “Atoning Grace” of Calvary that is fully substitutionary (John 3:14/Numbers 21:6-9), and if it wasn’t, then Christ’s grace which abounds to all men, becomes bogus. In order for an offer to have legitimacy, the money (so to speak) must be in the bank. In other words, you cannot offer salvation to “all men” if the Atonement isn’t fully substitutionary. Often, this draws the charge of Universalism, which is silly, because 4-Pointers and Arminians believe that there is a differentiation between a universal purchase and a universal redemption. I have some write-ups on this discussion in which I cite for support, 4-Pointers, such as William MacDonald. Also, I’ve responded to the points of Erwin Lutzer. I’m sorry if this gets off track, and if it is, feel free to disregard it, or come back to it later.

You wrote: Is that accurate to say that you interpret the word "ALL" differently in passages like these, with "ALL" in one passage encompassing more people than "ALL" in another passage?

Yes, especially in Jesus being the “Savior of all men” (1st Timothy 4:10), because there is an added dynamic of "all men" that would not apply to a post-Calvary draw of the living. (John 12:32)

You wrote: I hope you will have the integrity to change them, if you agree that the scope of "ALL" can be different for various contexts.

Absolutely. I want both sides well represented, and then let the two sides battle over their interpretations of the context. Let’s look at a few of your examples:

John 8:2 - All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.

(obviously that included Israel and perhaps some Gentiles too, but that also appears to be indiscriminate in nature, since many of “the people” left Him, per John 6:66. Therefore, “all men” doesn’t necessarily mean “all of the elect in Christ.”)

Acts 4:21 - all men glorified God for that which was done.

(sometimes “all” is meant from one person’s perspective, in what seems to be the case, though not literally true, such as at John 11:48, since obviously when the Pharisee said “all men,” he did not include himself. So I agree that context is the determining factor.)

You wrote: To answer your previous question, yes I do believe that the John 6:44 drawing goes all the way back to Genesis, as does Christ's role as savior span backwards to Genesis as well.

In hindsight, I partially agree. The Father drew Israel to Himself. (Isaiah 65:2; 2nd Chronicles 7:14) He drew the Assyrians to Himself through the prophet Jonah, who initially did in fact, repent. Jesus drew the Samaritans prior to Calvary, as I discussed with Chad, though the full-scale drawing throughout Asia by the apostles, clearly didn’t begin until after the resurrection, as per Matthew 28:19. However, the difference in our views is that I interpret John 6:44 as the drawing of the Father’s sheep to His Son in order to follow Him, which is consistent with what other prominent Arminians (Wells and Dongell) and non-Calvinists (Laurence Vance) have also stated about that verse.

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

Consider these two quotes from James White:

James White: “Jesus begins where Christian salvation begins (and ends!), with the Father. The Father gives a particular people to the Son.” (Debating Calvinism, p.118)

White adds: “I just also believe the undisputed and unrefuted fact that I come to Christ daily because the Father, on the sole basis of His mercy and grace, gave me to the Son in eternity past.” (Debating Calvinism, p.306)

In my writeup on Eph 1:4, I point out that the Reformed view of Election is primarily an "in the Father" Election with the result that these who are "the elect" in the Father are then chosen "to be" or "to become" in Christ, as a secondary Election, such that the drawing and giving of John 6:37, 44 was from before the foundation of the world.

Arminianism, in contrast, places the beginning of the giving and drawing of the Father TO THE SON at Matthew 3:17. Previously, the Father drew people to HIMSELF at various times, as mentioned in the prior post.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Richard:

Well, I assumed at the start that I probably would not convince you of anything, so this has been and continues to be a debate for the readers to judge, for their own knowledge of the truth.

I'm going to try to wrap up my side of the John 6 debate in this comment, as I think I have thoroughly stated my case at this point.

First, I would appeal to the readers on the basis of the simplicity of the text in John 6, and ask, which side is allowing John 6 to speak for itself, and which side is presenting a highly complicated explanation that has literally taken us on a tour of the bible, in order to explain. Let's face it, anyone can import scriptures into the context of just about any passage in the bible in order to change the meaning of the passage. I have a friend who claims that there will be nobody in Hell (including the devil) one day. How does he get away with this belief? By starting off with a problem (ie: "I don't like Hell") and then forcing other texts about God's love into the hell passages of the bible, and thereby changing the meaning of them. I submit to the reader that this is what Richard is doing with John 6. He doesn't like the idea of God electing humans to salvation, so he contaminates that doctrine (and John 6) in order to eliminate it. The position that I espouse lets John 6 speak for itself, and if Richard had not taken us around to all of these other verses in the bible, I would have stayed within John 6 in order to present my case. My position does not need to journey outside the context.

Richard limits John 6 to a select few Jews and says that the drawing and enabling and giving in this passage are "not for today". His reason for this is that the drawing of all men in John 12:32 cancels-out the John 6 drawing. But I ask the readers, does John 12 really do this? Is there something in John 12 that stands up and shouts "John 6 does not relate to you now".

Richard believes that John 12 conveys a drawing to every last human on earth following the cross. This includes (for example) the people in China in 40AD. He admits that this drawing isn't effectual like the John 6 drawing is. He also admits that the word "ALL" in the New Testament does not always mean "humanity in it's entirety" but can relate to a more limited scope than that.

I ask the reader to read the first 31 verses of John 12 (the context) and ask yourself - what does Jesus mean? I think if you will do this, you will see that Jesus simply means that "salvation is not for the Jews only". Does that mean that every last human receives some kind of drawing to salvation then? No. The end effect is what we see in Revelation 5:7-10 where it says: "by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” In other words, the ALL in John 12:32 means "all without distinction" and not (as Richard wants) "all without exception".

Richard has been challenged to produce some commentaries that prove that others in church history have believed as he does on this passage. The best he seems to be able or willing to do is give us the name a modern paperback book on Arminianism, and some citations from Vance's contemporary "shoot Calvinism down at any cost" smear book. Nothing from church history on John 6. Calvinists can produce example after example of both classic and modern commentary works, going back centuries, giving the same basic explanations of John 6 that you've seen from me.

Richard has taken the "teaching" in John 6:45 and made it a cause for the "drawing" in the previous verse. I've explained above how this disrupts the temporal order of the passage, and I demonstrated how the teaching flows out from the drawing (which is opposite of what Richard says). Did Richard give an adequate response to my pointing that out (teaching, drawing)?

Richard reads into passages like John 8:42 by insisting that some people can "MAKE God" their Father, when in fact - none of the texts that he brings up teach that at all. This is eisegesis on his part.

For more discusion of John 6 - I recommend these articles:


John 6:44, 45 and Free Will

Logic and John 6:44

An online commentary on John 6

Additionally, you might Google "John 6" on Spurgeon.org and Biblebb.com or have a look through most of the bible commentaries written before the last century, for other opinions.

Chad said...

Richard, haven't you ever read John 14:6? If not go and look it up now. Your idea that Reformed theology teaches "in the Father" first then in Christ later" is completely false and only shows your ignorance of the theology you are trying to decry. Remeber, Christ is our High Priest and the only access to the Father any one has ever had in any point of history. I'm just getting weary of wathcing you repeat the same error over and over again. Debate and discussion of doctrine is good and important. You may not agree with Reformed theology but you are not properly informed enough to competently run your own blog on this issue.

Nothing in James White's quote says anything about "being the Father before the Father's drawing to the Son". There is no secondary election to the Son in reformed theology. No one can be in the Father except through the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the World.(Rev 13:8). That is the crux of Reformed Theology.

I'm sorry if my rebuke seems a bit strong but you must properly understand what you are trying to decry and you clearly donot understand Reformed Theology. It's hard to debate you because we have to spend so much time first clearing up your ignorance of what Reformed theology teaches and then show you why Reformed theology is just Biblical theology. I'll quote Charlse Spurgeon only because he says so eloquently what the rest of us have been trying to say to you for the past 100-some-odd postings;

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."—C. H. Spurgeon

Richard, may the Lord direct your steps and give you peace.
Your's in Christ
-Chad

Examining Calvinism said...

Jim,

I have posted your conclusion verbatim into the writeup for John 6:44, with the links you provided. You'll find it in the blue dialogue box:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John6_44.html

Below it, I respectfully offered the following statement:

It was suggested that Richard “doesn't like the idea of God electing humans to salvation,” and hence, Richard believes what he does. However, I like whatever God has revealed in His word, and His word says that I have an election in Christ, but never says that I have a primary election in the Father, independent of being in Christ. At John 6:44, I’ve explained that it was the Father giving and drawing His true sheep to His Son, that they may become His sheep, in contrast to the false sheep who rejected the Son while claiming that God was their Father. At John 6:45, I cited Jesus’ own explanation of v.44, in that “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” At John 8:42, I reiterated what Jesus said, that if God was truly their Father, as they had claimed, that they would love, not hate, the Son that proceeded from Him, and hence believe in Him. At John 12:32, I’ve explained that after Calvary, Jesus indiscriminately draws all men to Himself.

Ultimately, I think that this discussion will prove very useful for the education of those desiring to know what each side believes regarding John 6:44.

Currently, we still have an on-going dialogue concerning Eph 1:4, in terms of whether the true essence of Calvinistic Election is an "in the Father" election with a secondary election "in Christ."

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

I am very familiar with John 14:6, and have a write-up for that verse:

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/John14_6.html

Carefully consider the quotes from Calvin, which is illustrates the true nature of Calvinistic Election, which is an in the Father election. I would love to take up a dialogue with you on that point. I already have a discussion in progress if you would like to join us. This is your opportunity to set the record straight.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

I cannot get over how much you have scored a mortal blow against Calvinistic Election, which indeed teaches that people were eternally in the Father, and hence chosen to be in Christ. Visit my writeup on Eph 1:4. See the quotes for yourself. When Calvinists teach that the elect were chosen to be in Christ, "in what" were they before, to be "the elect" that are given? I've caught other Calvinists in the same trap. At 1st John 2:24, they've admitted that "in the Father" means being of "the elect." You have explained in perfect detail, why I had to reject Calvinistic Election, which is indeed a primary election in the Father with a secondary election to become in Christ: Elect in the Father in order to become elect in the Son.

This is your open invitation, Chad, to set the record straight.

Chad said...

Richard, you're just not getting it. This discussion has degraded into us just gainsying eachother. Of course the elect are in the Father but none can be in the Father except through Christ. This Primary election in the Father and Secondary election in the Son is an invention of your own imagination. Your propensity to compartmentalize scripture has seriously clouded your thinking on these issues. By the way, If you want to study the T.U.L.I.P. try starting with the foundation, Total Depravity, and then work your way through the doctrines. Starting with election is the surest way to get every thing about Calvinism wrong, wich is pretty much what you've managed to do. I can't repeat myself any more Richard. Please take my admonishon in the way it's intended, in brotherly love. I used to be a KJV only Arminian Fundamentalist, (I'm not saying that you are too, just giving you my background) and I wouldn't listen to any one either. It eventually got to the point where people just had to leave me to my own devices because no one could teach me. Well, I had to study scripture on my own and I came out the other side a Calvinist. Maybe one day you'll have a website dedicated to teaching doctrine instead of trying to analyze something that you clearly don't understand.

Examining Calvinism said...

Chad,

We crossed paths. I was a 4-Pointer. As a student of Calvin's writings, the Calvinism that he knew was this: Elective Grace predetermines Regenerative Grace which results in Persevering Grace. Total Inability is built into Regenerative Grace.

However, this is a much deeper subject than I think that you realize. I'm trying to make a contest, because we are probably the only two reading this. Nevertheless, you can be of help to me, by me showing you what I found.

My writeup on Eph 1:4 details what I'm about to say.

The common interpretation is that Eph 1:4 means that the elect (the chosen) are chosen "to be" in Christ. Ok, so in what were they elect, before? Hence: Elect in the Father.

When people leave out in Christ from Eph 1:4 quotes, it has the same effect as meaning, God chose us in Himself.

The whole concept of Elective Grace is that God has an eternal flock. I have a slew of quotes from Reformed commentators that insist that this means that "the elect" are chosen "to be" in Christ. According to Calvin, before you were ever depraved, you were in an eternal flock. Make no mistake about it. Calvin was a supralapsarian, though I argue a 4-Pointer, and I have some quotes to that effect in my writeup on Calvinism. That's besides the point.

You feel that I am ignorant on these subjects, and yet you are quite mistaken.

The essense of Calvinistic Election is an eternal election in the Father, and that any understanding of the subject, must include that point. Calvin touched on it. Here are the quotes:

John Calvin writes: “Paul further confirms this, declaring that God was moved by no external cause; He Himself and in Himself was author and cause of our being elected while yet we were not created, and of His afterwards conferring faith upon us.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “Then, when Paul lays down as the unique cause of election the good pleasure of God which He has in Himself, he excludes all other causes.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.69, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “Christ therefore is for us the bright mirror of the eternal and hidden election of God, and also the earnest and pledge. ... We see here that God begins with Himself when He sees fit to elect us....” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.127, emphasis mine)

Calvin adds: “The calling is therefore a certain and specific calling, which seals and ratifies the eternal election of God so as to make manifest what was before hidden in God.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.70, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “First he points out the eternity of election, and then how we should think of it. Christ says that the elect always belonged to God. God therefore distinguishes them from the reprobate, not by faith, nor by any merit, but by pure grace; for while they are far away from him, he regards them in secret as his own.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.393, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “Christ certainly counts none among His own, unless he be given by the Father; and He declares those to be given who before were the Father’s (ibid. 17:6).” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.147, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “God has chosen His own to be holy and without blame (Eph 1:4).” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.134, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes: “This way of speaking, however, may seem to be different from many passages of Scripture which attribute to Christ the first foundation of God’s love for us and show that outside Christ we are detested by God. But we ought to remember, as I have already said, that the Heavenly Father’s secret love which embraced us is the first love given to us.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, pp.76, emphasis mine)

These quotes all add up to an eternal hidden election in the Father, and there are more.

Thus, those who are eternally elect in the Father are given to the Son in order to be in Christ.

I see no logical basis from which to deny this. Yet, as you point out, besides the fact that election is in Christ, the only way to the Father is through Christ. (John 14:6; 1st John 2:24)

Even more telling is this:

One Calvinist responds: “Do Calvinists secretly believe that God chose them for some reason other than their need for salvation? Would I, as a Christian, believe that God chose me for some other reason than my need for salvation? Yes, I do. God chose me for His glory, for His pleasure, for His purposes. Sure I had a need for salvation. But that is not why He saved me primarily.”

The Calvinist answers: “In the Bible, God does not say He chose us because of our desperate need. He chose us before our need ever arose.”

If you still feel that I'm drawing an incorrect inference from Calvin's writings, then reread each quote in detail, take a few days off, and come back to it again, because it's there. The question is whether you are willing to accept what Calvin is saying?

Examining Calvinism said...

Typo: I'm not trying to make this a contest.

By the way, I am not asking you to defend Calvin. That's the first response of every Calvinist. I'm not asking you to do that. I just want you to see where I am coming from, and that I got it from a legit and well respected source.

Examining Calvinism said...

One other note, in terms of Total Depravity, which you raise, I understand it to great detail. It's not about receiving faith, or having your heart opened. Calvinism requires a new heart (Ezek 36:26) in order that the decision be rendered "irresistible." Here's the catch: you only get the new heart in Christ (2Cor 5:17), and you only become sealed in Christ after believing in the Gospel. (Eph 1:13) Thus, the whole system breaks down. Examples of Prevenient Grace are things like having your heart pierced, pricked, convicted and even opened, but those are all things done to the old heart. After believing and being sealed, then you become in Christ (Eph 1:13), and then you get the new heart. Otherwise, when you do suppose that you were in Christ? Before the foundation of the world? At Calvary? When?

Cadgie said...

i want to get saved! but i know that im not! am i elected to hell then by God?

Richard Coords said...

Hello Cadgie,

Calvinists would say that a desire to "want" to get saved, is a sign of "Election to Heaven" and that "Irresistible Grace" is already at work, but that view is loaded with problems. Setting aside Calvinism and its many problems, Jesus stated what salvation is, and how to get it:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20)

"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
(John 5:24)

The Apostle Paul said this: "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, R508 abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."" (Romans 10:9-13

The result of salvation is that God comes and lives inside of you. The Apostle Paul wrote: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13)

Salvation is essentially a matter of forgiveness of sins against God, and then God completing reconciliation and coming to live inside of you: "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1st Corinthians 3:16)

davidgeminden said...

Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an obvious understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises (some folk briefly refer to it as man's free will), and also because the majority of the Scriptures also reeks with the same implication that mankind has the inherent ability to accept/believe or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence. I refer to myself as an inherent-free-willer.

Therefore when I encounter the very few verses of Scripture text (approximately less than 0.5% of the Scriptures) that on the surface possibly could be interpreted to contradict that majority precedence (man's inherent ability to accept/believe or reject God's call, commands, instructions and promises), I interpret them in light of this majority precedence. By the way, to my simple mind, since all communications has an ultimate purpose (or desired outcome); and I believe God's ultimate purpose for communications to mankind is to convince men and women to repent of their sin and believe/accept His call, commands, instructions and promises. The whole of God's communication in the Bible reeks with an implication that fallen mankind has a free will because His purpose in communicating with fallen mankind in the Bible is to convince fallen mankind that we need to decide to repent of our sin and believe/accept His call, commands, instructions and promises.

In light of the precedence of “man's inherent ability to accept or reject God's call, commands, instructions and promises”, I will now give my interpretation of John 6:44, 65 (John 6:44 -- "No one CAN COME to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."). But first, the inherent-no-free-willers interpret these verses to indicate that the phrase (..."can come"...) in these two verses indicates that fallen man does not have inherent-free-will capacity and can't accept/believe the call/drawing of God and come to Christ. However my interpretation is as follows: if one assumes that the person DOES NOT HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject God call, the verse implies that he WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him; and also, if one assumes the person DOES HAVE the inherent ability to accept or reject, he ALSO WILL NOT be raised up in the last day if God does not draw him. This line of reasoning would also apply to Jn 6:65 ("And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'") In verse 65 it also does not make any difference WHETHER OR NOT a person has the inherent-free-will ability to accept or reject, the person can not come to Christ if God has not granted him to be called and drawn to Christ. Therefore, those two verses are not talking about the capability of man's will to accept/believe, but about the fact that it is God that choses, grants, calls and draws. Therefore, the conclusion from this line of reasoning is that the drawing and granting by God is not God irresistibly/regeneratively giving the person a will that believes, but God is only presenting the Gospel to the foreknown persons in the crowd of people through the word of God and convicting Holy Spirit, giving those individuals the opportunity to accept or reject the call/drawing of God. God granted that if those individuals accept the call/drawing (but God foreknew that He could convince those individuals to freely accept the call), they will be raised up on the last day.

David Geminden
http://thoughtsbydcg.wordpress.com/