Monday, May 25, 2009

Hunt critiques Piper


While reading Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This?, I came across an interesting comment regarding a quote from Calvinist, John Piper, concerning the universal benefit of Calvary.

John Piper: “We do not deny that all men are the intended beneficiaries of the cross in some sense. 1 Timothy 4:10 says that Christ is ‘the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.’ What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ in the same way. All of God’s mercy toward unbelievers—from the rising sun (Matthew 5:45) to the worldwide preaching of the gospel (John 3:16)—is made possible because of the cross.” (What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism)

Before I get to Dave Hunt’s quote, I find it absolutely astonishing how “all men” means one thing at 1st Timothy 2:4, and then something altogether different at 1st Timothy 4:10. That just blows me away, but anyway, on to Dave Hunt’s comment.

Dave Hunt: “Trying to reason with those who espouse such obviously contradictory statements leaves one with a sense of complete frustration. Proclaiming the gospel to those He has predestined to damnation is an act of God’s mercy, by which He is giving ‘opportunity for salvation’ to those who can’t be saved?! And the gospel being preached to the doomed non-elect stems from God’s ‘mercy toward unbelievers’ flowing from the Cross?” (What Love is This?, p.192)

Hunt does a fairly solid job. It’s user-friendly and engaging. The history is on par with the quality of Lawrence Vance’s book The Other Side of Calvinism, but it’s the exegesis that puts this volume ahead of Vance. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

21 comments:

a helmet said...

I truly wonder why Christ would have to die in order for rain and sunshine on earth to be possible. Does Piper provide any explanation why God would have to sacrifice His only-begotten son for the climate to be regulated? What good are rain and sunshine for the non-elect? Isn't weed nourished by rain and sunshine to grow and become only worse and be cut off in the end? Aren't rain and sunshine causing bad trees to mature so that they produce much bad fruit? So what good is rain and sunshine for the non-elect in the calvinstic worldview?

Anyway, I find the notion that there are actually two senses in which Christ's death is beneficient, very, very awkward. And I wonder why not more Calvinists themselves see how awkward and far-fetched this defense is. Nowhere do we find any biblical support of a two-class salvation dualism. Either there is salvation or not. Nowhere do we encounter a "this sense"-salvation and "that sense"-salvation.

No, I truly wonder why not more people, who consider themeselves exegetically sound, reckognize the utter clumsiness of such a defense endeavored by John Piper.

Richard Coords said...

Hey Kehrhelm,

I suppose that the answer to the first question, from the C perspective, is that God has a purpose for sowing and growing tares. The benefit from their perspective would be temporal gain, while God secretly sows their eternal destruction, via immutable Determinism.

I think that what happened is that Piper is simply trying to plug a leaking hole in his theology, caused by 1st Timothy 4:10. However, from our standpoint, I turn to Numbers 21:6-9, as hihglighted at John 3:14, and ask where in that illustration, do we find a dualistic purpose in the provision of the serpent on a standard? That had only one purpose: healing, just as Calvary has only one purpose: salvation, to those who look upon it.

Good to hear from you. If you are on facebook, look me up.

Richard

Pizza Man said...

Hi Richard,

Piper's use of Matthew 5 to teach "different levels of love" shows a misunderstanding of the passage. For starters, Matthew 5:45 should be read in context with the larger passage, not in isolation: Matthew 5:43-48In the passage Jesus is calling us to live our lives by following God's perfect example. Just as God perfectly loves his enemies, we are to perfectly love our enemies.

Piper's view here really undercuts the force of Jesus teaching. Jesus is not teaching us to love our enemies in "some sense", He is teaching us to love our enemies in every sense. In whatever sense Piper limits God's love, he also undercuts the standard of love that God calls us to.

a helmet said...

I agree, the brozen serpent analogy cannot be applied to the interpretation of salvation Piper suggests.

I have some more thoughts on this matter, on first-class salvation, second-class salvation and 1 Timothy 4,10.

Obviously it is mostly verses like 1 Timothy 4,10 that force Calvinists into an interpretation like this one. The major argument goes like this:

"If God is the savior of all men in the sense of eternal salvation, why are not all eternally saved? -- Hence the salvation of all men at 1 Timothy 4,10 must refer to temporal salvation only."

So this temporal salvation, according to the calvinistic interpretation of 1 Tim 4,10 refers to earthly blessings during our temporal life.

The problem with this interpretation is (among other things) that obviously the will of God for all men to be blessed with warmth, food, water, health, peace, good fortune etc. is actually not fulfilled in the world. In other words, it oftentimes seems that God fails to accomplish His role as a "savior" in this sense in our world. In the third world millions are starving to death, are afflicted by droughts or floods and all kinds of calamity, lack clean drinking water, are destitute of medical care or suffer from crop losses. In other words, "all men" are not "saved" in the meaning Piper wants us to embrace.

So if God's will to save all men eternally is thwarted and not fulfilled,....well God's will to save all men with temporal blessings doesn't seem to be fulfilled either. Obviously a sovereign provider of earthly blessings would not be hindered by earthquakes and hurricanes that place themselves as obstacles against physical well-being. A sovereign savior from physical afflictions doesn't seem to be at work in our world in the sense that Piper's interpretation would imply, rather the bible is very clear that physical afflictions of all kinds are part of our fallen world and there is in fact no such "salvation from physical afflictions" that would be subsumed under the temporal salvation spoke of in 1 Tim 4,10.

So if God's role as a provider of blessings and sustainer of the world isn't met either, are we to conclude that God's sovereignty is thwarted again?....Or could it be that just the calvinistic interpretation of 1 Timothy 4,10 is fallacious? I guess it's the latter.

William Watson Birch said...

Richard,

What amazes most is that the "in some sense" is never (ever!) articulated by those who use the phrase. What exactly does "in some sense" mean? And can it legitimately mean anything substantive, since God never "intended" to unconditionally elect "all men" unto salvation?

God bless.

Richard Coords said...

Kehrhelm: to use a baseball euphemism, your post really hit a home run. Very good explanation. The Calvinist argument backfires upon itself, exactly as you demonstrated it. Do any physically perish? Then God must be failing in His purposes as a Temporal Savior (as the C logic goes).

Billy: by Piper saying "in some sense," I think that it demonstrates that Piper doesn't know what that sense is but is simply trying to patch a hole in his theology caused by 1st Timothy 4:10. I think that that verse is really under-used in dealing with Calvinism. In fact, the whole concept of a Temporal Savior is completely foreign to the context. The context is talking about "especially those who believe," which has nothing to do with temporal welfare but spiritual life.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Great points.

Richard Coords said...

Here's what one Calvinist has to say about Piper's "in some sense" explanation:

"If Christ died for the elect only, then there are no possible benefits in that death of Christ for anyone else but for those for whom he died." (Homer Hoeksema: Limited Atonement, p.61)

chalee said...

You said: “Before I get to Dave Hunt’s quote, I find it absolutely astonishing how “all men” means one thing at 1st Timothy 2:4, and then something altogether different at 1st Timothy 4:10.”

Many calvinists do believe it means the same thing:

1Tim2:1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority

Do you pray the phone book to pray for every single person, or do you pray for all kinds of people, such as those in authority? If you’re not praying through the phone book, then you’re reading the bible like a calvinist. “Pas” does not have to mean “every single individual” – and usually, it very clearly does not.

1Tim6:10For the love of money is the root of all evil (KJV)

Here is another example of “pas” in 1st Timothy. Is the love of money the root of every single kind of evil? Did David commit adultery for money? Or do more modern translations understand the greek more accurately when they translate this verse as “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

Acts21:27When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28shouting, "Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place."

Are the people angry here because Paul is teaching “every single individual” or does “all men” refer to the gentiles - Paul is teaching "all kinds" of men and not just jews?

I find it “absolutely astonishing” that you continue to deny the obvious. The bible simply was not written to you, it was written in the first century primarily to jews. And in that culture, words like “pas/all” and “kosmos/world” simply didn’t mean then what you interpret them to mean when you read them now.

Back to chapter 2:

3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men —the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the gentiles.

God wants all kinds of men to be saved and Jesus died as a ransom for all kinds of men – in the 1st century, it was difficult for the jewish Christians to accept that their Messiah didn’t just die for them – and for this purpose, Paul was appointed an apostle to the gentiles.

OTOH, you believe Jesus died as a sacrifice for every single person – yet as a High Priest, He refuses to intercede for the “world” (John 17:9). Jesus prayed that some would be protected from the evil one and that they would be united together in love, but refused to pray this for the "world." Why is Jesus so conflicted in your opinion?

So, as I was saying, many Calvinists do think 1tim4:10 is a “pas” just like the others discussed…that Jesus is ‘the Savior of all (kinds of) men’ but think the transition word is mistranslated and would be more accurately stated ‘(meaning/that is to say/namely) those who believe.’ (See Skeat's analysis of the greek word malista.)

1Tim2:3 has already established that God is “our” savior, the savior of believers…why would Paul need to even repeat himself? weren't you paying attention the first time?

chalee said...

9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Others, like piper, look at the immediate context and conclude that ‘savior’ is the more questionable translation. They would point to verse 10 speaking of Paul and his company “laboring and striving” and conclude that Paul is saying that while God is the source of life for unbelievers - as Paul quotes pagans elsewhere as correctly saying, “in Him we live and move and have our being” - he much more sustains and provides for believers. 1Cor15:10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. It's at least a plausibly pauline conclusion.

1 Timothy 4:10 is a tricky verse. I admit it. Ripped out of context (as you seem to prefer to do), it truly is the primary text for universalists everywhere. Orthodox believers of all stripes OTOH understand that it is not teaching universalism, which means one has to dig deeper. I noticed you opted not to explain what YOU think it means…it’s just easier to be a critic and take potshots, huh?

I bet you would interpret it to mean that Jesus is ‘the (potential) Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.’ Yay! Just as Jesus is the potential Savior of those who are ultimately condemned to destruction, He is especially the potential Savior of believers. That’s hardly a source of real encouragement. But it is consistent with your philosophy that Jesus is not actually in fact the savior. (Of course, there is zero support in the greek for any notion of potentiality – so it’s truly a case of people like you forcing their personal philosophy on scripture than interpreting scripture by using scripture.)

If you are a universalist, come out and admit it. If you have a better explanation, put it on the table. Until then, both of the calvinist groups have a more reasonable interpretation than anything I’ve seen from noncalvinists.

(BTW, that’s the Dave Hunt book where he’s so aggravated by the bible teaching calvinism that he quotes the jehovah’s witness 'new world translation' in a desperate attempt at justifying himself, right? Awesome.)

chalee said...

BTW if you think it's "absolutely astonishing" that Paul might use the same word differently in different contexts, wait till you start reading John!

John says that "the world did not know Him" (Jn 1:10).
Does this refer to all without exception? Did no one know him, not even his own disciples?

Jesus says that he is "the bread of God... who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world" (Jn 6:33).
So has Jesus given life to every person without exception?

When Jesus said that, "I speak to the world those things
which I heard from Him," (Jn 8:26), was he claiming that
he spoke to every person without exception?

When the Pharisees said, "Look, the world has gone after
Him!" (Jn 12:19), were they really claiming that every
person without exception had followed Jesus?

When Jesus said that the Spirit of truth is the One "whom the world cannot receive" (Jn 14:17), was he claiming that every person without exception cannot receive him?

When Jesus told his disciples that "the world hates you"
(Jn 15:18-19; 17:14; 1Jn 3:13), was he claiming that every
person without exception hated them? Did they hate themselves?

When Jesus said that "the world will rejoice" at his crucifixion (Jn 16:20), was he predicting that every person without exception would rejoice?

When Jesus said, "I do not pray for the world," (Jn 17:9), was he saying he refused to pray for every person without exception?

When Jesus said to the Father that "the world has not
known You," (Jn 17:25), was he claiming that every person without exception didn't know him?

When Jesus said, "I spoke openly to the world," (Jn 18:20) was he claiming that he spoke openly to every person without exception? (what about parables?)

When John said, concerning antichrists, that "the world
hears them" (1 Jn 4:5), was he claiming that every person without exception hears them?

When John said that "the whole world lies under the sway
of the wicked one" (1 Jn 5:19), was he claiming that every person without exception lies under the sway of the devil?

a helmet said...

Hello chalee,

perhaps I can contribute something to the question of the context of 1 Tim. 4,10 and its intended meaning.

The purpose of the letter to Timothy is pastoral. The young minister Timothy is instructed regarding various pastoral issues, particularly the proper behavior towards heretics, apostates and other opponents of the faith. So Timothy was facing hypocrites and opponents (v.4,1-2) and is exhorted to be faithful to the "trustworthy saying" (v.4,9) the good new of the gospel, and to "strive and labor" BECAUSE even these difficult and grumbling fellows he must cope with are meant to be heirs of God's grace and hence, of His salvation. Timothy is taught about encouragement of skeptics, the correction of hypocrites and even heretics and the basis for this encouragement shall be WHAT? The objective fact, that God as the savior is mercifully reaching out even to these persons ("all men") as well.

Now, the traditional calvinistic interpretation offered by John Piper interprets God's role as "savior of all men" here as referring to earthly providence and temporal well-being. I stated some reasons in a previous comment why this interpretation is utterly far-fetched and unreasonable.

Taking savior of all men to mean provider and sustainer, is a gross misapplication of the term "savior" especially in the context of the New Testament, whose key issue is the gospel of God’s kingdom, but even in the context of the letter to Timothy alone. The bible is very clear that God doesn't promise anyone relief from physical affliction in this world (see John 16,33; 1John 2,17 among many other examples).

God's promise of salvation always refers to the spiritual, eternal salvation, that is found in Revelation 22,17:

The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let those who hear say, 'Come!' Let those who are thirsty come; and let all who wish take the free gift of the water of life."COME" is the free offer of the water of life to all who wish ("all men"). The giver of this water can rightly be called SAVIOR and this is most likely the intended meaning of 1 Timothy 4,10.

-a helmet

chalee said...

helmet-

in the first place, i stated that many calvinists DO believe that 1tim4:10 is referring to eternal salvation and that "pas", as it often does, is referring to "all kinds of men." paul has said before that God is "our Savior"...so here he is just repeating himself, almost as an afterthought: God is the Savior of all kinds of men, namely believers.

you quoted: 17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

yep - we still agree on this also. whoever wants to come MAY come (although i do believe the scripture when it teaches that not everyone CAN come). everyone is invited to come. we only disagree on WHY some want to come and others do not.

but fine, let's follow the rabbit trail with piper a little ways...

you said: "The bible is very clear that God doesn't promise anyone relief from physical affliction in this world."

no one is saying that it does. you've misunderstood piper here. God is not unfair to provide relief to one person and deny it to another - but any relief provided is, in fact, a good gift of God whether it is recognized as such by the recipient or not.

in whom do unbelievers live and move and have their being, if not in God? even if only in a purely physical sense (as they are spiritually dead), God provides for them and preserves their lives.

again, this fits the immediate context: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." physical training provides some temporal benefit, but godliness goes beyond just the temporal...(which parallels v10) just as God provides temporal benefits to all...but more than just that for believers.

1tim4:3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

unbelievers eat food and marry, right? are these things good gifts of God even to those who are not thankful and disdain the Giver?

is God their gracious provider and generous benefactor or not?

certainly that is even more true when those gifts are "received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth."

the word translated here as "savior" (soter / σωτηρ) was often used in the greek culture for temporal benefactors or "deliverers" with zero association to eternal salvation. the question is whether paul used it this way in ch4 or whether he meant it the same way as in ch2. if this is "far-fetched and unreasonable" for you, so be it.

most folks would question your refusal to define a "savior" as "one who saves." that doesn't seem very complicated.

if a ship crashes on the coast and a man dives in and manages to save a couple of passengers - it still looks ridiculous IMO if the news reporter hails him as the "savior of all 800 passengers of the shipwreck" when only those 2 survived. it's nice that he would have saved them if he could - it's nice that he dove in and gave it his best effort - but calling him the "savior" of dead, unsaved people is still a bigger problem for me.

(but i do encourage you to live out your beliefs. by all means, the next time you are praying out loud in a church group - be sure to praise God as the "savior of judas, pilate, jezebel, nero and hitler." your "reasonable" beliefs about 1tim4:10 will no doubt give great encouragement to those brothers praying with you. :) )

a helmet said...

Hello chalee,

First, what you are saying about the immediate context of 1 Tim 4,10 and that it emphasizes the goodness of temporal blessings, is actually contrary to the point the author is trying to make there.

This is what I'll be explaining further now. You are quoting

V. 8: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."The physical training spoken of here refers back to the "godless myths and old wives tales" (v.7)and to the rejection of heretical teachings (v.2). So the physical training here refers to pagan or heretical codes of sustentation, chasteness and maybe mortification exercises and the like. Some heretics would suggest all kinds of human works to contribute to one's sanctification and to win God's approval. Note, "some" value means "little" value here and it is contrasted with the value of godliness. That's vital to note. Paul is in no way promoting these physical methods, but He is emphasizing the eternal value of godliness. In fact, the inanity of human works is pointed out here. The author isn't praising the value of godless myths and physical exercises that vainly attempt at contributing something beneficial. Not at all. Rather the uselessness and the heretical nature of these practices is abandoned and contrasted with real godliness. Do the practices spoken of here have a positive connotation? Is Paul considering them valuable and good in the sight of God? No, he's clearly considering them vain.

And that's the point for us to grasp here!Now, what's the value of godliness? Eternal life. Note, eternal life is a gift that is received in the presense (John 5,24) but reaches out into the next age (John 6:40). This already-/not yet- double nature of salvation is clearly taught throughout the New Testament. And this is important: The present life blessings spoken of in v.8 refer to the blessings connected with and dependent on union with Christ, as in John 15:1-8, Matthew 6 (Sermon on the Mountain), (Timothy shall hold to the trustworthy saying). Godliness is the key word for all real blessings and the vain practices mentioned above are not considered to be godliness!

Thus, the promise of the present life is --taking the entire New Testament corpus-- clearly dependent on one's union with Christ, for there are no promises of well-being given to anyone outside of Christ. Such would in fact be a heretical notion like the ones Paul is abandoning here.

unbelievers eat food and marry, right? are these things good gifts of God even to those who are not thankful and disdain the Giver?Well, but as I mentioned in a previous comment, not all pagans are blessed sufficiently with food and have all their physical needs met. A lot of little children starve to death. Later you are presenting the ship crash analogy and argue that a savior that doesn't actually save 800 passsengers wouldn't be a real savior at all. Now, what about your notion that "savior" here means really "sustainer" or "provider". Well, he would fail to accomplish his task of providence and physical help as well wouldn't he?

it's nice that he would have saved them if he couldBut does the temporal savior you have in mind save all men temporarily? No, he doesn't.
This comparison is very unreasonable.


-a helmet

a helmet said...

Then you are even saying:
is God their gracious provider and generous benefactor or not? [...] certainly that is even more true when those gifts are "received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truthWell, what kind of gracious gift do you have in mind here? Obviously not the water of life, not eternal life, but rather physical blessings. And there's no promise that Christians are more graciously blessed with physical gifts here on our earthly journey than the pagans. There's just no such promise. Instead, Jesus warned His disciples of tribulation and even persecution. So this explanation makes little sense. God is the source of the water of life that gives eternal life. This is the only true salvation provided by the living God.

the word translated here as "savior" (soter / σωτηρ) was often used in the greek culture for temporal benefactors or "deliverers" with zero association to eternal salvation.It is pretty irrelevant what usage of the word "soter" was frequent in the greek culture. Even today, the word "savior" means just someone who rescues, right? So what? It is the biblical usage that counts, especially when the word is used in connection with the word "living God". For the living God plays the leading part throughout the NT as He revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. And the meaning of "salvation" associated with Him is pretty well defined.

-a helmet

Richard Coords said...

Chalee,

I'm only going to focus on a part of your post, relating to the exchange concerning 1st Timothy 4:10. (There is no purpose in exchanging dissertations or getting into emotions, but I did find something interesting).

Chalee quoted me as saying: “Before I get to Dave Hunt’s quote, I find it absolutely astonishing how “all men” means one thing at 1st Timothy 2:4, and then something altogether different at 1st Timothy 4:10.”

Chalee interjected: “Many calvinists do believe it means the same thing.”

Interesting, let's examine!

Chalee explains: “So, as I was saying, many Calvinists do think 1tim4:10 is a “pas” just like the others discussed…that Jesus is ‘the Savior of all (kinds of) men’ but think the transition word is mistranslated and would be more accurately stated ‘(meaning/that is to say/namely) those who believe.’ (See Skeat's analysis of the greek word malista.)”

It sounds like what you mean is that 1st Timothy 4:10 means: Jesus is the Savior of all “those who believe”, especially those who believe.

That’s the redundancy I see in your logic. Regardless, my article mentioned that Piper inferred that 1st Timothy 4:10's “all men” meant everyone *indiscriminately* but in having died for everyone “in some sense” rather than "in the same way." So there’s no denying that he, Piper, inferred that it meant more than just “all kinds of believers,” as it appears that you are suggesting, though I await your clarification.

Richard

Chris said...

1 Timothy v10.

How does this work according to chalee's logic:

"God is the Savior of all kinds of men, namely believers."

If we apply this to the verse, it must mean

"God is the saviour of all kinds of believers, especially those who believe".

I don't think I need to refute this. The absurdity of it speaks for itself.

chalee said...

helmet said: "Obviously not the water of life, not eternal life, but rather physical blessings. And there's no promise that Christians are more graciously blessed with physical gifts here on our earthly journey than the pagans."

you don't seem to be paying attention.

if anyone is alive, they owe God for their life. "in Him they live and move and have their being." you are inventing a certain level of gifting being necessary before anyone thank God for providing them...i can't imagine where that notion comes from, but if you choose not to thank God unless He provides at a certain level for you, then that is up to you.

piper's teaching of 1tim4:10 as the praise of God as provider has nothing to do with the AMOUNT of God's provision, just that God is good to every single person (in piper's take) and that believers owe God for both temporal AND spiritual provision.

richard said: "It sounds like what you mean is that 1st Timothy 4:10 means: Jesus is the Savior of all “those who believe”, especially those who believe."

no, the entire point of skeat's argument is that "especially" is not an accurate translation of the greek.

"we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all (kinds of) men...namely those who believe."

"we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all (kinds of) men...that is to say, those who believe."

possibly paul was dictating to an amanuensis and wanted to clarify that he wasn't saying anything different than he did in 1tim2:3. God is "our" savior, the savior of believers. and He does save all kinds of men, both jews and gentiles.

if you are suggesting that calvinists believe that pas means 'all “those who believe”', then you are mistaken. pas is dependent on the context. pas in 1Tim6:10 is referring to kinds of evil, not kinds of believers.

piper and skeat would agree that the most obvious, universalist interpretation is wrong since it conflicts with the rest of scripture, but do disagree over specifically what 1tim4:10 is saying.

still would love to see YOUR explanation of 1tim4:10.

do you even have one?

Joshua said...

If Jesus died for all men, how is it that most of them spend eternity in hell? Jesus preached to thousands of people. Was his apologetic of miracles not good enough? Why do most people reject Christ? If Jesus died for everyone, why isn't everyone, or even most of everyone saved? What is it that makes a few of us turn to Christ? Why did Jesus say that he gave his life for his sheep in John 10? Why does Scripture say in Acts 13 that "as many as were appointed for eternal life believed?" Why does 2 Peter 1:10 tell us to "make our calling and election sure?" Stop with this "two-class salvation dualism" nonsense. Stop making straw men out of Calvinists. For any individual, either there is salvation or there is not. Every single human deserves instant hell because of his decided rebellion against God, and yet God gives grace to every single man by allowing him to live, sometimes in gross sin for a long time. Sometimes God even shows remarkable grace by saving a man from sin. There have been some very godly Arminians throughout the ages. They were godly enough to refrain from misrepresenting those who disagreed. Why is it that you refuse to acknowledge what Paul says in Ephesians 1? God elected men to be saved a long, long time ago. In Romans 8, Paul tells us that God foreknew and predestined a people to be conformed to the image of Christ. John 1 tells us that people are born again, not of the decision of a man, or of the will of the flesh, but of God.

Stop vilifying Calvinists and just read Scripture. Don't read it and then check your commentaries (I'm not against commentaries). Just read the New Testament. Jesus said "all whom the Father has given to me."

Richard Coords said...

Oops, sorry about the comment moderation. It's fixed now.

Richard Coords said...

Hey Chalee,

You asked for my explanation of 1st Timothy 4:10.

http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Paul/1Tim4_10.html

I have a verse by verse section of the website which addresses many of the contested C & A passages.

Here are the problems that I see with your view:

1) While 1 Tim 4:10 is talking about God as "Savior," you are inferring it, in part, in a temporal sense, whereas I view it in the Redemptive sense.

2) I no more see 1st Tim 4:10 as Universalism, than I do see John 3:16 as Universalism. I see it as the standard Arminian interpretation: God gave His Son to the world. Jesus is the Savior of the world, especially those who believe, because only believers are the recipients of eternal life.

3) The common complaint regarding the all "kinds" of men interpretation, is that C's pick and choose where to insert it. Do they insert it at Romans 3:23? No. Do they insert it at Romans 12:17-18? Not to my knowledge. Therefore, one becomes suspicious of the basis for why a C would then demand that it should apply at 1 Tim 4:10. This is why I like to defer to this concept: What are all "kinds" of people, but so many units, of so many people? and it is tantamount to the same thing as individuals?

Richard Coords said...

Hey Joshua,

You raised several issues. I'll keep it simply by addressing the first one: "If Jesus died for all men, how is it that most of them spend eternity in hell?"

Because what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary was a provision. It's important to remember that Jesus gave an illustration of what Calvary was likened to. Just before John 3:16, at John 3:14-15, Jesus pointed back to the Old Testament example of the serpent on a standard. Cross reference that passage, and you will see that although a provision was made for the healing over everyone, only those who looked upon it, were healed. In the same way, Christ is the provision for the salvation of the world, but only those who look upon Him, receive the spiritual healing that He alone provides.