If you had an eternal favor with God the Father, apart from the basis of the Cross, and apart from your hope in His Son, then your alleged, eternal favor with God has circumvented Christ, who instead says: "No one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6) The reality is that your favor with God the Father stems from your faith in His Son, and that apart from your faith in His Son, you have no favor with God. Your favor with God the Father begins at the very moment that you trust in His Son. Apart from trusting in Christ, you are a dog.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Calvinism: a sweet treat, but with a rotten core
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
In the Father?
Arminian Question #1 restated, because I only received half of an answer: If you are saying "yes" that Ephesians 1:4 means that "the chosen" are chosen "to be" in Christ, then in whom were they chosen to become chosen in Christ? My point is that it sets up a case for another election, namely, an election in the Father. In other words, Calvinism seesm to suggest: God has chosen us in Himself, and having chosen us in Himself, He has chosen us to become in Christ. Would you agree to that? James White writes: “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, emphasis mine) What I'm seeing is the making of an eternal "in the Father" election whereby God the Father has an eternal flock of sheep, and that He gives these to His Son in order to belong to Him. Calvin describes these as having been hidden in Him from all eternity. I'm trying to see if you are willing to confess to an eternal "in the Father" relationship.
Calvinist Answer: "The full Godhead is in salvation. The Father does the choosing. The Holy Spirit does the drawing. The Son does the saving. Yet...Christ choose you before you choose Him, No one can come to the Son unless the Father draws him and we are saved by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Arminian Question #1 restated: Do you believe that God the Father chose you in Himself from before the foundation of the world, in an eternal flock of the Father, in order that you may be given and chosen to be in His Son? (Yes/No)
Calvinist Answer: "I would word it this way..God elected me. You want to push your idea of "in Christ" and "in the Father". How about "in the spirit"? Is this 3 elections? I think you need to spend some time thinking about this."
Arminian Question #1 restated again, because it still wasn't answered: "If Ephesians 1:4 meant that God the Father chose "the elect" to be in Christ, then in whom were these elect chosen in order to be qualified for election in the Son? The purpose of this question is to determine whether Calvinism truly does teach a primary election in the Father, with a resulting secondary election in the Son.
Arminian Question #1 never answered. So I asked someone else:
Calvinist Answer: none
Arminian Question #2: If being made Born Again as the "new creature" with the "new heart" is a facet of the new birth in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:17), and if we are not sealed in Christ until after we believe in the Gospel, as per Ephesians 1:13, then how is that Calvinism teaches that people are made Born Again in Christ before they are sealed in Christ?
Calvinist Answer: Yes...Only the elect are sealed...holy/saint...and changed into His image.
Arminian Summary: According to Calvinists, "the elect" are chosen to become in Christ, and they are elect apart from the basis of being sealed in Christ. Calvinists therefore have claimed for themselves, an elect status with the Father, independent of Christ, which demotes Christ and promotes Calvinists. However, Jesus stated: “No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Thus, the “to be” Election of Calvinism which logically speaking, inevitably places one in the Father from all eternity, is reduced to dust by John 14:6. For the Calvinists who fancy themselves as being eternally plugged in with the Father, before their need for salvation ever arose, have ultimately negated Jesus' role as Mediator, since they would have you believe that they were already, eterally mediated to the Father in His eternal counsels. To that, I say that Calvinism is hogwash.
Either I am chosen TO BECOME in Christ, or.... I am chosen in Christ, speaking of what blessings of Adoption that I can look forward to once I become sealed in Christ.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Adrian Rogers on Prevenient Grace
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
R.C. Sproul and the Author of Sin
R.C. Sproul explains: “If is true that in some sense God foreordains everything that comes to pass, then it follows with no doubt that God must have foreordained the entrance of sin into the world. That is not to say that God forced it to happen or that he imposed evil upon his creation. All that means is that God must have decided to allow it to happen.” (Chosen By God, p.31, emphasis mine)
R.C. Sproul explains: “In spite of this excruciating problem we still must affirm that God is not the author of sin.” (Chosen By God, p.31, emphasis mine)
Why? Why must you fight this argument to your last breath, as if it was the Boogeyman of Calvinism? Suppose that God was, in fact, the author of sin? Why would you need to fight it? If God was not concerned about it, then why should you be? Really, in the end, the only thing that matters is what the Bible says. So for Calvinists to belligerently draw their lines in the sand, concerning the “author of sin” charge, only sets themselves up to be considered, irrational. It seems that you could say almost the same exact thing, but with different wording, and that would pacify the Calvinists, and indeed, that’s exactly what Sproul has done when he claims that God foreordained the "entrance" of sin, but did not "author" sin. I’d like to know where the difference lies. In other words, God is the entrance of sin into the world, but by no means whatsoever, by any stretch of the imagination, is He the author of sin into the world. That, we just can’t have, says the Calvinist, end of discussion. Since Calvinists have tinkered with the definition of "ordain," why don’t they simply tinker with the definition of "author"? In other words, God may have authored the Script of Life which contains sin, but He, by no means, endorses their behavior, no more than J.R.R Tolkien endorses the behavior of Sauron. However, real life is not like a book, in which there is a Script of Life by which men play parts in a Divine play at the direction of God. That is more philosophy than theology. This is not to say that God does not have books, plans and decrees. Of course He does, but do not forget that real foreknowledge is the basis for God’s decrees. (Acts 2:23)
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Charles Spurgeon and the GAP Theory
Although Charles Spurgeon clearly denounced the theory of Evolution, did he prescribe to the GAP Theory, which includes death before Adam?
Spurgeon states: "Can any man tell me when the beginning was? Years ago we thought the beginning of this world was when Adam came upon it; but we have discovered that thousands of years before that God was preparing chaotic matter to make it a fit abode for man, putting races of creatures upon it, who might die and leave behind the marks of his handiwork and marvellous skill, before he tried his hand on man. But that was not the beginning, for revelation points us to a period long ere this world was fashioned, to the days when the morning stars were begotten; when, like drops of dew, from the fingers of the morning, stars and constellations fell trickling from the hand of God; when, by his own lips, he launched forth ponderous orbs; when with his own hand he sent comets, like thunderbolts, wandering through the sky, to find one day their proper sphere. We go back to years gone by, when worlds were made and systems fashioned, but we have not even approached the beginning yet. Until we go to the time when all the universe slept in the mind of God as yet unborn, until we enter the eternity where God the Creator lived alone, everything sleeping within him, all creation resting in his mighty gigantic thought, we have not guessed the beginning. We may go back, back, back, ages upon ages. We may go back, if we might use such strange words, whole eternities, and yet never arrive at the beginning. Our wing might be tired, our imagination would die away; could it outstrip the lightnings flashing in majesty, power, and rapidity, it would soon weary itself ere it could get to the beginning. But God from the beginning chose his people; when the unnavigated ether was yet unfanned by the wing of a single angel, when space was shoreless, or else unborn when universal silence reigned, and not a voice or whisper shocked the solemnity of silence; when there was no being and no motion, no time, and nought but God himself, alone in his eternity; when without the song of an angel, without the attendance of even the cherubim, long ere the living creatures were born, or the wheels of the chariot of Jehovah were fashioned, even then, "in the beginning was the Word," and in the beginning God's people were one with the Word, and "in the beginning he chose them into eternal life." Our election then is eternal. I will not stop to prove it, I only just run over these thoughts for the benefit of young beginners, that they may understand what we mean by eternal, absolute election." (Election, 1855, emphasis mine)
Answers in Genesis teaches that there was no death before Adam, and that if there was, it would "make nonsense of the atonement message and would also make nonsense of Hebrews 9:22 and Genesis 3:21. One can't have death, bloodshed, disease, and suffering before the first death and bloodshed, which is the whole basis of the atonement." (Answers In Genesis)
AIG adds: "The meaning of death, therefore, is that it is the penalty for sin. This is the reason Jesus Christ suffered death on a cross. Those who believe in millions of years of history teach that death was in the world long before Adam sinned. If physical death was not the result of sin, then death would not be the penalty for sin. This would make Christ's death on the Cross meaningless." (Answers In Genesis)