I can only comment a section at a time and very briefly.
First, I want you to note that contrary to your saying that you would only use the Bible for this discussion, you seem to ground your view on Reformed Calvinist creeds. You cite Scripture but offer no explanation as to how the verses explain your view; it seems you just assume it. As such, you present your theological view as grounded in creeds rather than Biblical revelation.
Arminian theology espouses the idea of "total depravity," which some refer to as "total inability." However, it does not mean that man, as a sinner, is impervious to divine influences for good as evidenced by his having a moral conscience in discerning, however imperfect, between evil from righteousness.
Hope this helps. I'll post some other observations to your paper at another day.
I never said I was only going to quote and cite the bible.
I stand corrected. My apologies
You did say was that you were going to "expound...mainly going to the scriptures instead of extra-biblical information alone." "Mainly" being the operative word. Respectfully, it seems to me that, although you presented some Scriptures (as far as I read your discussion), your position comes across as grounded in the creeds since so evoke them to a large degree as if placing much weight on them.
That's the impression I get reading your discussion.
No, my beliefs are grounded in the scriptures and those creeds are grounded in the scriptures.The only reason the creeds are quoted is to help provide definitions since some critics I have encountered said that Calvinism needs to have official definitions and that Calvinists have redefined what Calvinism is. I am at least laying use of definitions so that the terms and their concept can be the same thing that we are talking about I hope.
But as a proponent of Sola Scriptura, I am bounded by and subject to the Scriptures' authority. Likewise, the creeds are bound by the authority of the Scriptures.
Respectfully, that's not how you're coming across from my perspective. If it was truly a matter of sola scripture, I would think one would start from the Biblical statements in Scripture to support their position, however, you started with the creed and from there, seemed to try and support the creedal statement by Scripture, which is a bit backwards to me. But I guess that's just a matter of study method and I don't think we need to necessarily debate on the merits of it. However, at your convenience, read what I have written thus far and give me your thoughts. Thanks.
By the way, have you ever read the "Works" by James Arminius or by any book by an Arminian? A real good primer is, "Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities," by Roger Olson that lays out a good ground work for what is Arminian theology and helps to correct the many misunderstandings and erroneous views that others have of it. Worth the purchase if you're truly interested in dealing with Arminian/Calvinist issues.
Note the keywords you used were "From my perspective." I only quote the creeds to provide a definition. Note the creeds affirm Limited Atonement, but instead of a creed, I used Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology instead of creeds. My main use of the creeds in this article is to provide a definition. Even then, the creeds, if you read them, are bounded by the scriptures and have scriptural prooftexts when you read the actual creeds.
I have not read any Arminian Theology literature.I'm not too interested in what the Arminian objectively believes in his theology. I only provided a case for what I believed and I am leaving it up to the reader to decide what views they take. I don't care if one is Arminian or not. I don't consider it a heresy.
That's the problem; "the creeds affirm Limited Atonement," not the Bible (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). And you do start your opinion by asking the question, "What does the Bible say?" ...no?
Haven't noticed where you quote Gruden but the same applies; his theology book may say the atonement is limited to those who God has chosen to save (wherefore, the rest re demand forever) but the Bible does not.
It's too bad you have no interest in reading Arminian. Respectfully, you're postings here may be your "honest" consideration of the subject but, respectfully, it is not an objective and serious study of the Bible.
You haven't read my exposition carefully then concerning the introductory paragraph to Limited Atonement then.
Apparently not. I only got to p.22. I thought you'd be able to answer the challenges I posted thus far to your arguments.
Apparently, also, you're going ahead where I see you do there quote Gruden. As I said in my last comment, "I think my responses here are sufficient for now...I have not the time do critique all this pages." Due to time constraints, I was only bale to read up to p.22, where your discussion ends on Matt 22:1-14.
I would think you'd be able to answer to, at least, the verses I posted challenging the interpretation that you posited; see; my comments 10/14/2016 07:49:39 pm and 10/15/2016 06:53:18 pm.
if you have not the time to do all of them, at least start with one or two regarding "unconditional election."
I'll try and read the other 22 pages as time permits.
Belief in "unconditional election" (UE) makes any talk of moderate or extreme Calvinists nonsense.
Eph 2:8-9, rather than supporting UE, it denies such an idea. Grace is seen as the found of salvation ("by grace are yes saved) with faith as the condition for it's reception ("through faith"). Some scholars suggest that "gift" refers to the whole process of salvation, which is initiated, sustained, and completed by divine empowerment. And, "faith" is viewed as an act that, by it's very nature, does not merit.
In v.10 we read that what is "ordained" is not certain persons but "good works," which God influences believers to will and to do (Phil 2:13).
2 Tim 1:8-9 is another verse interpreted beyond it's reading and intended meaning. All that the apostle Paul says here is that "God hath saved" them by virtue of their having responded positively to God's call to salvation ("called with and holy calling"; which call was made not on the basis of any merit to their account but on the basis of the Cross.
It was an intention and bestowal of grace that God had desired to grant to those who would believe since before the creation of, at least, our planet, which purpose he has brought to actualization by the coming of Messiah on earth to die for sinners ("but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ," 10).
1 Pet 1:2. Note, it refers to the chosen, not unconditionally, but "according to the foreknowledge of God," accomplished by Spirit's work of sanctification to empower a positive response ("unto obedience") to the Gospel and to the "sprinkling of the blood."
Also, there are scholars who suggest that "Elect" does not have reference to the divine act of choosing but is the naming of those who have been chosen, i.e. believers are named, identified as "elect" ( a view I prefer). This interpretation is perfectly warranted, especially if the verse is read as from an interlinear where the word "elect" is not in v.2 but in v.1: "to elect sojourners" or, "to the elect, sojourners."
Acts 2:22-23, as I see it, does not really help your case. (1) This verse is with specific reference to Christ and does not necessarily suggest this is the case for all men, believers or otherwise. (2) God had a specific purpose for Christ, a purpose for which no one else, as a man, could fulfill. That is, the situation with reference to Christ's suffering and death is unique and for a unique purpose and cannot be modeled in all aspects to show how God deals with all men in general.
Also, note vs.5 reads conditionally that believers are "kept by the power of God," not automatically by virtue of a on-time act, but through "faith unto salvation."
2 Thess 2:13, Again, here we see, again, God's choice for salvation reflecting a conditional, not and unconditional aspect. Those believers to whom the apostle writes are those "chosen...to salvation" through (as conditional) (a) "sanctification of the Spirit", and (b) "belief of the truth." If either condition, sanctification or belief, are not met, salvation is not obtained.
V.14 merely reflects the action initiated by God that preceded met conditions, that is, God's call via the preaching of the Gospel message ("he called you by our gospel").
Some corrections to Re: comment 10/14/2016 07:49:39 pm
Under Eph 2:8-9, where it is commented, "Grace is seen as the found of salvation," it should read "Grace is seen as the foundation of salvation."
Also, where it reads, "Also, note vs.5 reads conditionally..." is with reference to 1 Pet 1:5.
On "unconditional election" (UE) continued...
2 Thess 2:13. A reading of the text does not affirm in any way notions go UE. Against it, one can argue:
(1) What does the writer of this epistle mean by "from the beginning"? Does he mean from eternity past before the creation? Or, does he mean from the first time they heard the Gospel message preached to them? I think it is the latter, especially since there is no reference to eternity past or before creation.
(2) There is no indication in the text that the divine choice to save the readers of this epistle was a unilateral act, something God did without man's participation as a condition. Note the synergism implied: "chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
(3) Re: your referencing Matt 22:14, it should be asked, why were the "few chosen" although "many are called"? I think the parable itself provides the answer: because the "many" had rejected the invitation, while the "few" accepted it.
But, to your point about the person in the parable being removed from the banquet, v.14 doesn't seem to be a direct application because it shows many of the chosen and only the few - one person - rejected. Vs.11-13 are part of the whole parable and it is subsumed within the story, perhaps to reinforce the point.
It seems that vs.14 applies to the whole parable in general, which seems to have three parts: the king's
- invitation to the nobles and their rejection, v.2-6.
- anger and retribution against nobles for rejection, v.7-8.
- second invitation to the commoners, v.9-10.
- the improperly dressed and his dismissal, v.11-12.
- the lesson conveyed, v.14.
So what is the point of the parable?
The point was directed to the religious leaders suggesting that, although they reject the message of Jesus, nevertheless, there will be those who receive it. And those who receive if are not those "unconditionally elected," but those who respond to the King's invitation. Those who reject it are ripe for judgment; and one is entirely mistaken if he thinks he can sneak inside without properly meeting conditions required for entrance and participation.
Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see where your quote of Matthew Henry showed it is "the elect who receive the effectual calling," rather than, as the parable suggests, those who accept the invitation make the calling effectual. And for those who reject the call, it is not because they are not "elect" or God had never intended their salvation and, as such, "they cannot," but because they "will not."
Matthew seems to expressly place a condition for admission or dismissal to the wedding banquet and the point of vs.14 seems to be that of the "many" called, only a "few" end up being chosen because it was the "few" who accepted the invitation, while the "many" rejected it.
I think my responses here are sufficient for now. I think your discussion covers 44 pages and I have not the time do critique all this pages. Anyway, I hope this somehow prompts at least, a more critical mind. Thanks!
Correction: I wrote that the parable narrative seems to have 3 parts, while I actually entered 5. Thanks.
I stated, "And for those who reject the call, it is not because they are not "elect" or God had never intended their salvation and, as such, "they cannot," but because they "will not."
I should add, and they "will not" ultimately because it is their own free will choice they made to not believe and to reject salvation and not ultimately because God decreed them to "will not" so it can appear as just to fulfill his decree to eternally damn them.
The article list many verses, but such verses do not exist in a vacuum and have a context. I'm guessing the author thinks their use of such verses agrees with the context, but I disagree.
For example Job 14:1 says "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble."
Here Job says those born of a woman are full of trouble "of few days", not from birth.
Jeremiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Here Yahweh tells Jeremiah about "the sin of Judah" (Jer 17:1) and those "whose heart departeth from Yahweh" (Jer 17:5). This shows this is in reference to those who know good from evil, and has nothing to do with one's heart at the time of birth.
While I would agree with the author's statement "So it is no secret in the Bible that the concept of the sinful condition of man rests in the heart." to claim that is is mans condition from birth is simply not the case. Wise king Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 7:29 "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." So we see the sinful condition of mans heart is because they seek "out many inventions", not because they are made that way.
"After all, if it was out of something we did, then this would show favoritism, which the Lord is against (Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34 and James 2:1-4."
Again all these verses has a context. Romans 2 is about Jews and Gentiles in judgement. Acts 10 is about Jews and Gentiles in salvation. James 2 is about rich and poor is how they are treated. To say that because God is against respecting people in such instances, means that he is always against respecting persons is going beyond the text.
"This passage explains that Jesus's crucifixion was determined to happen by the counsel and foreknowledge of God, which the foreknowledge of God is determined by the counsel of God."
Not sure where the author gets the idea that "the foreknowledge of God is determined by the counsel of God".
"Matthew 20:28 reads as such: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Yes even though Christ gave his life to RANSOM many, this does not negate him being the atoning sacrifice for all. The difference being those who have faith in this atonement are those who are ransomed, the rest do not benefit from the atonement since they do not receive it by faith (Romans 3:25).
In John 10 Jesus is focusing on those who would be part of his "fold" (John 10:16), so it would make no sense for him to mention those who do not show faith in the atonement. Notice Jesus did not say he lays down his life only for the sheep.
Regarding John 3:16 the word 'world' is not discounted because of "other passages which speak of God's love". Just because other passages speak of God loving the elect, doesn't mean he doesn't love the non-elect. I don't think this argument was really thought through.
It's a bit misleading to use Romans 3:11 to teach that none seeketh after God and apply that to all people. Paul used it to teach that there are both Jews and Gentiles who do not seek after God, while what Paul was quoting was in regards to people who had no desire to seek after God. There are numerous example of people in scripture who seek after God, so such a verse should only be used in the way Paul used it.
The authors conclusions in John 6 are based on the false premise that God does not draw all people. Jesus plainly said in John 12:32 "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”. Did Jesus say this to show that he would draw both Jews and Gentiles to himself? No, in fact the next verse says why: "He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die".
It is convenient that the author only quoted John 6:29 without the verses before it. Verses 26-28 read "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Notice in verse 27 where Jesus tells the men to labor "for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" to which they ask in verse 28 "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" They asked about the works of God that they should do, and Jesus tells them that is to believe. To isolate verse 29 from it's context will allow one to misuse the verse.
Regarding Acts 16:15 it should be noted that in verse 14 Lydia was already a worshiper of God, so she was seeking after God before he opened her heart.
I had planned on replying to the rest, but since the text cannot be copy pasted I will end the critique here, and encourage the author to humbly bring my points to the Lord in prayer.
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