The Calvinists Are Coming!

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  1. odenfong says:

    First!
    I remain your cussin, Kahlua sippin, Calvinist brother
    I wouldn’t have you any other way!

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Oden…I’m too old to change! 🙂

  3. Bob Sweat says:

    Now I know George and Michael need to meet at Efest.

  4. Michael says:

    Food fight!

  5. Erunner says:

    Maybe I should invite George???? Maybe not!! 🙂

  6. Tim says:

    “If everyone in the invasion gets to wear those hats with the ear flaps and a fur bathrobe I’m going to be very angry.”

    If you get one, there had better be pics! 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    Tim,

    I was laughing like a lunatic last night thinking about wearing my “uniform” into Rolphs church and demanding his surrender… 🙂

  8. Tim says:

    😆

  9. puzzletop says:

    Maybe if a Calvinist infiltrator at Calvary Chapel convinces somebody differently then that somebody will just say to evangelistic efforts; “What’s gonna happen is gonna happen.” That’s what might be what George and others like him are afraid of. He equates calvinism to fatalism. That might be a fatal flaw on his part but still his real fear.

    With all of the congregations at Calvary Chapel bracing to have their minds and opinions changed about talking to people about the Lord or going to church to raise their hand to be counted as one of the saved then George is right to be afraid. That might be what people might conclude if what he preaches is true.

    George shows that he hasn’t done his homework but since he is considered a big gun in the CC circles his email will pack a lot of punch to promote ignorance. Its easier to take the word of a trusted elder like George than to disagree with him after studying what he is arguing about. Even if people change their opinion about Calvinism, the same people who know George as a friend, will not do the opposite and invite James White to their church to preach. It’s always easier to just change the subject than to disagree with a friend.

    By George! Things will stay the same just as tradition dictates!

  10. Michael says:

    The whole document is available by clicking the link or navigating to the “Pages” section on the right hand sidebar.

  11. Believe says:

    Michael, I’m gonna get you a big fat straw for that Kahlua.

    Ironically, there’s a Kahlua drink called a “White Russian”…kind of goes with Bryson, the fur hat with ear-flaps and the fur coat mental imagery.

  12. Michael says:

    Px2,

    That’s exactly how I perceived it…

  13. Nonnie says:

    PX2 Thank you for putting that so well.

  14. Bob Sweat says:

    That’s trouble with a “T” which rhymes with “G”! :wink”

  15. Bob Sweat says:

    😉

  16. filbertz says:

    I think george would like calvary chapel to trade in the dove for a hawk.

    things must be really slow in russian evangelism and church planting.

  17. Xenia says:

    things must be really slow in russian evangelism<<<

    I certainly hope so.

  18. centorian says:

    I didn’t get the memo, but we have been preparing for the attack for some time. Preparation began after the last election. We noticed increased air traffic, particularly the emissions of chemtrails from the aircraft which effects and alters our thought patterns and causing us to believe we are without choice, resistance is futile. We have been storing food, guns and ammunition and we recite “we have a choice” five times a day, after which we all hold hands and say “we are not the frozen chosen”. Come get us, if you think you can…….

    don’ttreadonmytheologycent

  19. Michael says:

    Your ammunition is no match for our furry bathrobes! 😉

  20. I don’t think George is considered a “big gun” in the movement. And elder statesman maybe. I talked with him for an hour one day last week. He said PP has brought many people to his web site and he’s selling more and more books!

    Go figure!

  21. Not Alone says:

    It’s because of global warming….it’s making the Calvinist restless. 🙂

  22. Another Voice says:

    Many of the most hostile are ex-Calvary Chapel or almost ex-Calvary Chapel pastors.
    —————————————————————————
    I ask this in all seriousness.

    Whose point of view is the ‘almost ex-Calvary Chapel pastors’

    Is this gibberish or is there a point to that phrase. Is it a comment about disaffiliation, or about guys leaving the movement on their own. The latter group it seems wouldn’t take a lot of time to leave, but the former group might need to be investigated first, which of course would take time.

    Now…in all unseriousness, I can’t help but be reminded of this:

  23. Rob Murphy says:

    Hey, if the Calvinists are coming, ask if they can stop at the store and get chips, salsa and some decent guacamole. Ooh, and ice, we need more ice. And tell them yes, I know I don’t deserve guacamole.

  24. Believe says:

    I like guns a lot…because I understand man’s capacity for sin…and his need for accountability…the immediate here-on-earth kind. 🙂

  25. Believe says:

    Hoppy said, “He said PP has brought many people to his web site and he’s selling more and more books!”

    That’s ironic…on more levels than you know.

  26. Michael says:

    AV,

    I know part of it is a shot at me…not sure about the rest.

  27. Michael says:

    Rob,

    I’ll bring you guacamole…tastes like snot to my Calvinist palate. 😉

  28. Michael says:

    AV,

    Please do not show me Monty Python when I’m sleep deprived! 🙂

  29. Believe says:

    Centy said, “We have been storing food, guns and ammunition and we recite “we have a choice” five times a day, after which we all hold hands and say “we are not the frozen chosen”.”

    Actually the way I see CC is:

    We’re in the Gospels this year, “we have a choice, we have a choice….”

    We’re in the Pauline Epistles this year, “God is Sovereign, God is Sovereign…”

    We’re in Revelation this year, “The World’s coming to an end…tomorrow…”

  30. Not Alone says:

    “We are however, a favorite “happy hunting ground” for many simply because we are so open and accepting of those who disagree with us.”

    This is so hilarious I actually laughed out loud at work. It should say Open and excepting UNTIL you disagree with us….

  31. Believe says:

    AV…that was absolutely hilarious. 🙂

  32. Reuben says:

    “Do claims like Bryson is making do anything to promote discussion or unity among those of different traditions?

    Nope.”

    Got that right. Call it caustic inflammatory hate speech, but I say Bryson needs to get a job. Burgers always need flipping.

  33. Tim says:

    Guacamole tastes like snot!?

    Of all the things you’ve written, Newnham, that by far is the most offensive! This means war!! You come in the bathrobe & fuzzy hat & I’ll be dressed in my only hawaiian shirt at sunup. 😉

  34. Michael says:

    Tim,

    LOL! 😉

  35. centorian says:

    AV said re:
    “almost ex-Calvary Chapel pastors….

    ” Is it a comment about disaffiliation, or about guys leaving the movement on their own. ”

    Yes it is… and it is not Bryson’s call to make unless he is on the board of CCOF. I don’t know if Bryson is a big gun or an elderly statesman in the movement, but Steve is probably right being that his book on Calvinism is required reading for affiliation.

    When I was SBC, my pastor was an elderly statesman within the California SBC. He ended up riding a hobby horse or two and would always get up and expound them during the annual state conventions (they allow comments from the floor). Everyone gave him his 15 minutes, laughed behind his back and went on with convention business. Bryson is now fitting that same description.

  36. Another Voice says:

    CCOF changes those ‘required books’ for affiliation so often…I haven’t read Bryson’s books, but these posts of his sure don’t seem to agree with the Distinctives and what is said on the subject.

  37. “CCOF changes those ‘required books’ for affiliation so often…I haven’t read Bryson’s books, but these posts of his sure don’t seem to agree with the Distinctives and what is said on the subject.”

    That may be because in CC sometimes/often times the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The unorganized “were a fellowship of pastors” structure of CC was what made it attractive in the early years. But as life has gotten more complicated and because we are sinners and the flesh always takes over, the lack of structure has become a problem

    That’s not a bash on CC…just an observation from the inside out!

  38. Michael says:

    I would be remiss if I were not to say that I don’t think this is a big CC issue.

    This is someone trying to create an issue to be in front of…

  39. Captain Kevin says:

    The fear truly exists. Two reformed friends of mine were recently encouraged by their CC pastor (my pastor until about a year ago) to find fellowship elsewhere. And yes, I know both sides of the story. Ridiculous!

  40. Michael says:

    CK,

    That’s crazy…and sad.

  41. Captain Kevin says:

    “If you set up straw men and then attack them with vigor crying out that more straw men are coming then you have an artificial career as a straw man warrior.”

    Px2, 🙂

  42. Another Voice says:

    Forget the Distinctives – I just read the common bullet points of the Movement. These are of course:

    1)We are not a denominational church, nor are we opposed to denominations as such, only their over-emphasis of the doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the Body of Christ.
    2)We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is His (Agape) love, which is greater than any differences we possess and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
    3)We believe worship of God should be spiritual. Therefore, we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship.
    4)We believe worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore, we give a great place to music in our worship.
    5)We believe worship of God should be intelligent. Therefore, our services are designed with great emphasis upon teaching the Word of God that He might instruct us how He should be worshiped.
    6)We believe worship of God is fruitful. Therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshiping Him.

    Tthis Bryson stuff is a clear violation of points 1 and 2.

  43. Captain Kevin says:

    Mr. Bryson,
    As someone who has enjoyed fellowship with Calvary Chapels for over 20 years now, I would just like to say, “@!#$%^.” Sorry, that’s the nicest way I know how to say it. 🙁

  44. Michael says:

    AV,

    Those kind of contradict the Distinctives…and Chuck wrote the forward to one of his books.

    My whole issue with this (outside of the crappy scholarship) is that it creates fear and division…and no one should be known for that.

    I saw the division in Geneva and hated it there too…

  45. Michael says:

    CK,

    🙂

  46. Linnea says:

    Michael…this would be laughable if it weren’t so….,no, wait, it is laughable 🙂

  47. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    I just want one of the furry bathrobes… 🙂

  48. Another Voice says:

    Don’t get polarized. Don’t let the people get polarized. The minute you do, you’ve lost half your congregation because people are split pretty evenly on this issue So if you take a polarized position you’ll lose half of your congregation. Do you really want to lose 50% of your congregation? You know the beautiful thing about being called Calvary Chapel? People don’t know where you really stand.
    ———————————————————————
    This is from Distinctives, chapter 5, in the context of reconciling God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, with specific reference made often to Calvinism.

    Again..I would like to hear how Bryson reconciles his actions with this statement.

    (Since he reads the comments, maybe he will answer in a future missive.)

  49. centorian says:

    AV,
    Good point. It sounds like Bryson is not adhering to CC disctinctives. Perhaps he should disaffiliate! 8)

  50. Michael says:

    Over the years here, my friend Mike Macon and I have sparred in an irenic manner over these doctrines.

    Mike is NOT a Calvinist!

    A couple of weeks ago I listened to his series on Romans…and while we differ some, his teaching was a blessing to me.

    He had obviously studied hard and was careful to teach the text.

    There are places where the Calvinist and the synergist disagree…there is far more that we agree on and can base fellowship around.

  51. Michael says:

    I’m turning him in… 🙂

  52. David (Everstudy) says:

    I laughed when I got to this quote: “I have never met the person informed about Calvinism (in advance) who actually became a Calvinist.” I guess if I met him I’d be the first then. I went to a CRC high school and was taught the 5 points in our Bible class, “Reformed Doctrine”, and being a good calvary kid, argued every day in class. I didn’t give it another thought until such a big deal was made at CCBC about calvinism that I looked into it again, and had to agree with the doctrine of grace.

  53. Michael says:

    David,

    That was one of the sillier quotes…but just one of them. 😉

  54. BrianD says:

    Those who were together for the gospel last week here in town must have made their plans for the overthrow of the Arminian churches in secret, in hotel rooms, in back rooms in Calvinist-friendly restaurants, in the basements of the Reformed seminaries and schools.

    Or, they didn’t.

  55. filbertz says:

    Just catching up on the thread. The most alarming thing is Tim threatening to show up at sunrise wearing only his hawaiian shirt.

    moonstruckfil

  56. Glenn says:

    speedreadinfil-

    his only Hawaiian shirt…………………………………

  57. Apple of His Eye says:

    You’re such a great writer Michael in case I haven’t mentioned it in a while…loved your article!

  58. Augustine says:

    And yet there sits Alistair Begg in the 0900 slot on KWVE…

  59. Augustine says:

    Don’t feel too badly, Michael. My homepage is monergism.com. In addition to the works of Edwards, Calvin, Spurgeon, Baxter, Watson, and Owen, I have the entire R.C. Sproul Library, the ESV Study Bible, The Reformation Study Bible, the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, the Geneva Bible (1560 and 1599), the entire Puritan Paperback Collection, and, well you get the picture. My living room wall is covered in quotes from Augustine. Not only was I not invited to the invasion, I was not even aware of it till you brought it my attention. Makes me wonder who organized this invasion thingie.

  60. Concerned says:

    I used to have Chuck Smith’s cassette on Romans 9. Threw it out with all my other cassettes recently. Got it when I was still at Calvary and struggling with this issue.

    AV makes a good point on his 8:20.
    Chuck, in the teaching, seems to struggle with the issue of election.
    He seems to be on both sides of the fence

    I am sure it is still available should anyone want to listen to it,

  61. Concerned says:

    Augustine,

    Allistair Beggs series “Standing firm in shaky times” is one of my favorite.
    He gives a great teaching on election there as well.

  62. james tiberius kirk says:

    Michael,

    Are you a sci-fi fan? Have you watched “Battlestar Gallactica”, the latest series?

    You may not have received the “Calvinist memos” but it’s probably because you don’t KNOW you are a Cylon, errrrr….a Reformed Minute Man….

    Someday the “switch” will get flipped and you’ll be secretly corrupting our Blackberries, Iphones, pcs and laptops with RC Sproul sermons, creeds, holograms of Geneva, maybe even sending us a Mark Driscoll type to bust some kneecaps…

    Bryson KNOWS…

    He seems like the kinda guy that watches a lot of sci-fi

  63. BrianD says:

    I got it. There IS a conspiracy.

    See, Rolph is probably going to Catalyst West Coast this year like he did last year. Driscoll will be there.

    Because Driscoll is a Calvinist, he will hypnotize Rolph (because Driscoll’s also emergent and emergents do stuff like this), and enforce his Calvinist ways upon a pillar of Calvary Chapel. Because Driscoll is an agent of John Piper, you see.

    What other kind of wacky, stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories can we come up with?

  64. Tim says:

    Glenn,
    Thanks for the clarification for filbertz. That’s a BIG difference!! 😯

    🙂

  65. It is true that the Calvinist Reformed theology is making it’s way thru many a CC. It’s more of a subtle thing than an outward attack.

    I am not a Calvinist but I love the Sovereignty of God. It helps make sense of the past things in my life. I take comfort in knowing they were not an accident. But the sovereignty of God makes me tend towards fatalism as I look to the future. If life is just one big script then the ending is already written. So I tend toward the Arminian side as I look to the future and make an informed, prayerful decision.

    The book of Esther in the OT is probably the clearest example of the Sovereignty of God. Looking back at the events of Esther becoming queen, Haman’s plan to kill the Jews being uncovered, Xerxes reading of Mordecai’s uncovering of a plot to kill the king, Haman being hanged on a gallows Haman built to kill Mordecai, You see the clear hand of God in those events. But Esther making the choice to appear before the king, even though to do so with out an invitation meant death, was all her choice. I don’t think she said “Was it foreordained or not”

    So the sovereignty of god explains my past and gives me hope for my future, but I have to have a sense that I make legitimate choices if I am going to move forward. Otherwise, I’ll just sit still and say “what’s the use” It’s all figured out. I am just an actor in a play doing my part

  66. BTW
    I am recording another series of videos with Dr. H. Wayne House today on this subject. He taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell, and now Faith Seminary in Tacoma, and has written at least 35 books. We’ve already done 4 and we’ll do about the same today. When they have been edited and posted I’ll tell you all (BTW I did the ya’ll thing for Tim who is happy today because Texas has said it won’t acknowledge legal same sex marriages in another state in the state of Texas 🙂 )

  67. Believe says:

    “What other kind of wacky, stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories can we come up with?”

    The devil plants these seeds of division…and men attached to their flesh, swallow whole…hook, line and sinker.

    Man must have a battle…it’s part of how we’re “wired”…for some the battle is against “the man”….for others it is a battle for “almighty dollar”….for some it is a battle to climb the “corporate ladder”…for some a battle (a conquest) to “know” as many females as possible…for some it is a battle to “right all the wrongs” politically (social justice, etc.)…for some it is to get “them”…”they”…whoever “they” are.

    I’m learning to channel this need for a battle into attacking my own personal sin. When I am tempted to be a jerk to my wife…I attack the urge and treat her as I “should”…when I am tempted sexually…I attack it…and do what I “should”…when I am tempted to give Michael a fit and twist his Calvinist tidey-whities…well, still working on that one 🙂

    In Bryson’s case…he truly is a modern day Don Quixote (as we all tend to be sometimes).

  68. Bob Sweat says:

    I’m just checking in to see if the Calvinists have arrived yet.

  69. Believe says:

    Hoppy said, “So the sovereignty of god explains my past and gives me hope for my future, but I have to have a sense that I make legitimate choices if I am going to move forward. Otherwise, I’ll just sit still and say “what’s the use” It’s all figured out. I am just an actor in a play doing my part”

    Boy, I can relate to that big time. I have felt the same way about these issues many times.

  70. Believe says:

    Bob Sweat said, “I’m just checki….” oops, hold on someone’s at my door.

    [peeking through the peep hole…]

    OMG…I think it’s some Calvinists! Honey, the Calvinists are here!!! Def-Con 5…Def-Con 5!!!!

    [Wife walks by me as I’m locked up in fear and trembling…and answers the door]

    Wife: “It’s just some nice Mormon boys dear….”

    THANK GOD!!! That was a close one…

  71. Michael
    Just wondering is your coming over…you know.

    Hey Im going to be in the RV from the 5th to about the 8th of May. You gonna be around? Love to have you come check out the art show at the Box R. Thomas Blackshear, my brother, and Frank Ordaz. I’ll be moderating a panel discussion with these guys on Friday and doing some music with Lynda Morrison…come up.

  72. Or , we can drink coffee

  73. Bob Sweat says:

    Believe

    Does the picture of Calvin up top looking anything like a Mormon? No white shirt and tie! 🙂

  74. Believe says:

    Bob S…that is so 16th Century…the Calvinists are a sly group…they’re like Shape-Shifters now…don’t buy into the old “Furry hat and robe” stereotype…that’s what they want you to believe!

  75. Bob Sweat says:

    I think I’ll invite a Calvinist to dinner.

  76. Em says:

    Pastor Steve,”So the sovereignty of god explains my past and gives me hope for my future, but I have to have a sense that I make legitimate choices if I am going to move forward.”

    if i may ask… what’s wrong with the viewpoint that says: God knows what we are going to do/chose and arranges things all over the world and thru all the devil’s machinations thru time accordingly? He’s big enough and smart enough to do that in a way that gets His will accomplished (no matter what the creatures chose to do), isn’t He?

  77. Em

    Good question. I don’t know if this will answer it or not. You may be refering to Romans 8:29 which says For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

    But while God is omniscient and is every where at every time all the time and thus foreknows all things. The bible says he decreed or foreordained things in Ephesians 1:11 “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”

    So the way i understand it is not that god simply looked down the corridor of time and saw how things were going to work out and responded accordingly, but that he actually, in some way scripted all things so as to make sure he accomplished his goal–(which is his glory btw)

    Now I am no authority on this but I see that foreknowledge and foreordained while related are separate. I dunno…maybe one of you guys can answer this better than me

  78. centorian says:

    “So the way i understand it is not that god simply looked down the corridor of time and saw how things were going to work out and responded accordingly, but that he actually, in some way scripted all things so as to make sure he accomplished his goal–(which is his glory btw)”

    that’s how I see it… we may both end up on someone’s list…..

  79. Bryan Stupar says:

    I received his email sometime on Sat. and was disappointed. It’s tone carries a dangerous tribalism (a far worse danger than what he warns against, IMO) which attempts to warn by generating fear against this faceless, ominous, forthcoming enemy. I immediately wrote him back. The below are snippets of my email to him (actually 2 emails, as we had a semi-dialog). I’m posting it here, because as I see it, if there are some in CC, espousing fear (and reacting fearfully) as this, I feel it’s important to note that this fear is not universally felt…(at least in my case anyway), in all CC’s.
    Q: Are there dangers in excesses?
    A: Sure!

    Q: Have some in the Calvinist tradition been known to be militant?
    A: Certainly, I’ve had them in our fellowship before.

    Q: Is there a better way to deal with excessive people, and their single issue crusades? A: Yes, but IMO, this can only be done by identifying the true underlying evil…”Pride”! Extreme caution must be exercised though, because, to often we deceive ourselves, by engaging pride with pride, and rather than pushing back darkness, we perpetuate it.

    Should these “fear provoking voices” continue to rise unchallenged in CC then it’s future will be determined…
    -further disunity within it’s family,
    -further isolation & exclusivity from the rest of the evangelicalism,
    -stricter tribal rules, be they written or oral, (methinks, oral)

    selections of what I wrote
    – – –
    George,
    You have faithfully served God and His saints for many years. Your energy has been well spent in pouring into God’s people, all over the world…
    Yet, I feel I should ask, are THEY (the Calvinists) really the enemy? (Eph. 6:12)
    If Spurgeon/Lloyd-Jones was alive today, would you be warning the CC flock about them?
    Are you not needlessly dividing Christ’s body? (John 17)
    How much of your pursuit is actually an attempt to vindicate yourself and the countess hours you’ve devoted to studying Calvinism?

    My brother, you are a steadfast pastor/fellow laborer in Christ, and we need men like you, yet please search your heart to make certain that your offensive is not like that of an autoimmune response, which brings weakness to Jesus’ body…

    …Q: What if, the REAL culprit as you so articulately said, that’s, “destroying churches and lives” is NOT John Piper, MacArthur and Boice (who, BTW is in heaven) but rather a far more deceptive, deviant and seductive, evil?
    …I speak of, “PRIDE”.

    If this is the real “evil”, then your cross-hairs may just be on the wrong target…In my experience, those most destructive to the fragile environment of the body of Christ, are “pride-filled” single issue people. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, be it:
    -a bold Calvinist
    -and over the top charismatic
    -a staunch anti-Calvinist

    these have all have been known to disrupt the peace within the church body…and all share the common dragon-like (Rev 12) feature of “pride”.

    your servant

    in Christ
    Bryan

    – – –

    pax

  80. centorian says:

    one attribute of God is not necessarily subservient to another. God’s foreknowledge works with His choices and His choices work with His foreknowledge. Foreknowledge is more than God seeing the future, it is relational in nature.

  81. Michael says:

    Bryan,

    That’s was outstanding!

  82. Michael says:

    Centorian,

    That’s how Calvinists see it and the doctrine is called “compatabilism”.

  83. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Remind me and we’ll go up the mountain and visit.

    No Bob Bennett this year?

  84. Dave Rolph says:

    Em,

    The crucial issue becomes, “What came first, His knowledge of what would happen or His plan.” Arminians see God’s knowledge of the future as dictating His plan, which basically makes man ultimately sovereign, at least in a sense. Calvinists generally reject any notion of God being effected by what He knows of human choice, and in order to maintain a pure sovereignty they generally define foreknowledge as determination. Those of us who are hated equally by Calvinists and Arminians accept God’s sovereignty and pre-determination, but refuse to dictate to God what factors He is permitted to use when making His choices. God can never “not know” anything, thus He could conceivably use any information He has, including His knowledge of future human choices, in making His choices. It is a debate because we exist in time, and perceive everything in terms of what came first. The concept of priority is meaningless to an eternal God.

  85. Bryan

    Ditto Michael’s 82

  86. Em says:

    Pastor Dave,” God can never “not know” anything, thus He could conceivably use any information He has, including His knowledge of future human choices, in making His choices.”

    what if (respectfully she asks 🙂 ) God has the capability to re-act according to what man choses? what if He doesn’t have to lay it all out – programmed – ahead of time? what if He says in essence (per Genesis 1:1 and following), ‘there’s the playing field, here’s the players, now have at it’ (God have mercy on me for putting words in Your mouth and save me from any hint of Arminianism) – all the while knowing that He has the capability to pull it off, to prevail, no matter what man and the devil try? His moves in us and around us are all toward His prophesied end; controlling events and heart attitudes toward His end. But, the more we do get with the plan, the more He is glorified in time…

    sitting here in the pew out of thots and out of breath, but respectful of my superiors here non-the-less 🙂

  87. Believe says:

    “hat’s how Calvinists see it and the doctrine is called “compatabilism”.”

    Sounds kind of like Bryson’s doctrine…”cannibalism”…(and all of our doctrine much of the time…we really do eat our own).

  88. Em says:

    Pastor Dave, i sometimes forget to say “thank you” 😳

  89. Believe says:

    Stupar said, “My brother, you are a steadfast pastor/fellow laborer in Christ, and we need men like you, yet please search your heart to make certain that your offensive is not like that of an autoimmune response, which brings weakness to Jesus’ body…

    …Q: What if, the REAL culprit as you so articulately said, that’s, “destroying churches and lives” is NOT John Piper, MacArthur and Boice (who, BTW is in heaven) but rather a far more deceptive, deviant and seductive, evil?
    …I speak of, “PRIDE”.”

    Stupar…you really don’t know Bryson that well…but you’ve got the second part nailed. P.R.I.D.E. it is the great sin of all.

    I’m as guilty as anyone of this sin. It is the key destructive force at work in today’s Church. It is Leadership’s singularly biggest temptation…as well as laity, IMO.

  90. Bryan Stupar says:

    Believe, my ignorance works in my favor to err on the side of compliment. 😉

  91. Em says:

    i’ve ignored that monumental question: are some pre-destined to salvation because, to me, it is so obvious. whom He foreknew, He predestinated… it would be horrible to have missed redemption due to one man’s failure to witness when he was in a situation to do so… IMO
    up until our mortal flesh draws its last breath there is hope of redemption is there not?
    however, at this late stage in life, you folks have me re-thinking what we like to call ‘once saved always saved’ cuz everybody not talkin ’bout heaven probably aint goin there

    just sayin – for clarity’s sake – should anybody be paying attention 😆

  92. Michael says:

    Bryan,

    Do you feel like you had a dialog or was it just a Bryson monologue?

  93. Bryan Stupar says:

    “P.R.I.D.E. it is the great sin of all…it is the key destructive force at work in today’s Church. It is Leadership’s singularly biggest temptation…as well as laity, IMO.”

    …so true!
    The world,
    the flesh
    the devil,

    via the:

    lust of the eyes
    lust of the flesh
    and the pride of life

    are the poisons in the decorated cup, we often drink
    and the hook in the bait, we often devour.
    (adapted from, “Precious remedies against Satan’s’ devices”, Thomas Brooks)

  94. Dave Rolph says:

    Em,

    Those are great legitimate questions. I just stick with “God can do whatever He wants, for whatever reason He has, and that is fine with me.”

  95. Michael says:

    Em,

    Redemption is possible until the last breath.
    Every worker gets the same wage no matter when he started…

  96. Bryan Stupar says:

    Monologue!
    I would’ve loved to hear the answer to:
    “If Spurgeon/Lloyd-Jones were alive today, would you be warning the CC flock about them?”

    I got a cacophony of crickets, instead!

  97. Dave Rolph says:

    Bryan,

    Good comments. I didn’t get the memo so I must be a suspect.

  98. Michael says:

    Bryan,

    That’s what I thought.

    I offered to talk things out with George privately a month or so ago and he refused.

  99. Em says:

    another thing about pride is that it is so easily mistaken for stupidity 😉 from one who knows

    thank you, patient Pastors Dave and Michael

  100. Believe says:

    Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism.

    Arminius, IMO, takes apart Supralapsarianism pretty thoroughly.

  101. Believe says:

    Stupar, yes…I often wish I was more ignorant about some church leaders…I am afraid to look beneath the surface often times…for what I might find.

    I doesn’t appear you took my comment as a knock on you…which is wasn’t at all meant to be…I should have put a smiley on the first part of that statement.

    I appreciate when people compliment me…but then I realize, they don’t know me well enough not to 🙂

  102. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I won’t get into the supra-infra debate…I’m one who thinks it’s an incredibly silly one.

  103. Believe says:

    Michael…what are the issues you most disagree with…with regards to Arminius and his Theology?

  104. Michael says:

    Believe,

    Before we can discuss this we have to understand two fundamental doctrines and our different perspectives on them.

    Those would be the doctrine of God (His attributes etc.) and then anthropology, our doctrine of man.

    The fundamental disagreements would lie much more in the area of anthropology.

    That determines soteriology which we talk about the most without examining the other two well.

  105. deadmanwalking says:

    I will say that people who come out of a place with an anti-intellectual atmosphere like CCBC, when first introduced to Reformed Theology go through a period of militant efforts to convert their “dumbed down” friends, and do turn all their gun on CC and become very obnoxious and I have seen otherwise peaceful fellowships turned into there personal battle field and seen much harm done.

    Now there is not equivocate from the Arminian camp. As a mater of fact I don’t know anyone who converted from Reformed to Arminian who went ballistic, well actually I don’t know of any Reformed brother who changed to Arminian.

  106. Michael says:

    DMW,

    We keep guards at the back door… 🙂

  107. Believe says:

    Michael…from my further reading…I am finding you have gleaned much from Arminius…no wonder some of your strident Calvinist brothers are critical of you. 🙂

    BTW…isn’t Arminius “reformed” also?

  108. Michael says:

    I’m not a student of Arminius at all.
    What you are probably recognizing is that Arminius was a student of Calvin and a lot of Calvin’s thought shows up in his writing.

    Arminius studied under Beza and was Reformed for quite some time.

  109. Believe says:

    Michael, yes that is what I must be noticing.

    It surprises me that you aren’t a student of Arminius at all…you say to go to the source and draw your own conclusions.

    It seems that the best way to test your belief system based on Calvinism…would be to become a student of Arminianism as well…studying directly from the source…not Calvinist’s views of Arminianism through their lens.

  110. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I read Arminius and I have his works.
    There is not much there that I didn’t find easily refuted or that I didn’t already understand and agree with.
    That which we hold in common was written and defined better by other writers.
    There is a fundamental difference in anthropology and soteriology that even though I understand, I reject.

    I believe that Calvin was a far better exegete and I am most definitely a student of his works.

  111. Michael says:

    James White has chimed in on his podcast about our thread.

    http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20100420.mp3

  112. Michael says:

    Interesting…James got this memo a month ago…George must have sent it out twice.

  113. deadmanwalking says:

    When I was at the Bible College, we had to keep a close watch on those kids. The last thing you wanted them to do was to start thinking. Keep them listening to Chuck tapes on double speed, the secret brain washing method where the kids thought they were cheating but us teachers knew that double speed listening bypassed the higher functions of the brain and planted what we wanted them to think directly into the subconscious, but once in a great while one would wake up and start actually reading, then we knew we had trouble, once one started to actually Think, the next thing you knew is he would get a friend to start reading forbidden Reformed books, then the covert secret meetings would begin and one at a time the deadly process of Thinking would spread like an insidious disease and those young minds would actually start to ask questions. Imagine that. They questioned Authority, well there was nothing left to do by then, it was time for them to take the pebble from the blind monks hand and leave the temple of lower learning.

  114. BrianD says:

    What exactly did James White say, Michael? And how far into the podcast is the mention?

  115. Believe says:

    Michael…got it. Misinterpreted what you meant by “not a student of Arminius at all”…

  116. OrthodoxbritneySpears says:

    Hey Guys,

    I just wanted to say sorry, I was in charge of the conspiracy to infiltrate all the churches that keep time by PST but my homeschooled tribe of 12 could not stamp the hand-made invites fast enough (I knew stopping at 12 would hinder the work of the Kingdom someday…I mean just like God ordained it.).

    Dear Dr. Rolph,
    You wrote, “Those of us who are hated equally by Calvinists and Arminians accept God’s sovereignty and pre-determination, but refuse to dictate to God what factors He is permitted to use when making His choices. God can never “not know” anything, thus He could conceivably use any information He has, including His knowledge of future human choices, in making His choices. It is a debate because we exist in time, and perceive everything in terms of what came first. The concept of priority is meaningless to an eternal God.”

    So in these scheme people make choices before they exist, but once they exist they are bound to the choices that God saw them make before they were existant, is that right? So choice is really a “theory” more than a practice in this scheme. Your potential you made a choice before the actual you existed, and now actual you is bound to make that choice since God stamped it in concrete once you made it before you existed.

    Oh, and where do people exist making choices before they are created? Oh, yes in God’s mind.

    Back to Sovereignty no matter how you slice it. The only other choice is the Open theist choice that is being proposed above, we and God are slipsliding through time together, just acting and reacting, but he is a better reactor so most stuff goes according to his liking. Now, prophecy gets messy here but at least we preserve that precious, most precious, libertarian free will that Americans most have to be whole.

  117. Em says:

    Pastor Orthodox,” he [god] is a better reactor so most stuff goes according to his liking..” since i know i used the word ‘react’ back up there… i think that very much in this world does not go according to His “liking.” But, everything is going to move in the direction He intends, of carrying out prophesies where applicable… aaand (IMO,of course), His reactions are responses to our God-given free-will and are always with a view to moving forward ( 🙂 ) His will – it’s all working to His intended end of ‘things.’

    maybe not theological, maybe it’s my logic … maybe

  118. Michael says:

    BrianD,

    Sorry, had to step out.

    It’s in the first few minutes…James teases me that he has better sources than I do. 😉

  119. Michael says:

    OBS,

    Does this mean I get the bathrobe and hat after all? 🙂

  120. Believe says:

    To me, this whole debate about God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility with regards to the space / time continuum COULD be like this:

    Ever watched an episode of the Drew Carey Show? You’ve got actors on the stage with a topic…but no script. They are given “topics” or “scenarios” and then have the freedom to ad-lib at will.

    One could TiVo an episode…and see all the “choices” the actors made…and know the final transcript…word for word…action for action. You could replay it a million times and nothing would change.

    It doesn’t mean that “knowing” the final outcome changed in any way the freedom the actors had to ad-lib in the moment.

    It just means you knew the outcome…every movement, every expression, every word, every choice.

    God is not bound by time.

    In our “Vapor” is it conceivable that God, in His Sovereignty, gives us the ability to make choices…even in response to His call for Salvation (He wishes that NONE will perish)…yet He foreknows that many will not respond to His calling?

    Could we be “actors on a stage” in a sense…and God KNOWS the script…He’s seen it already…but we exist in our dimension…bound by time…and we don’t know what choices we will freely make yet?…yet God does?

    But, then there’s:

    Genesis 6:6-8

    Why would this account in Genesis give the impression that God was surprised by Man’s sinfulness…why would God seemingly change His mind about Man?

    If Man is TOTALLY depraved…and there is NONE that seek righteousness…then how do you explain Noah?

  121. Believe says:

    Did Jesus ever talk about the Doctrine of Election and Predestination?

    Or, were those issues only addressed in the Pauline Epistles?

  122. Believe says:

    John 6:39

  123. Believe says:

    John 6:37

    John 6:40

    John 6:44

    John 17:2

    John 17:12

    John 17:24

    John 18:9

  124. John 10 “My sheep hear my voice”

    Joh 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

    Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

    There are others

  125. Believe says:

    Thanks Steve,

    They’re all in John and the Pauline Epistles…that I can find.

    There’s a post in moderation that includes the other references I found in John.

  126. Believe says:

    There’s so much division in the Church.

    Canon was developed using Consensus and Councils…basically groups of Men (with the assumption that the Holy Spirit was directing them) deciding what was and wasn’t the inerrant Word of God.

    Ever looked at the vote that took place at the Council of Trent? 24 for versus 15 against with 16 abstentions approved the Canon.

    Doesn’t sound very Spiritual to me…more like man-made Democratic process. 31 didn’t vote for the final Canon in Luther’s day.

    There’s very little disagreement, it seems, within the Church regarding who Jesus is…and the Gospel.

    After that, all the other stuff found in “Scripture” is very much debatable….as proven by all the denominations, non-denominations etc.

    What if hundreds of years from now…people read blogs with discussions of today’s Church Leaders addressing each other…and decided to make it Canon by vote?

    Just thinking and questioning out loud…

  127. OrthodoxbritneySpears says:

    Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

  128. OrthodoxbritneySpears says:

    Believe,

    The outside of time scenario doesnt address the issue, the question is what does it mean for God to predestine, what does it mean for him to choose? Does He really choose at all or does he just watch the rerun of the sticom and pick the winners?

  129. Believe says:

    OBS…possibly a false dichotomy….what if it’s a non-issue…one meant to distract from the simple truth of the Gospel…a tool of the devil…the father of lies…the great imitator…the angel of light….going way outside the box here…

    What “if”…”Canon” is a work of Man?

    What if we are including WAY too many books in our Sola Scriptura Dogma?

    What if Torah and the Prophets were from God…and the Gospels…and not much else?

    What if the Letters to the Churches…both the Pauline Epistles and the Jewish Epistles and the rest were not all inerrant…and thus the seeming contradictions and mental gymnastics regarding seemingly irreconcilable doctrines?

    Several local councils of the Church endorsed the books later to be endorsed by Trent. These were, the Council of Rome in AD 382, Hippo in AD 393, and Carthage in AD 397 and 419. The Council of Nicea II in AD 797 approved everything said by Carthage in AD 419.

    Who made up these Councils? Men. Church Leaders.

    Any of you out there in PP Land trust our Modern Day Church Leaders to make decisions like choosing the Canon for which we dogmatically follow?

    Were the Church Leaders different back then than we are today? Were they more Sanctified than we are? Holier? Closer to God?

    One of my lingering concerns regarding an emphasis on Church History…is my understanding of Man and our deep flaws and failings…and our capabilities for pride and being wrong.

    If Christ didn’t say it…I find myself with just a micron of doubt. If Christ said it, no doubt in my mind at all.

    Christ affirms Torah and the Prophets in the Gospels.

    I don’t question that the Gospels are accurate accounts…History Books if you will…of Jesus and His teachings.

    Doctrine based on Jesus’ teaching is from men…and an awful lot of it from Paul.

    Is it possible that by placing so much emphasis on straining the gnat of every Greek and Hebrew word in the whole Bible (as man determines what is and isn’t Canon) that we miss the simple message of Jesus Christ? Is Biblioidolatry possible? Has it become our “law”…and we’re missing something so simple?

    Is Sola Scriptura (as Man has defined it with the assumption it was the Holy Spirit that decided their votes) getting in the way of Sola Jesus?

    Wrestling…

  130. Michael says:

    What a crock.

    Why do you insist on avoiding the work to understand these things?

    You accept the OT…who wrote it?
    Who compiled it?
    Did it drop from heaven?

    Why the Gospels?
    Who wrote them?
    What makes you think they have any more veracity than Ephesians?

    You have no basis for either your assertions or questions.

  131. Believe says:

    “You accept the OT…who wrote it?”

    When confronted by Satan, Jesus appealed to the Old Testament as a source of authority by stating, “It is written,” (Matthew. 4:4-10).

    Jesus confirms Torah. (Matthew 5:18).

    Jesus confirms that Scripture cannot be broken. John 10:35).

    Jesus confirms Scripture is truth (John 17:17).

    Jesus affirmed the historical existence of Jonah (Matthew 12:40), Noah (Matthew 24:37-38), and Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-6).

    Jesus affirmed that God created the world (Mark 13:19; Matthew 19:4).

    Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit (Matthew 5:17).

    Jesus explained the Scriptures and Himself (Luke 24:27).

    Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr) (Matthew 23:35).

    “Who compiled it?”

    Men.

    “Did it drop from heaven?”

    Well, there’s the 10 Commandments…but, no…it was given to Men by God through the Holy Spirit.

    “Why the Gospels?”

    Because they are the Historical Account of Jesus and contain His teachings…and except for Mark 16:9-20 they appear consistent and verifiable.

    “Who wrote them?”

    Men.

    “What makes you think they have any more veracity than Ephesians?”

    Its authorship has traditionally been credited to Paul, but it is now widely accepted by critical scholarship to be “deutero-Pauline,” that is, written in Paul’s name by a later author strongly influenced by Paul’s thought. Bible scholar Raymond E. Brown asserts that about 80% of critical scholarship judges that Paul did not write Ephesians.[6]:p.47, and Perrin and Duling say that of six authoritative scholarly references, “four of the six decide for pseudonymity, and the other two (PCB and JBC) recognize the difficulties in maintaining Pauline authorship. Indeed, the difficulties are insurmountable.”

  132. Believe says:

    Michael…my reply to your earlier post is stuck in moderation…

  133. BrianD says:

    Not anymore.

  134. Michael says:

    I can produce as much “critical scholarship” maligning the Gospels as you want to see.

    I don’t believe it, but it’s certainly present in academia.

    I historically have a very low tolerance for those who want to discredit the cardinal doctrines of the faith.

    You have now reached that level.

    I have no tolerance for people who want to throw crap up against the wall to see what sticks.

    You have now exceeded my tolerance for that.

  135. Believe says:

    Michael…these are the kinds of questions Christian kids get hit with in “Academia”…and your type of response doesn’t do well to dispel the seeds of doubt planted by “professors”…they’re also the kinds of questions that get asked by Messianic Jews and others.

    You, IMO, should embrace the challenge to cardinal doctrines…but I’m happy to let it rest.

    There’s a whole world out there…outside of the Church and the lens of Church History as defined and perceived by the Reformed…and even broader Evangelicals.

  136. Michael says:

    I am now officially angry.

    Congratulations.

    We’re about to have a very large problem.

  137. Michael says:

    You’re not a “Christian kid”

    You are an adult who has been offered the resources to do intelligent research to find answers for faith.

    You don’t want to do that.

    That’s not my problem.

    It becomes my problem when someone decides to sow seeds of doubt on a forum I’m responsible for…and at that point I will take whatever actions I deem necessary to stop it.

  138. Believe says:

    Alright. I give. I’ll keep those types of questions off of here…and keep studying Church History and the Reformers…and limit my questions to stay within that matrix…and that protocol.

  139. Another Voice says:

    Believe,

    You insist on repeating the canard that a council of men determined the canon.
    Yet, why do you not insist that a council of men determined the Deity of Jesus Christ, or the Trinity? See your inconsistency?

    The stuff you are suggesting is heresy. No, I don’t throw that word around, and yes the charge does fit here.

    I don’t know what your motive is, truly.

    1) Maybe you are trying to be the smartest guy in the room by coming up with a theory, albeit heretical, to explain away your self-described ‘mental gymnastics’

    2) Maybe you are terribly bored.

    3) Maybe you want to argue for the sake of argument, since you have to know how crazy these posts sound around a forum such as this one.

    4) And maybe you are having a crisis of faith.

    You have been told by Pastor Michael to go study, and you keep promising to do so. Yet, the heretical posts keep coming. I know you don’t know this (based on what you wrote), but there is FAR more criticism about the authors and reliability of the four Gospels by the ‘higher critics’ than there are the Pauline Epistles. So your whole premise starts backwards.

    I’m trying to connect your dots. Luke = 100% reliable for his gospel.
    Luke also writes Acts, literally as a 2nd volume to the gospel.
    Acts tells us all about Paul’s incredible, unique conversion and ministry
    Acts includes many quotes and sermons from Paul

    Yet Paul is ‘just a man’ and since not Jesus Himself, is suspect in his letters.

    For the record, I do on occasion have questions asked me about Canonicity, especially New Testament. They almost always are from sincere Christians looking for answers, and I will spend all the time I have in answering them. They WANT to learn.

    If I encounter someone who is totally ignorant, yet has nothing better to do than argue for the sake of argument, I have a book or two I will give them and say “If you are really interested, read this and then we can talk”

    That is in essence what Michael has been saying.

    Your choosing to interpret that as his wanting only ‘limited questions within a matrix and protocol of the Reformers and Church History’ is silly and childish. The internet’s version of ‘since you feel that way I will take my ball and go home’

    Now…you’ve dished it out to me over the last couple weeks…let’s see if you are capable of digesting this post.

    You can have the last word.

  140. Michael says:

    AV,

    Thank you.

    You spoke far better than I did and I am in complete agreement with every word.

  141. Believe says:

    AV:

    “You have been told by Pastor Michael to go study, and you keep promising to do so. Yet, the heretical posts keep coming. I know you don’t know this (based on what you wrote), but there is FAR more criticism about the authors and reliability of the four Gospels by the ‘higher critics’ than there are the Pauline Epistles. So your whole premise starts backwards.”

    I am reading and studying Church History, the Councils, the Canon, the Reformers. Questions come up along the way…ones I wrestle with and don’t always have a good answer for…other than “I believe it because I accept it based on Child-Like Faith…and trust that the Men before me were truly led by the Holy Spirit on all the matters we currently accept Dogmatically as Orthodoxy.”

    I do know there’s a ton of criticism regarding the authorship and authenticity of the Gospels…and the statement I made that the Gospels are verifiable and consistent is heavily challenged by many “scholars”…so yes, that premise is inconsistent. Can’t pick and choose your books of the Bible to “believe” in.

    Yet we do. Why is the Book of Wisdom not included in Scripture…or the Book of Enoch? Maccabees? See the point I am making?

    We say in arguments on here that we don’t have the authority to do this or that…to leave it to God…yet our entire Orthodoxy is based on the acts of Councils of Men who voted on what was and wasn’t Objective Truth…and then we spend our lives arguing about Subjective Interpretations and Applications of the unquestioned Objective Standard that these Councils determined by vote.

    Better stated as a syllogism:

    We all believe the first seven Ecumenical Councils are unquestioned pillars of our Faith…and it is heresy to question Canon they established…therefore conclusions drawn outside of the first seven Ecumenical Councils are heresy.

    We’re so afraid of Ecumenicism today…yet, weren’t the Councils that determined Canon Ecumenical?

    Do you see my point? Where is the “line”? Where are the “boundaries”???

    Up until the Reformation…the bulk of Christianity was based on Ecumenical Councils…that were united to make decisions about issues and say what was and what wasn’t “heresy”…

    Then the Reformation…and now you’ve got RCC, Lutheran, Reformed, Episcopal / Anglican, Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Baptist / Anabaptist, Methodist / Arminian and a whole host of non-denomination denominations…including CC.

    What do these all have “in common”…where is there “consensus”…the Canon. The Reformers and Protestants have no problem accepting the first seven councils unquestioningly…but somewhere along the line…later Councils / Synods there is disagreement…and disunity…and bang…all these “denominations”…all with their own Creeds / Confessions and many with continuing Councils and Synods…that can’t agree on much of anything…so bang, further division.

    CC teaches “through the Bible”…and accepts the Canon…unquestioned…based on the determinations of Ecumenical Councils 1-7 that made decisions as to what is and isn’t Scripture….and made “final” decisions on issues like the Trinity, Christology, etc.

    The Calvary Chapel Distinctives are, in a sense, a Creed…which ventures outside of the first seven Councils.

    Who gives the “authority” to make determinations of “truth” outside of the first seven councils? There was unity and unquestioned “truth”…and then there wasn’t anymore.

    My conclusion (so far) is that anything outside of the first seven Councils is non-foundational and potential heresy…since the Church lacks “consensus” post first seven Councils.

  142. Believe says:

    AV:

    “I don’t know what your motive is, truly.

    1) Maybe you are trying to be the smartest guy in the room by coming up with a theory, albeit heretical, to explain away your self-described ‘mental gymnastics’

    2) Maybe you are terribly bored.

    3) Maybe you want to argue for the sake of argument, since you have to know how crazy these posts sound around a forum such as this one.

    4) And maybe you are having a crisis of faith.”

    No to number one. “You have to become a fool to become wise”…

    Sometimes to number two.

    No to number three…except the “crazy” part…there may be truth to that. God knows I feel that way at times when issues and people’s actions don’t make sense to me.

    No to number four. The exact opposite. I have so much Faith now…that I am not afraid to ask questions and poke at it from every angle I can conceive. It is a weak Faith that cannot be tested and questioned.

    I’ll add a number 5: I really want to know more than just the regurgitated history and conclusions of other men. I want God to grant me wisdom…which equals knowledge…and Belief and Objective Truth intersect at Wisdom.

    I crave Absolute Truth (the Objective Standard Rolph mentioned in previous discussions).

    I am “working out my own Salvation in fear and trembling”…and not taking someone else’s word for it…which is the whole point…isn’t it?

    Maybe stating my methods for trying to get at Objective Truth will help you understand…i thought I articulated this better in a discussion with Michael recently…but communication is such a difficult exercise at times…one person sending and one person receiving…and so much room for miscommunication.

    Arguing the “ridiculous” or the “other side” is a great way to test your Thesis. I’ve gone way out of the box recently…but that’s because being bound strictly to our accepted “debate matrix” regarding Theology doesn’t further the discussion for me…it’s the same old arguments over and over and over…rehash upon rehash upon rehash. I’m reading the old stuff in history…and I see the discussions and debates on the PP. We like to say, “nothing new under the sun”…and in one sense it’s true…but is it really? There’s been a lot “new under the sun” since Christ died and rose again. The passing of each of the first seven Councils brought new consensus. The Reformation was new and radical…and so on.

    “You don’t truly understand Calvinism…otherwise you’d agree with me.”

    “You don’t understand Arminianism…otherwise you’d agree with me.”

    “You don’t understand Calvary Chapel…otherwise you’d agree with me.”

    “You don’t understand Grace…otherwise you’d agree with me.”

    See the point?

    I don’t believe we really understand much of anything…outside of the first seven Councils…and even then…would it be so “wrong” to review everything they all did and take a second look?

    What are we so afraid of? Is our Faith that weak?

  143. Believe says:

    …and if we all agree that the first seven Councils got it right…then why don’t we go back to Ecumenical Councils to determine “truth”???

    Whey stop where they did? Why not bring all the “family” back together and hash things out again…like in the days of old?

    God hasn’t changed. If the Holy Spirit was at work in those Councils…and agreement meant “truth”…then we should continue that today.

    Or, has God decided to work differently in our day and age? And if so, why and how? And how do we know? Is it just because that’s the way it’s happening so that’s therefore it must be God’s will?

    The RCC labels Protestantism as heresy. Many Protestants (and Reformers) believe the Catholic Church is the great Whore of Babylon referenced in Revelation.

    We all have the first seven Councils in common.

  144. Believe says:

    Martin Luther rocked the Church world with his questioning.

    He was excommunicated for his firm stances.

    The Reformation took hold and his teachings were widely circulated and became popular.

    A mini-revolution ensued and he began writing to quell the uprising. He then developed what became like Scripture for the people who followed him. The Doctrine of The Divine Right of Kings…which was very popular among the secular people of his day.

    The rebellion was crushed, leaders executed…and the remaining “rebels” coalesced mostly as the anabaptists…and were persecuted for many years.

    Luther tried to merge with Protestantism as a cohesive “movement”…but the beliefs regarding the Eucharist splintered the group when they couldn’t reach “consensus”…Luther found himself as a denomination underneath Protestantism.

    He launched into creating a “church” and experienced growing pains that remind me of CC…

    “Merciful God, what misery I have seen,” Luther wrote, “the common people knowing nothing at all of Christian doctrine … and unfortunately many pastors are well-nigh unskilled and incapable of teaching.”

    What concerns me about Luther is his writings about the Jews. Picking and choosing is difficult for me…we lean heavily on Luther for much of his writings…but often act like his writings about the Jews don’t exist…or we minimize them.

    “On the Jews and Their Lies”…and “On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ”…both contain very disturbing writings about the Jews.

    Does this tarnish Luther’s credibility? Should we view his other writings with skepticism based on his writings concerning the Jews?

    Or, do we take out what we want from his works…and throw away the rest…and say, “He was used mightily by God…so we don’t have to worry about the bad stuff.” ???

    Is that a cop-out?

  145. Believe says:

    AV, something for consideration.

    You argue within a framework that presupposes Sola Scriptura…and within this framework…the arguments that are viewed as valid come from the presupposition regarding accepted Canonicity (the Spriptura part of the Sola Scriptura).

    Within this framework…there are pre-defined historically documented “experts”…and “events”…like Councils and of course the Reformation….then you have all of the philosophies and doctrines and systems of Theology, creeds, writings, catechisms, etc. that flows from the recognized “experts” if you will.

    Built on top of this framework…you have a further splintering of denominations and non-denomination denominations…and more “events”…fewer Councils of historical significance (though still some in various denominations and the RCC)…but “events” like the Great Awakening, The Second Great Awakening…possibly the Jesus People Movement…and personalities, more teachings (Distinctives) and Movements…etc.

    …and eventually you get to where we’re at today.

    As Michael says…one man’s work is built on another and so on.

    The Socratic Method can be employed…much like in Science…to Theology (IMO)…especially in light of the argument by Michael and others that Theology is the Science of God.

    Instead of beginning an argument about Theology from within the presupposed framework…what about beginning it at the foundation? By process of Socratic Method…opposing viewpoints can be hashed out and as each one produces a contradiction…it can be eliminated…and so on.

    One can work from the top down…or the bottom up…for Theological debates…I prefer the bottom up.

    If the foundation is wrong…you’ve lost the whole argument before you’ve started.

    If the foundation is right…you’ve got something to build on.

    Why were some books left out of official Canon? Why do we accept as “truth” the conclusions made by the first seven Councils?

    The Holy Spirit is with us today…just as He was in antiquity.

  146. Tim says:

    Believe –
    You’ve obviously started reading the Critical scholars. Fine. Now start reading the Conservative ones (which is all Michael is really asking). You might find that the questions you’re asking have all been asked & answered before.

  147. Xenia says:

    Believe, most Protestants reject the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which is about the use of icons.

  148. Em says:

    comes down to ‘there are no short-cuts to knowledge’ and are we allowed to pick another’s brain for nuggets that were acquired thru a whole lot of disciplined, organized swinging a pick to get to (the nuggets) – how many times have parents (in the old days, at least) told the children ‘go look it up’ ie ‘learn it’ for yourself, so it will become part of your own frame of reference?
    OTH – there is something sweet in walkin and talkin about the Faith, too… learning from a wiser one as we go…
    BUT, if we ask for another’s knowledge, are we receptive or just questioning???
    just sayin this morning

  149. Not Alone says:

    So Believe, you should shut up until you have read every thing they have told you to read. It’s not enough that you went to a Christian college and graduated with a degree. Maybe your degree was not good enough. You have to read the prescribed reading, once you have done that then you can ask your questions again. I wonder how long that will take?

    I do some light programming, but my Silicon Valley buddies laugh at my trying to understand their conversations, until I digest the conversation and post questions that baffle them, not because the questions are beneath them, but because they have no answer outside what they have been taught.

    The bottom line, you don’t know jack until they say you do… no matter what! Sorry buddy.

  150. Another Voice says:

    Not Alone,

    Believe is being asked to study before he promotes heresy in this Christian forum – nothing more.

    That is obvious to all but the perpetually offended.

  151. Michael says:

    The answers to Believes questions have been written down for hundreds of years.

    If the expectation is that I’m obligated to write an online book to answer someone when those books have already been written by far greater men than me, then there’s going to be great disappointment here.

    One cannot realistically learn to study anything by looking up Google articles between customers.

    Yes, the reading takes time and an investment in finding and understanding truth.

    If you don’t want to take the time and make the investment, then that’s on you.

  152. Not Alone says:

    What ever AV, from the outside looking in, it’s looks like another boys club offended that someone is stepping on their turf. He asked questions and backed up his questions with reference. I can’t figure out why that made you guys upset. If you would have had some answers, your painful thinking could have stopped sooner. But I think you have effectively shut him up now.

    That is obvious to all except the perpetually self bloated.

  153. Michael says:

    Furthermore, it is one thing to ask questions, it’s entirely another to make dogmatic statements and demand a response.

    Questions are welcome if the intent is mutual learning and edification.

  154. Michael says:

    Not Alone,

    You two are more than welcome to start your own blog and educate us all.

    You are not welcome to stay here and continue in this tenor.

    Period.

  155. Not Alone says:

    I understand what you are saying Michael and I would probably agree if I had more knowledge on the subject, but again from the outside looking in, you guys continue to squash him on almost every thread. Why is that? I am only taking up for him because the same has been done to me a few times and its not a good feeling. Is it a putting in time thing before anyone has respect enough to treat you fairly? These types of questions are always turned away by pastors quickly and not gently. Instead they are met with extreme anger and insinuation.

    You’ve had conversations with him. Did he strike you as a heretic? Why not the benefit of the doubt?

  156. Michael says:

    NA,

    I have spoken to him online and off.
    I have tried to point to resources that will enable him to address these issues thoughtfully.

    You simply cannot learn any one of these things overnight… it takes work.

    If someone refuses to do the work yet insists on having their opinion held in high regard I wash my hands and go down the road.

    You will never find a forum more open to dialog with more people willing to help those who come with some measure of humility.

  157. Not Alone says:

    I think it began to look like dogmatic statements because no one would give him an answer to anything. So he started laying out why he asked the questions. These are all just my interpretations of the situation. I have not spoken to him about this. I’m just saying, we handled the gay issues with kid gloves last week because that was politically correct, but bring up these issues and it seemed like the stakes and fire came out quickly. Just my observation and opinion, which I have been told here on many occasions means nothing.

  158. Not Alone says:

    Resonce to Michael says:
    April 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Ok, makes since. Now others are forewarned and can tread lightly.

  159. Not Alone says:

    I understand, thank you.

  160. Michael says:

    “I think it began to look like dogmatic statements because no one would give him an answer to anything. ”

    I don’t have the time or the hands to teach an online class in church history and canon development.

    It’s been done already and done far better than I could ever hope to do.

    Those resources are available to anyone, for free, online from various traditions.

    If it’s that important, that’s where to go then come back and ask whatever you want.

  161. Please Note says:

    Michael & others have been very compassionate with believe as he has worked through his isuues here. Many of us have even contacted him off-blog to offer encouragement.

    Many also swallowed their tongue during that time when he was offensive, as we felt his pain in his words.

    This is a different subject, and his blog-style needs to change.

    Just like the talking heads on every cable channel, feiging indignance on every subject gets old, and loses any punch it may have.

    3 or 4 times Believe has said his protocol on here was inapproriate, and that he was sorry, only to return to the same methodology.

    It is also getting tiresome waiting for him to learn the newbie lesson that you don’t have to post all day, every day, on every thread.

    Give others a chance to get a word in. Hijacking every thread to hoist your personal pitard is tiresome,too.

    Michale, I haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise, but you’ve had some GREAT articles lately, including this one.

    Thanks for sharing the lessons you learn, as they often are paralleing my own.

  162. Please Note says:

    OOPS!

    Michale was meant to read Michael!

    Sorry Michale 8)

  163. Please Note says:

    Crap!

    I did it again.

    Sorry Michael.

    Really!

    Sorry!

  164. Michael says:

    PN,
    I think that’s the French derivative of my name… 🙂

  165. Please Note says:

    Oui, Mon Ami 😉

  166. Not Alone says:

    Reply to Michael on
    April 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks, I completely understand your position now. I agree with what you are saying. Thank you for the clarification. Your statements were easily read and your points clearly laid out. I concede.

    If even one of you had done that earlier, I would have had nothing to say. I’m suggesting maybe gently 1st rebuke, then the fire if people don’t comply. Most of the time you guys just come off as “go away kid, you’re bothering me” then after the offended flames, takes a break, comes back and apologizes, then someone actually explains it to them. I’m just saying it sure would be nice to skip those steps sometimes…you know.

  167. Not Alone says:

    Reply to Please Note
    April 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I understand, I get it. It’s an unexplained dynamic that I was not aware of. I’m afraid of doing that myself, maybe that’s why most of the time I keep my comments to myself.

  168. Michael says:

    NA,

    I hear you…but I’ve said the same things over and over again on this thread.

    My heart is to teach…I love to teach and the more someone wants to learn the more I want to teach.

    Though I don’t know AV, he seems to share that same characteristic.

    Theology is the great romance of my life…I am intoxicated with learning about God and knowing Him more fully…it is truly my heartbeat.

    I love to share that affection with others…but I don’t enjoy getting bashed with things out of context and demanded to do do things in a minute that took hours, days, months, and years.

    Thank you for listening…truly.

  169. Michael says:

    I just had an idea…maybe some good will come out of this after all…

  170. Not Alone says:

    I often enjoy learning here in silence, usually my questions are answered before I have a chance to ask them.
    Thank you for taking the time.
    I’m sure good will come out of all of it.

  171. Another Voice says:

    Though I don’t know AV, he seems to share that same characteristic.
    —————————————————————
    Indeed, Michael.

  172. Another Voice says:

    Many also swallowed their tongue during that time when he was offensive, as we felt his pain in his words.
    ————————————————–
    Indeed, Please Note.

  173. Michael says:

    We’re going to go through “Concise Theology” by Dr. Packer one doctrine at time, a new doctrine every day, starting tomorrow.

    Bite sized, understandable,systematic theology.

    Obviously, Packer and I will usually agree but we have enough good teachers from orthodox traditions to make this well rounded and workable.

  174. Not Alone says:

    Looking foreword to it.

  175. Lutheran says:

    “Picking and choosing”…

    Believe,

    I hope don’t miss the irony here.

    Your comic book-deep description of Luther and the Reformation are caricatures at best.

    Picking and choosing?

    Look in the mirror, buddy. Do some study before you post and you’ll be taken seriously.

  176. Erunner says:

    If the calvinist’s are indeed the frozen chosen I can only deduce one thing after getting a glimpse of Kate Gosselin dancing! :mrgreen:

  177. Believe says:

    “I am thankful I am not overly concerned about whether my debate opponents take me seriously or not—that is beyond my control. It speaks more to the individual debater and how he views his task and his responsibility to the audience than anything else.”

    I look forward to watching James White debate Robert Price.

  178. Believe says:

    “This should be a good debate. The topic is the historical reliability of the New Testament, something Price knows a lot about. James White though will have read up on Price’s arguments and he’ll be ready with something. Not sure what though.

    White’s view of Price is clear. He thinks Price is on a mission to discredit the Bible. That’s true of a lot of atheists, but in fact it is not true of Price. Price is a guy that frequently corrects overzealous atheists in their efforts to identify contradictions. For instance he believes that the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 do not necessarily require that the earth is young. Someone that advocates “every possible theory that militates against Christian orthodoxy” would probably prefer to assume that the Bible is teaching six literal 24 hour creation days because it sounds so absurd. Price doesn’t do this.

    I’ve spoken with White on the Dividing Line about Price (see the 6/5/07 discussion). He tried to make the same sort of point. Robert Price has radical skepticism and applies one standard to the Bible and another to all other texts in an effort to discredit it. I said no. He treats the Qur’an the same way. “Sorry. The Bible and Qur’an have different textual histories.” I replied that all books have different textual histories. “Oh so it’s just so he can discredit theistic faiths.” OK. At this stage it’s obvious that White doesn’t know much about Price’s work. Price talks about how his reasonable questions apply to Plato’s works and others on a regular basis.

    So I think at this stage White probably has fundamental misunderstandings about Price and his views. He’ll be reading up on them in the months to come. Hopefully that will do him some good.”

  179. Believe says:

    Tim said, “Believe –
    You’ve obviously started reading the Critical scholars. Fine. Now start reading the Conservative ones (which is all Michael is really asking). You might find that the questions you’re asking have all been asked & answered before.”

    No Tim, I haven’t “started reading the Critical scholars”…my background is Argumentation and Debate, Critical Thinking, Rhetoric, Rhetorical Criticism, Logical Fallacy and Persuasion.

    I am applying “man’s reason”….man’s “logos”…my training (at the level I have it…which in the hierarchy of Critical Thinking…is low-intermediate…but well above the lay-person…well below a PhD…though I trained with a professor who taught at USC and who holds a PhD from USC who is brilliant)…to these issues.

    It’s a messy task…and probably unwise to try and pull it off on the PP…too many get the wrong impression…and aren’t “getting it”…you think I’m a pompous trouble-maker, immature or crazy (and you might be right 🙂 )

    Even though we like to “debate” and “argue” on here…I don’t know that the challenges I want to present and wrestle with will be “edifying”…it will probably just tempt most of you to sin and cause you to doubt…as I probably lack the ability Rhetorically (and the personal self-control) to direct the discussions in a manner that will bring about greater understanding and (actually) a stronger Faith.

    A sound Apologetic…outside of the Construct of one’s Theology…is necessary if you want to use Reason to argue your Theological differences.

    It is faulty logic (and poor Rhetoric to the Critically minded) to argue about how special Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is compared to the other Reindeer…built on your premise that the Santa Claus Story is real…if you haven’t proven the premise that the Santa Claus Story is in fact real and Reasonably defensible.

    You can argue “Theology” ad infinitum…without building it on a foundation of Macro-Apologetic…you lose a big part of the audience…outside of the blind Faithful…and the non-Critical thinking masses.

    Fundamentalism, Bible Inerrancy, Literalism…all have their consequences…and I notice the gaping inconsistencies because of my training…both in the discussions on the PP…and in the daily life “reality” of the practices of the Leaders of the Church (rogue pastors, et al).

    The more I read Church History and the Reformation…the more questions. Michael’s assumption is that if I just knew more Church History and more about the Reformation…I would “get it”…my assumption is that if Michael knew more about Critical Thinking and Reason…like he tries to use within the matrix of what he defines as proper Theological Debates…he’d understand a “better” way to present his Rhetoric…and, at the same time…would hone his Belief System (and possibly “repent” of Calvinism 🙂 🙂 ).

    I am hopeful that James White will present a strong argument when debating Robert Price. Not because I am having a Crisis of Faith…I am not…rather because I am hopeful there is someone within the Church who can Reasonably (meaning from a Critical perspective) defend Fundamental Evangelical Christianity.

  180. Believe says:

    Well PN…tell me how you really feel 🙂

    I know how Michael would respond to that one…but, I’ll refrain from those two words. 🙂

    1. “Just like the talking heads on every cable channel, feiging indignance on every subject gets old, and loses any punch it may have.”

    When I’m indignant…I’m indignant. I’m not feigning it. The insinuation from your communication I am receiving is that I am lying (feigning). It may get old…it may lose it’s punch in your opinion.

    Don’t call me a liar, unless you can prove it.

    No smiley face on that one.

    I get indignant on a lot of issues…because I see things when I analyze things that excite me (positively and negatively). One thing I learned in Debate was to argue both sides of an issue. There is no “feigning” involved. You put yourself on that side of the argument and you attack, from that premise, and apply Critical Thinking.

    That’s how “beliefs” are properly tested from my training. I’ll quote Michael here…”Go study Argument, Critical Thinking and Rhetoric for years and come back when you’re done…otherwise your opinion isn’t valid and doesn’t matter” (or something to that effect).

    2. “3 or 4 times Believe has said his protocol on here was inapproriate, and that he was sorry, only to return to the same methodology.”

    You’re right on that one. I’m done apologizing. If you don’t like the way my mind works…and you can’t handle the questioning…then ban me. I’m not going to turn off my brain, or ignore my training, to appease people.

    3. “It is also getting tiresome waiting for him to learn the newbie lesson that you don’t have to post all day, every day, on every thread. Give others a chance to get a word in. Hijacking every thread to hoist your personal pitard is tiresome,too.”

    I accept that criticism. I’ve been over-zealous in expressing myself on here and need to consider others. One critique…if you’re going to get pithy and use the word petard…at least spell it correctly 🙂 🙂

  181. Believe says:

    Lute…all the “context” and “learning” about Luther will not change the fact that he held beliefs (and clearly stated beliefs) that are way wrong and not Christian.

    You can pick from the bulk of his work that was of value.

    That will not change the inarguable fact of his writings regarding the Jews. Go read them if you need a refresher. I did. They make me sick.

  182. Believe says:

    I am being convicted, personally, of my own sycophantic tendencies on here.

    “To thine own self be true.”

  183. Believe says:

    AV said, “Believe is being asked to study before he promotes heresy in this Christian forum – nothing more.”

    I am not “promoting” heresy…I am challenging/testing Orthodoxy and Dogma. If you can’t see the difference…there’s not much I can do about that.

    “That is obvious to all but the perpetually offended.”

    Real pastoral there AV…great example. I know I’m a jerk and people have no problem calling me on it.

  184. Believe says:

    X, thanks for that clarification on the Councils.

  185. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You are now under moderation.

    I am no longer interested in dealing with your contentiousness and insults to myself and this community.

  186. Michael says:

    “The more I read Church History and the Reformation…the more questions. Michael’s assumption is that if I just knew more Church History and more about the Reformation…I would “get it”…my assumption is that if Michael knew more about Critical Thinking and Reason…like he tries to use within the matrix of what he defines as proper Theological Debates…he’d understand a “better” way to present his Rhetoric…and, at the same time…would hone his Belief System (and possibly “repent” of Calvinism ).”

    Ҧ For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    For it is written,
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
    ¶ Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
    For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
    For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
    but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
    but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    ¶ For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
    But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
    God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
    so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
    And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
    so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””
    (1 Corinthians 1:18–31 ESV)

    I have no need to defend my faith here.
    I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I believe that God has given us His word in the 66 books of the Bible.
    When we discuss and debate theology here we do so as fellow believers and as members of the family of God.

    There are websites that deal with the kind of mental gymnastics and scholastic techniques that you are fond of.

    This is not, not will it ever be, one of them.

  187. Michael says:

    “What concerns me about Luther is his writings about the Jews. Picking and choosing is difficult for me…we lean heavily on Luther for much of his writings…but often act like his writings about the Jews don’t exist…or we minimize them.”

    Horse crap.

    I’ve done articles on this and so has every Lutheran scholar who ever lived and every church historian who ever wrote about him.

    Luthers gift to the church was his exegesis and recovery of cardinal doctrines and those gifts have been found in accord with Scripture.

    His vile writings about the Jews do not accord with Scripture and have been rejected by Lutherans and the church.

    There are no infallible men so the church relies on the Word and the Spirit working in the holy community to determine truth.

    This issue wasn’t that hard to figure out…

  188. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    Spot on.

    Luther’s theology and writings have probably been analyzed and studied more than anyone else in history.

    Believe seems to like mental gymnastics and logical gyrations,, but without study and understanding of context, it’s pretty much just horse pucky.

  189. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    It is widely accepted that there have been more words written by and about Luther than any other Christian theologian.

    There are some real lessons for today that we can learn from Luthers writings about the Jews.

    His issue wasn’t race or ethnicity, but eschatology…

  190. Em says:

    Believe doesn’t want to be a sycophant here. That’s good isn’t it? But what is needed more is the attitude of a learner. Dear Rebecca (and my late husband, too) with all her debating skills and logic could combine the two and pull it off beautifully here (must not be easy).

  191. Michael says:

    Em,

    I don’t think we have any sycophants here and for the most part we all try to walk in humility about these issues.

  192. Lutheran says:

    Michael,

    I wonder if the lesson from Luther is that we all need to be really careful about how we interpret Scripture WRT end-times details. And that those choices have ramifications for
    real people in real societies.

  193. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    Exactly!

  194. Believe says:

    Michael said, “I am no longer interested in dealing with your contentiousness and insults to myself and this community.”

    So, it’s OK for you to be insulting and contentious…but no one else?

    And, if the truths of the Bible are “foolish”…as you postulate…then why do you Theologians try to use Reason and Debate techniques to argue your Theological Premises?…and Rhetorical techniques to try and “sell” them?

    Theologians like you and many others…attempt to use “logic and reason” to argue your irreconcilable “points”…and claim “logic”…when you believe it “proves” your point.

    Yet, when Critical Thinking is applied to the Construct and foundation of your entire Belief System…you lash out or dismiss it out-of-hand and won’t “wrestle”…

    Before you preach to me about Theology…get your Macro-Apologetic together…and then we’ll talk “Theology”…which in your own words you call “The Science of God”…

    Otherwise…realize Logos..the Word…is Spirit…and have blind Child-Like Faith (like I do)…and leave the Logic to the Liberal Scholars…and quit acting like you have a Sound Argument for all the issues in Scripture. Calvin’s work is so full of holes…the Swiss wouldn’t use it as cheese.

  195. Michael says:

    Theologians reason from Scripture and history and those are the only sort of arguments that I’ve ever propounded here.

    I am not a philosopher or a rhetorician, nor do I have any desire to pursue those fields of inquiry.

    I freely confess my ignorance of those fields and my complete lack of intent to change it.

    I know why I believe what I believe and I’ve invested my life in and will continue to invest my life in the pursuit of the knowledge and person of God.

    Had I known you were expert in the teachings of Calvin I would have engaged in that discussion long ago…

  196. Xenia says:

    I used to be critical of Luther’s ant-Jewish writings until I discovered that my own favorite theologian, St. John Chrysostom, wrote the same kind of thing.

  197. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    We can still be critical of those writings while rejoicing in the works that edify of both men.

  198. Xenia says:

    MIchael, yep. I used to point to Luther’s anti-semitic writings as *proof* that he could be dismissed but when I read St. John C’s writings I wasn’t at all prepared to dismiss him because this is the very same St. John who wrote the Orthodox Divine Liturgy!

  199. Please Note says:

    Wow, Believe.

    Just Wow.

    Try Decaf…

  200. Xenia says:

    Speaking of studying, someone recently gave me the entire 38-volume set of the writings of the Church Fathers, which I am working my way through. I will probably be 90 years old by the time I get finished. I’m reading them in conjunction with other old church literature, such as Eusebius and Josephus (not a Christian, but relevant.) I have so much stuff here to read that I never need to buy another book again.

  201. Shilo says:

    I still see tones of Rich Abanas. 😯

  202. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I was telling Holly the exact same thing yesterday…I could spend the rest of my life just studying what I already own.

    It probably won’t stop me from acquiring more though… 🙂

  203. Michael says:

    Shiloh,

    Rich “who could never be wrong”? 🙂
    I’m still worried about him, though…

  204. Xenia says:

    I have over 1500 books…. am I a hoarder or an amateur librarian?

  205. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You’re a collector of literature and knowledge… 🙂

  206. Em says:

    i am wiped out tired today for various reasons – no worries – i think i called Rachel by Rebecca back up there somewhere…. apologies

  207. Em says:

    speaking of Abanes (& Holly) one of the advantages of having posted here is the fact that you will be prayed for (even after “moving forward” or on or ?) – every now and then someone will come to mind during prayer time and i’ve heard others here (ladies who pray efficaciously) say the same…

  208. Em says:

    Michael and Xenia and all who have such libraries – you may be scholars and librarians, but you are also among the “guardians of the faith” IMO – what will we do when the power grid collapses? 😉

  209. Michael says:

    Em,

    Good point about our prayer warriors….

  210. Bada Bing says:

    I corresponded with George awhile back briefly. I am a CC member and in leadership (not a lead pastor) and told him so. After about or week or so of correspondence, he wrote the letter on his website challenging Calvinists within CC to “come out of the closet,” or something like that.

    You can’t be a CC pastor apparently (I was never told this) if you don’t agree with Chuck Smith on this issue (it hasn’t been an issue for me). You have to believe in another gospel. In fact, you can’t even get into the CC Bible College if you don’t reject Calvinism. Sad, sad, sad…they have made Arminianism an essential doctrine.

  211. Please Note says:

    Bing-

    Your post smells fishy.

    First of all, you say your are in leadership, but you alos say you are a ‘member’.

    How are you a member? If you were in leadership, you would know they don’t have memberships.

    Plus, if you are part of CC, why do you keep referring to it as ‘they’.

    Whether you are legit or not, it seems rather asinine to broad-brush ‘them’, since you act as if you are part of ‘them’, yet don’t hold these beliefs. Kind of undermines your own argument.

    There are some GREAT CC pastors that are part of this community, and are nothing like what you are representing.

    And to make statements like they “believe in a different Gospel” just undermines any salient points you might make.

    Thanks for playing.

  212. Bada Bing says:

    I’m not trying to play a game. When I say member, I say that as a member who has been in CC for over thirty years. No, we don’t have formal membership. But we have people who have been here for years, and yes I call them and myself members of the body. Your attempt at the exposition of my post failed.

    I have seen firsthand growing up (that I can look back on as an adult) the roots of what I believe has led to man-centered methods within CC. I have seen the fruit of unchanged lives, the lack of church discipline, those who have said the sinner’s prayer yet disappear months later, never to be seen again. It hurts me deeply to admit this, because CC is my home. I dread the day that I ever leave. I value the friendships and the fellowship immensely. It’s like having to admit something bad about one of my parents. It grieves my heart to no end.

    Yet like Paul, no matter how the Gospel is preached, I rejoice.

    Now as a husband, a father and in leadership, I am there to try to do my part in the church but without causing division. I believe God has placed me where I am for a reason. I am praying for an opportunity to be used in my small local church to get away from the man-centered methods and back to the focus being primarily on God’s glory, as opposed to man’s needs. While the two are linked, we cannot truly understand the Biblical gospel until we understand that salvation exists for God’s glory first and man second. When we realize that, we see why we must use His methods and not ours.

    So when I say, “they,” – I am referring to those in charge of the CC movement – men far more famous than I. I am not a GREAT CC pastor. But I have learned so much in CC, God used it immensely in my life.

    As for me: After saying many sinner’s prayers and raising my hand again and again, my life was never changed. I was truly saved when I was away from the church as a reprobate adult and in my sin, helplessness and misery, God brought me to my knees in despair and then rescued me from myself – in an instant. My life has not been the same since.

    So I believe in the doctrines of grace not just because they are in Scripture, but because I have lived them.

    But maybe this is not the place for such a discussion…brother.

  213. Please Note says:

    Well Brother Bing, your second post was nothing like your first.

    This is the perfect place for discussing much of what your second post states, and that occurs here regularly. Have you posted or read here before now?

    Your second post doesn’t make broad-brush strokes about the entire movement follwoing a false Gospel, but makes refernce to your experince within the movement. That’s completely different.

    The Bada Bing moniker, and labeling others as having a false Gospel, all in 6 sentences, seemed more like a drive-by post than someone who wanted to dialogue. You stated your opinion as fact & didn’t leave much room for discussion.

    But if you really want to discuss it, this would be the perfect place.

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