Things I Think

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406 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    2. Yes. The majority of church meetings yesterday around the world, were gentle blessed gatherings. Easy to forget.

    3. Never cared about lent.

    4. Yes. “Don’t be homo, you sick queer”. Thus driving the person’s rebellious heart to say, “If you say I can’t, then I WILL!”. But when the Holy Spirit convicts the heart that the Lord loves them and desires by grace to show them the better way, then change happens.

    5. Beautifully said.

    9. You know it is possible to teach on it as prophetic, and yet also pray for all involved. Both are valid.

  2. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl or the Oscars for no theological reason.
    Had 3 of the grandkids over yesterday – we watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

  3. filbertz says:

    Interesting angle on Law/Grace in #4. I remain on the record that grace and love, the two most essential characteristics that should characterize the Church, are the two least understood and practiced aspects of the same.

    Yes, I believe #5 to be true. The miraculous isn’t necessarily healing of paralysis, but I wouldn’t rule it out. 😉

    regarding Russia vs. Ukraine, the West is largely led by geldings and Putin is banking on it.
    As to Hal L & his sort making hay…well, that merely means those that eat it up are cattle.

  4. filbertz says:

    as to #10, I think there’s been more conversions to “none of the above.” 😉

  5. Michael says:

    Fil,

    My theory is that whatever “law” we rail against without an equal measure of grace will be the law we see broken most frequently and fervently among us…and I agree about love and grace.

  6. Michael says:

    Fil,

    Your #4 is more accurate than my #10…

  7. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I think most prophecy teaching is done for speculation and titillation.
    It draws a crowd.
    My best prophecy teaching is from Matt 25…

  8. Josh Hamrick says:

    1. I just don’t care about the awards shows. Didn’t even know it was on. Not because I’m holy, but because I have other interests.

    2. Our services were wonderful. Miraculous, even.

    3. I am glad that some people find meaning in this season, but it just seems like another burden to me.

    4, I have no clue how to deal with the gay agenda folks. Individual gay people? Sure.

    5. Yes. I see it all the time.

    6. Yep. An agnostic friend posted a link to the pope saying there is no Hell. He posted it cause he likes the idea. I asked, should people who rape babies go to Hell?

    7. Good word.

    8. You have to admit, it would be easy to imagine an unfolding of events from here that would lead to some cataclysmic global war. Pretty nutty, whatever Russia is up to.

    9. I hope not.

    10. You won’t be happy until the Dove has a tulip in its mouth . 🙂

  9. filbertz says:

    Michael, my point should probably be that those who worry about Calvinism/CC stuff should be more concerned about the exodus of people to the hinterlands.

  10. Michael says:

    Josh,

    You’ve exposed me…we will be moving the capital from Costa Mesa to Geneva… 🙂
    Truthfully, I believe God creates denominations to be distinctive.
    If CC accepted Calvinism it would be utterly indistinguishable from the SBC and every bit as contentious.
    What I do want is the respect for my tradition that others want also…

  11. Michael says:

    When I wrote #4 I was thinking about Bill Gothards fall and the legalistic crap he spewed forth only to be caught in it.
    Homosexuality is just our current whipping boy…

  12. Andy says:

    Michael wrote: “I think most prophecy teaching is done for speculation and titillation”

    I believe that “most” is an unfair stretch. There’s looney things in every category of doctrine. That doesn’t mean that end-times doctrine is useless. It was end-times doctrine that brought me to faith in Christ, and later drew me to commit to serve Christ.

  13. Andy says:

    “Bill Gothard”

    Uggh. We had a family that openly considered themselves his disciples. They were the most mean-spirited, legalistic, angry, unfriendly group of people you could ever meet.

  14. I watched the Oscars. First time in probably 30 years. A sick kid and a slamming snowstorm kept me inside. Hadn’t seen most of the movies nominated. My overall takeaway was that it was how Hollywood does church, with all the speeches, music and such. Actually thought the telecast production made the event seem more intimate than I remember in Oscars past. Say what you will, Ellen has a way of being funny and likable.

  15. Josh Hamrick says:

    Never heard of Gothard until the recent revelations. I wasn’t a christian during his heyday. It does seem he has left a long line of wounded soldiers behind him.

  16. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    With the NFL now pushing the Homosexual agenda and Hollywood being the promoter of everything Homosexual and liberal it’s better for me not to support either Hollywood or the NFL. I only watch the Superbowl to spend time with my grandpa but once he passes I am done with it. No judgment on others but I don’t want to have agendas pushed down my throat constantly when all I am trying to do is be entertained. Gone are the days when you could just watch a game and not have these things pushed on you

  17. Lent does not need to be a burden. Folks who do not observe Lent usually go from their 20 week study in 2 Chronicles and ‘interrupt’ for a week because it is Easter and we are obligated to do an Easter message.

    Lent is a time to reflect on Jesus in those days before Passion week – when Jesus turned his face towards Jerusalem and told his disciples that he must die. It’s like a walk with Jesus to the cross.

  18. SolRod – I bet since you work in the court system that they push the homosexual agenda (actually I know they do by looking at their decisions the past 5 yrs.

    So, are you going to quit your job? 🙂

  19. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    #10, I winder why you are so concerned that Calvary has distinctives, I mean don’t all denominations have their own type of Distinctives. Calvary Chapel shouldn’t have to change their set of beliefs for anybody. Now when it comes to Pastoral accountability and abuses that’s a different story. I for one am glad Calvary Chapels aren’t Calvinist and I hope they never are.

  20. erunner says:

    #1 I liked the Oscars when Bob Hope hosted when things weren’t so politicized. I could care less what people wear on the red carpet. I do enjoy a good movie. Always will.

    #4 Dread has been posting on FB and he’s out there reaching out to individuals with the Love Of Jesus. Contrast that with the bullhorns some use to “convict sinners.”

    #6 The wrath of God is a sober thing to consider. The fact of hell is sober to consider. He is perfect in all He does.

    #8 Russia is seeing the ruble lose value. Therefore the hook in their jaw will draw them to the Middle East for the oil if I remember correctly. The sad thing is for some their views can cause them to lose sight of the plight of millions as opposed to the rapture happening soon.

  21. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    MLD,

    But remember I said no judgment on others so I go according to my conscience. I just don’t want to hear those messages. At work, we simply serve the documents and file them, we don’t read the cases. The NFL culture is changing rapidly and they all the sports leagues are joining the homosexual social agenda so that they can be agents of Change. It’s up to everyones own personal conviction if they want to support those leagues. Trust me I am struggling with the NFL thing.

  22. Michael says:

    Solomon,

    Your reading comprehension remains matchless.
    I support denominations, including CC, having distinct traditions.

  23. Andy says:

    “The NFL culture is changing rapidly and they all the sports leagues are joining the homosexual social agenda so that they can be agents of Change”

    We’re really spoiled in this country, at least we have been for many, many decades. We’re just now seeing the major sports leagues pushing the homosexual agenda. In Greek and Roman cultures during Bible times, the two were always put together, and there wasn’t anything they could do about it.

    So they just preached the Gospel.

  24. Andrew says:

    #10, I winder why you are so concerned that Calvary has distinctives, I mean don’t all denominations have their own type of Distinctives. Calvary Chapel shouldn’t have to change their set of beliefs for anybody. Now when it comes to Pastoral accountability and abuses that’s a different story. I for one am glad Calvary Chapels aren’t Calvinist and I hope they never are.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Sol, You are making a bunch of assumptions. First, I heard from a couple of CC pastors right on this blog that the “distinctives” are going away. I don’t know whether to believe that or not but there doesn’t appear to be definitive answer to that question. Second when it comes to what Calvary Chapel believes this is another assumption that they are in all agreement. I have seen different statements of beliefs from different CCs but each is different from the CCA version. So it doesn’t appear to be universal. And lastly, I think some CCs may actually be Calvinistic. Who is now saying CCs can not be Calvinists?

  25. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    The Calvarys I know are not Calvinist. I have heard or seen one that is, would you care to point that out for me? The Pastors from CC that are Calvinist seem to be the ones hiding in the shadows out of fear.

  26. Michael says:

    Calvary Chapel is traditionally anti-Calvinist.
    I don’t know of any Calvinistic CC’s.
    I don’t know why a Calvinist would want to join a CC.
    Much ado about nada…

  27. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “We’re really spoiled in this country, at least we have been for many, many decades. We’re just now seeing the major sports leagues pushing the homosexual agenda. In Greek and Roman cultures during Bible times, the two were always put together, and there wasn’t anything they could do about it.

    So they just preached the Gospel.”

    It doesn’t mean I have to watch it

  28. Andy says:

    “Second when it comes to what Calvary Chapel believes this is another assumption that they are in all agreement. I have seen different statements of beliefs from different CCs but each is different from the CCA version”

    This is true. I have found some CCs that were a legalistic 2 X 4 to the skull, and some that were the very opposite of that.

    “So it doesn’t appear to be universal. And lastly, I think some CCs may actually be Calvinistic. Who is now saying CCs can not be Calvinists?”

    The sky is the limit, apparently. The distinctives died with the walking distinctives, Chuck Smith.

    Having said that, I agree with Solomon Rodriguez, that it would be nice for CC to not become calvinist. But as one prominent calvinist said, “If you aren’t calvinist, you are irrelevant”. How’s that for “if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much” arrogance?

  29. Andy says:

    “It doesn’t mean I have to watch it”

    The free time will be utilized well by the Lord anyway. Sports are boring to watch until the last three minutes, in which either it is a blowout and you can stop watching immediately, or you get the drama of the last few minutes.

    Anyway I understand your point, but this is the way of the system. Draw people in with something alluring, and then drive them to ungodliness. They do it with children’s programming too, in terms of witchcraft and such.

  30. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I don’t know who that “prominent Calvinist” was, but I would personally rebuke him.
    I’ve endured many evil words questioning my salvation from CCites for being a Calvinist and rejecting the pretrib rapture.
    How’s that for arrogance?

  31. Andy says:

    Michael, the “prominent calvinist” was John MacArthur.

    A foolish person would question your salvation based upon a rapture position.

    A person’s salvation would only be in question if they were adding works to salvation, What they believe about the rapture, is so immaterial to that.

  32. Andrew says:

    Calvary Chapel is traditionally anti-Calvinist.
    I don’t know of any Calvinistic CC’s.
    I don’t know why a Calvinist would want to join a CC.
    Much ado about nada…

    __________________________________________________________________

    I agree with you and mainly because Chuck Smith set the tone for this. Its not about a Calvinist joining CC but rather becoming a Calvinist while part of CC. Many Calvary Chapels encourage one to read the Bible and study the Bible. So one may become a believer and even become a pastor in CC and yet once they get more serious about what the Bible says may come to the conclusion that Calvinism is true. At this point the pastor may be told to give up the dove and name or may step away himself. Either case, isn’t always easy.

  33. Andrew,
    “So one may become a believer and even become a pastor in CC and yet once they get more serious about what the Bible says may come to the conclusion that Calvinism is true.”

    For this person if they were honest, they could not stay at CC. I spent 3 yrs catechizing myself in Lutheran theology, once I realized what i had done, I resigned my 2 teaching classes and my position in the food ministry and left CC – as in my opinion it would be wrong and disrespectful to stay.

    I can’t imagine a Calvin convert doing any less..

  34. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    I see your point, but CC was always market driven as well, never wanting to give up some of their territory and size of their flock I am all for CC making the distinctives well known and binding so its not this super grey area where all the confusion comes from.

  35. GW says:

    I watched the Oscars because I enjoy seeing actors awarded for their paid performances. At least they aren’t performing from behind a pulpit. 🙂

  36. david sloane says:

    Sol Rod,
    Did I ever do some paint work at your home?
    Someone mentioned above that you worked in the court system. And it triggered a memory of having worked in a home of a man whose job was to escort inmates for the courts. So I was wondering if it was you?

    David Sloane

  37. Bob says:

    Looks like this is going to turn into another, “what’s wrong with CC” thread again.

    I believe MLD’s point is valid about any denomination. If you are a leader and you don’t agree with the basic doctrines and theology of the denomination you have no business being a leader there. I don’t get why that idea is so difficult.

    I didn’t watch the Academy Awards either, they just bore me. However, I do like seeing all the people dressed to the nines! There are so few places whee people dress up at all anymore.

  38. everstudy says:

    Andy,

    “Sports are boring to watch until the last three minutes…”

    Apparently you’ve never watched a hockey game. 🙂

  39. JoelG says:

    Could anyone recommend a good website, blog post or book that would give a “nutshell” comparison/contrast of Calvanism and CC? And when you say CC, do you mean ALL CC’s, or just a majority?

  40. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    Those differences would be the same as with any tradition and Calvinism.
    We believe that salvation is completely monergistic, that God chose His elect before the beginning of time and that His death actually accomplished the salvation He purposed.
    We believe in the doctrine of providence that says God is in control of all things and all things work together for His glory and our good.
    We reject the notion of libertarian free will as being without any biblical warrant.
    Those are the biggies…what gets ignored in the TULIP discussion is that Calvinists have a very developed doctrine of union with Christ that I believe is more important.

  41. RiBo says:

    JoelG, you could watch George Bryson debate James White. There’s a contrast for you LOL.

    Russia is “Christian” so I don’t think that fits the Hal Lindsey crowd’s narrative too well. When the Russians were godless heathen Soviet atheists, they fit the Prophecy Updates a lot better. Russia is probably more “Christian” than ‘Merica is now.

  42. Prophecies have nothing to do with Israel (other than a location for the separation of the sheep and goats) or Russia. Put it to bed.

  43. RiBo says:

    Didn’t watch the Oscars either. What a waste of time, money and resources…nothing but idol worship. Probably the only group I dislike more than politicians, wall street and preachers is hollywood celebs. Worthless.

  44. Andy says:

    JoelG wrote: “Could anyone recommend a good website, blog post or book that would give a “nutshell” comparison/contrast of Calvanism and CC?”

    The CC website that does this is here: http://www.calvarychapeltheology.com/articles.html

    And it’s hated by some, but he makes great points. I like how he describes things.

    everstudy wrote: “Apparently you’ve never watched a hockey game”

    I don’t want to offend you, so I will be as gentle as I can. 🙂 Watching hockey is like watching soccer (futbol to the rest of the world). Possession of the puck/ball changes so often, so often, so often… that it is way too chaotic for me to watch. In football/basketball/baseball, there are organized possessions, and it helps the continuity, in my opinion.

  45. JoelG says:

    Thank you Michael and RiBo

  46. Michael says:

    Andy,

    That’s not a CC website.
    Bryson was kicked to the curb.
    His caricature of Calvinism is ridiculous…

  47. Steve Wright says:

    The biggest distinction in my opinion is that CC rejects double predestination and limited atonement.

    Within CC you will find a wide variety of opinion on soteriology – especially as to the issue of eternal security for the one who has been born again.

    But I believe all CCs would agree with the first point above.

  48. Andy says:

    Michael wrote: “That’s not a CC website. Bryson was kicked to the curb. His caricature of Calvinism is ridiculous”

    All three statements are opinion. Well, maybe the middle one is factual. But keep in mind, that Bryson’s views were 100% in line with Chuck Smith, who was the definition of CC.

  49. JoelG says:

    Thanks Andy. I will check it out. My church has CC ties but I don’t even know if its affiliated anymore. There’s no reference to CC on our website. I’m rying to figure out how these differences affect our daily lives at street level trying to follow Jesus. What I’ve read of Calvanism I don’t disagree with. But then I look at the concept of love and see how there must be complete free will to choose in order to be love. Perhaps I’m confused. Wouldn’t be the first time. Thanks again guys.

  50. Andy says:

    “But then I look at the concept of love and see how there must be complete free will to choose in order to be love”

    Well this might be refused by a calvinist, but bottom line, if calvinism were true, you’re a glorified robot. And that just doesn’t mesh with Scripture.

  51. Michael says:

    Not all Calvinists believe in double predestination.
    Not all Calvinists believe in a strictly limited atonement.

  52. Michael says:

    Andy,

    That is a typical response.
    Here’s what we actually about the will in the Synods of Dordt.

    “However, just as by the fall man did not cease to be man, endowed with intellect and will, and just as sin, which has spread through the whole human race, did not abolish the nature of the human race but distorted and spiritually killed it, so also this divine grace of regeneration does not act in people as if they were blocks and stones; nor does it abolish the will by force, but spiritually revives, heals, reforms, and—in a manner at once pleasing and powerful—bends it back.”

    We are changed from within, not forced from without.

  53. Not all Calvinists believe in double predestination.
    Not all Calvinists believe in a strictly limited atonement.

    But I think Calvinism does – just not all ‘calvinists’ are on board.

  54. Andy says:

    I’m missing the point of that statement in 52. I might be a ninny or something, and if that is so, no problem. But I’m not catching their point. So is there a pure free will, or not? I can read God’s Word and get the answer immediately. God didn’t promise me to give me understanding of the Synods of Dordt. But He did promise to give me understanding of His Word (John 16:13).

    I’m not trying to be snarky. I’m just saying, making a choice for the Lord is clear from Scripture. The wording of 52 is flowery but not bluntly clear, to me.

  55. Michael,
    Several years ago you used to be all over Norman Geisler for accepting only 4 points of Calvinism – not accepting limited atonement. He went back and forth with James White in their books and you used to call him some pretty good names for not being a 5 pointer..

    Are you now accepting him back into the flock?

  56. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Calvinism is not now, nor has it ever been, monolithic in all of the theological details.
    Calvin did not believe in a strictly limited atonement, nor did any of his contemporaries.
    They were both moderate and high Calvinists both at Westminster and Dordt.
    Norman Geislers book is the only book on Calvinism that may be worse than Bryson’s.
    It’s so inane it’s not even worth discussing.
    Stick to Lutheranism…you don’t know jack about Calvinism.

  57. Michael says:

    Geisler is no more a four point Calvinist than Chuck Smith was.
    Geisler is a semi-Pelagian evangelical.

  58. Steve Wright says:

    I’m not really looking to nitpick semantics or bog down in the details of how the process of salvation all works itself out. The question was the primary distinction between Calvinism and CC and my point stands. Go read any forum with Calvinists discussing those two points I cite and you will see some slight variation as to the semantics but you will read as a whole a theology that is very different than what is heard from any CC pulpit or what is taught on certain key verses.

    For example, read Pink. Not that he is some final say or that he is agreed to on every small detail, but in the general sense of what Pink is teaching in his writings, is it faithful to Calvinism – yes or no? Is he a fair representative? Because he is light years from any CC in his interpretation of a verse like this one:

    http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sovereignty/appendix_04.htm

  59. Andy says:

    “You just don’t understand Calvinism” is the predominant counterattack made upon those that refuse Calvinism and try to draw it to its logical conclusion. Which is that, if there is no free will to be justified, then we are robots at least on the soteriological level (if not more).

    I’m not trying to personally attack you, Michael, but why not own it? If I believed a doctrine, I’d carry it through to the end zone with it. If I were hesitant to do that, then it might not be a doctrine worth having. I really do adhere to the free grace kind of position on soteriology, and I get the “antinomianism” accusation all the time. I can understand why people might come to that conclusion, but once they have it explained that we do good works for rewards, for love, for the inner unction from Christ, then they usually drop the pejorative.

  60. Michael says:

    Andy,

    Because I don’t believe your caricature of the doctrine I do believe, I have an entirely different understanding of the will, and an entirely different understanding of how God works in salvation and frankly an entirely different soteriology and anthropology than you do.

    So, no, I won’t own what you are pushing because I utterly reject it.

  61. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s an example of a “semantics” discussion on double predestination. The point is that these contributors (and I did not read every last comment) all seem in basic agreement with each other in their general theology.

    But it is a theology that you would not find in CC (to my knowledge).

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f48/double-predestination-66800/

  62. Michael says:

    Steve,

    If you read Pink, you get Pink’s opinion.
    Pink was not a scholar, nor was he trained in historical Reformed theology.
    If you want to know what that means go read actual Reformed scholars.
    There is a huge difference in Reformed theology and CC…no doubt.
    But I’m not going to sit here and get lectured on what we believe and what we don’t by people who haven’t a clue what the breadth of Reformed scholarship encompasses.

  63. Andy says:

    Michael, then that doesn’t address this seeming “impossibility” for me to understand Calvinism. You are not nearly the first Calvinist I have had these discussions with, and it always plays out the exact same way. “You just don’t understand Calvinism”, is the bottom line response in every case. Apparently there are tons of us that just don’t understand it.

    But I believe that I do actually understand it perfectly. I don’t consider what I’m saying to be a caricature. And I understand that somehow you would take that as a personal attack on you? It isn’t. I certainly wouldn’t take the hating of my position as an attack on myself. Truth is outside of me. I’m not the truth.

  64. Michael,
    I think you toss around the word Reformed too loosely. Calvinism is not synonomous with Reformed Theology.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2010/10/22/is-being-a-calvinist-the-same-as-being-reformed/

  65. Michael says:

    Andy,

    It’s possible to understand anything you take the time to study.
    You do not understand it perfectly, you’ve demonstrated that you don’t understand it it all.
    You know the caricatures presented by people like Hunt and Bryson and think you’ve got it down.
    You don’t.
    To truly understand any historical faith tradition takes years of immersion in it…I’m still learning much about Reformed theology after almost two decades.
    I have gained a very rudimentary knowledge of other traditions such as Lutheranism and eastern Orthodoxy but I would be an arrogant ass to pretend like I understand their theology fully.
    What I never do is tell people in other traditions what they “really” believe…nothing is more offensive .

  66. Andy says:

    Michael, I did not mean that I understand every nuance. I meant that I understand perfectly the conclusion that I have to come to, based on Calvinistic soteriology.

    It is not being an arrogant ass to draw a conclusion and have a conviction about things. If that were so, they we both qualify. 😉

  67. Michael says:

    MLD,

    In discussions like this they are almost interchangeable.
    There is a difference, however, but the soteriology is similar.
    Truly Reformed folks hate people like MacArthur being referred to as Reformed.

  68. Michael says:

    Andy,

    You really don’t understand Calvinistic soteriology, so your conclusion is faulty.
    That’s ok…I think the free grace stuff is heterodox, so we aren’t going to agree.

  69. Andy says:

    “Truly Reformed folks hate people like MacArthur being referred to as Reformed”

    And the “truly reformed” ousting others from the category, is not arrogant?

  70. The way I have heard it put is that all Reformed are Calvinists but not all Calvinists are reformed.

    This is why I have always considered Calvinism like a salad topper. take your views, your denomination and if you want “add a little Calvinism to spice things up.”

    I think it changes theologies too much to just be added. I think the SBC is going through this confusion and CC would do the same. You can’t just add a little Calvinism.

  71. Michael says:

    Andy,

    No it’s not arrogant at all.
    Reformed theology isn’t just a Calvinistic soteriology, it’s a very definite ecclesiology and historically based liturgy.
    A dispensational Calvinist is not Reformed…

  72. Andy says:

    “You can’t just add a little Calvinism”

    No, you can’t. That is why this is really a serious issue to CC. The salvation doctrine is affected, depending on the Calvinist, who might begin to rail about altar calls and asking Jesus into your life as invalid (like SBC went through with David Platt). Not to mention the eschatology…

  73. J Mac is a baptist who sprinkled on a little calvinism. I like it a couple of years ago when he came out and said Calvinists were wrong if they were not Dispey. 🙂

  74. Andy says:

    “A dispensational Calvinist is not Reformed”

    A few Reformed I know, beg to differ. All in the eye of the beholder…

  75. PP Vet says:

    Of course Calvinism wants to have a monopoly on “Reformed”. Which is baloney.

    Calvinists are always pushing for the euphemistic high ground.

    “We are the people”. Oh sure.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/02/is-arminianism-reformed/

  76. Andy – not so. As I said, they can maybe claim to be a Calvinist, but they sure are not Reformed.

    Reformed theology is much more than the calvinism part.

    My view (I hope Michael will not blast me again) to be a Calvinist you need to accept all 5 points as one builds on the other and the one you reject becomes your weak link – and you must hold to covenant theology, or again you have holes.

  77. London is right pray for the people of the Ukraine.

    I see the US government’s fingerprints all over this one.
    I am pretty sure we funded and pushed this. It smells like the same tactics used for the Arab Spring.
    Any country we have done this stuff in lately has gone to hell within a year.

    I can’t blame Russia for not wanting us goofing around with countries that border it.

    Would anyone want Russia getting involved in de-stabilization operations in Canada or Mexico?

    The bad thing is that the Ukranian people are caught in the middle.

  78. Well, we don’t want to destabilize Canada – I may need to go there if we enter another war.

    I just don’t know why we don’t just tell the EU to handle stuff in their own area. If Russia tried something in Canada, we would be calling the French to pull our bacon out of the fire.

  79. Michael says:

    MLD,

    No, to be a “Calvinist” you don’t have to accept all five points.
    Calvin, Vermigli, Bucer, Zanchius…the next generation of Reformers after Luther…knew nothing about five points and would have puked and thrown inkwells at the devils who boil it down to such.
    The “five points” were five answers given to five objections of Arminians at the Synod of Dordt.
    There was and is much debate over some of those answers.
    The damnable TULIP is a late nineteenth century/early twentieth century formulation that no one is sure who came up with or we would dig him up and burn him.

  80. Andy, you said “No, you can’t. That is why this is really a serious issue to CC. ”

    I think it is a non issue. I think it was something that was played around with in the mid 90s and was put to bed. Some CC may drag it out to play boogeyman – but it is a dead issue. Bryson was the only one keeping it alive.

  81. Eric says:

    The healing of the paralytic is one of my favourite bits since I heard a sermon on it in 97. Why couldn’t they wait outside? It’s stories like that that argue authenticity – no one makes up stuff like that. Bring people to Jesus by any route!

  82. Michael says:

    MLD,

    We finally agree on something @80.

  83. Michael says:

    Eric,

    I loved that teaching last night more than anything I’ve taught in years…

  84. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Sol Rod,
    Did I ever do some paint work at your home?
    Someone mentioned above that you worked in the court system. And it triggered a memory of having worked in a home of a man whose job was to escort inmates for the courts. So I was wondering if it was you?

    David Sloane”

    No not me, thank God I don’t have to deal with inmates as far as escorting them, I just serve them. just some crazy peepes that are getting served divorced papers sometimes

  85. SolRod,
    I do not envy you your job.

  86. Michael says:

    Derek,

    The Ukrainian situation is soul rending…and I hope we see it for it’s cost in lives, not in prophetical import.

  87. Michael,
    “No, to be a “Calvinist” you don’t have to accept all five points.”

    Let’s play the game this way.- can you drop any one of the 5? If not, why not? Can I be a calvinist and not believe in total depravity?

  88. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    @

    @Derek,

    Yeah luckily I am in the office more these days. What’s funny is that when i get request to serve divorce papers as it gets closer to the date that I go to serve them, the wife will tell me that her soon to be ex Husband is a raving mad man and to be careful. By that time I feel bad to reject the job, just wish they would tell me sooner lol!

  89. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “Some CC may drag it out to play boogeyman – but it is a dead issue. Bryson was the only one keeping it alive”

    Well Coy and Laurie went out of their way a few years ago at a conference to make it clear that we shouldn’t have Reformedaphobia. It couldn’t have been Bryson alone that instigated that. Other CC pastors had/have the concern, I’m sure.

  90. Michael says:

    MLD,

    John Calvin did not believe in a strictly limited atonement as many teach today.
    Most Anglican Calvinists have modifications and variations on it as well.
    If you want to put in the work to see the variety of historical views on these matters, here’s my favorite site.

    http://calvinandcalvinism.com/?page_id=8466

  91. pstrmike says:

    @89
    I saw the video. Coy and Laurie… along with Brodersen were a subtle form of thought police. I pretty much ignore them these days……. and I don’t care if you are a Calvinist, Calvinist-friendly or read Calvin and Hobbs. .

  92. Wow! How did Luther get on that website. I read his article – 100% pure Universal Justification – loved it.

  93. pstrmike says:

    Andy,
    Could you explain #72 a bit more? Particularly the part about Plat, the SBC, and altar calls.

  94. Andrew says:

    “You can’t just add a little Calvinism”

    You could just as easily say, “You can’t just add a little pelagianism”. Well I guess you can and call it semi-pelagianism but no one wants to be called that.

  95. Andrew – the point is, you can’t add any calvinism to Lutheranism – Lutheranism is it’s own self contained theological system that addresses soteriology in it’s own way.

    That is the way it should be for all – or be a system that begins and ends with calvinism.

  96. filbertz says:

    a dispensational calvinist? That is a zebra of different stripes…Michael, care to comment?

  97. Jim says:

    Funny-I missed all the “gay agenda” stuff “shoved down my throat” this past football season. I must be dull.

  98. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    I get what you are saying but I think some people are afraid to even say the name of Calvin because of the caricature that folks like George Bryson have labeled him with. CC never was a complete system or should I say consistent system of theology. With this in mind, Calvin is worth studying on its own and since the guy was a lot closer to Luther than any of us are, I am sure he can also help in understanding Lutheranism as well. Its the disdain for history and the reformation in general that gets people all up in arms. Luther and Calvin probably more closer in theology than most realize.

  99. “Luther and Calvin probably more closer in theology than most realize.”

    Not really.

    “but I think some people are afraid to even say the name of Calvin because of the caricature that folks like George Bryson have labeled him with.”

    Do you realize that 99.99999999999999999999999999999% of Christians alive today have never heard of George Bryson? This is how small this whole ongoing CC, who will split, who is a closet Calvinist really is. No one cares – we speak of it to pass the time of day, but it amounts to absolutely nothing in the end.

  100. Andrew says:

    I said folks like George Bryson who unfairly characterize Calvinism. Broderson did it. Chuck Smith did it and many within and outside CC have done it.

  101. Andrew, do you realize that 99.9999999999999% of Christians around the world do not know who Chuck Smith, Brian Brodersen and George Bryson are.

    The fact that their are probably multiple times Calvinists in the world compared to the whole CC population should let you know that even those who know those 3 guys aren’t listening.

  102. Michael says:

    fil,

    MacArthur is a dispy Calvinist…and I am too, though not agreeing with Mac’s eschatology.

  103. Andy says:

    pstrmike wrote: “Could you explain #72 a bit more? Particularly the part about Plat, the SBC, and altar calls”

    Platt gave a strong-worded message at an SBC meeting, speaking against the practice of the sinner’s prayer and altar calls. Some in the SBC later said that they believed it was Platt’s version of calvinism that caused him to feel that way.

    I believe that Platt was dead wrong in his assessment, by the way.

    But at any rate, the SBC has long been a place utilizing the sinner’s prayer and altar calls. So Platt comes along with a very different viewpoint, and the SBC got together and the majority showed their complete disagreement with Platt.

  104. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “Andrew, do you realize that 99.9999999999999% of Christians around the world do not know who Chuck Smith, Brian Brodersen and George Bryson are”

    That is true. But it is a very high percentage of Christians around the world that also don’t know a bit about Calvinism at all either, and they believe in Jesus and are heavenbound without knowing a thing about all of this. 🙂 These debates end up only in councils historically, and on debate panels and blogs recently. And on rare occasions, home Bible study discussions.

  105. Andrew says:

    Well MLD I can guarantee you that those 3 are more known than you are. However since there are probably multiple times more Arminians in the world than Calvinists or Lutherans I would say both you are I are in a minority position.

  106. brian says:

    1. The Oscars were on??

    The rest are giving me some things to really think on. Thanks for the list Michael.

  107. everstudy says:

    I became more reformed/calvinistic while at CCBC, though I had the foundation from attending a CRC high school.

  108. Filbertz says:

    I always figured calvinists were more covenental…

  109. RiBo says:

    Steve Wright said, “The biggest distinction in my opinion is that CC rejects double predestination and limited atonement.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. That is completely false above.

    I’ll demonstrate: Most have humanity has never been presented with nor heard a “correct” Gospel message.

    Your CC construct says they are in hell b/c they couldn’t have responded to a gospel they never heard or to a missionary God never sent and they were never “drawn”…your construct says, necessarily, that folks can’t go to heaven and be saved apart from a response to a correct Gospel message…

    …therefore you are Double Predestinarian, you believe that God created most of humanity without ever having a chance to respond to the Gospel and are in hell.

    Same goes for Atonement, you don’t believe Jesus died for those who never heard the Gospel and that is the case for most humans in history and even some 2 Billion humans today according to a leading missionary organization who tracks who has heard the Gospel and who hasn’t.

  110. Filbertz says:

    also, I never viewed J-Mak as a calvinist…

  111. RiBo says:

    Don’t buy the myth that CC isn’t Double Predestinarian. Almost all non-Universalists are Double Predestinarian, they just don’t realize it b/c they haven’t thought through the issue of the fact the vast majority of humans in history never got the Gospel, therefore were born, lived and died with no chance at salvation, no choice. Can’t choose what you never heard.

  112. pstrmike says:

    Thanks Andy. The “invitation” as many SBC pastors call it, is a staple in their churches.

  113. Steve Wright says:

    But I’m not going to sit here and get lectured on what we believe and what we don’t by people who haven’t a clue what the breadth of Reformed scholarship encompasses.
    ———————————————————-
    I don’t think I said anything to deserve this in response.

    To be simple.. Imagine a man who is not one of the elect. Not predestined. A man who will end up in hell.The question is put “Was Jesus’ death an atoning sacrifice for that man’s sins?” Yes or no?

    And it IS a yes or no question.

    Is there really no majority view on that question among Calvinists? Can I expect some sort of 50/50 response. Is that the claim?

  114. RiBo says:

    Steve said, “To be simple.. Imagine a man who is not one of the elect. Not predestined. A man who will end up in hell.The question is put “Was Jesus’ death an atoning sacrifice for that man’s sins?” Yes or no?”

    What about the majority of humans who never heard the Gospel and therefore couldn’t be drawn and couldn’t respond?

    Calvary Chapel says you can’t be saved unless you’ve responded affirmatively to the Gospel…

  115. RiBo says:

    Yes or no, since we’re playing the yes or no game:

    1. Can you be saved apart from the “correct” Gospel message? You know, the consensus Gospel of the evangelical and mainline, God is Trinity, Jesus is God, Jesus is man, Jesus died on the cross for your sins, Jesus is Messiah, Jesus resurrected from the dead?

    2. Is it fact that today 2 Billion humans have never heard the “correct” Gospel above according to leading Christian Missionary organizations who track such? Is it true that the vast majority of humans post-Jesus never heard a “correct” Gospel message?

    3. Is it true that if you didn’t hear the Gospel, you weren’t drawn and you didn’t have a choice to be saved? Is it true that God sends people the Gospel?

    Why didn’t God send the Gospel to most of humanity?

  116. RiBo says:

    …that last one I threw in there and isn’t yes or no 😉

  117. RiBo says:

    Yes or no, Christians* can’t answer the questions above honestly b/c the answer doesn’t fit the Apologetic and dishonest narratives.

    You’re all Double Predestinarians with regards to most of humanity throughout history, whether you are honest about it or not.

  118. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’ll bow to your superior knowledge of something I’ve studied for 20 years.
    Evidently Calvinists reached a historical consensus when I was having dinner.

  119. RiBo says:

    I bow to Steve’s knowledge of insurance….not much else.

  120. RB, you make some pretty stupid statements – like this one
    “You’re all Double Predestinarians with regards to most of humanity throughout history, whether you are honest about it or not.”

    What is this “most of humanity”? are there some who have escaped the “double predestinarian” gobblygoop?

    Why do you call it “double” – why isn’t it just predestination?

    And to your questions – nobody asks those questions – Christians don’t think in those terms. Your questions are those that atheists, those who have no living spirit living in them ask.

    Your questions are like people asking “how much does blue weigh?” I read your questions and say no sane person would even offer up an answer.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    I’ll bow to your superior knowledge of something I’ve studied for 20 years.
    Evidently Calvinists reached a historical consensus when I was having dinner.
    ———————————————————-
    I still don’t know why the tone but I’m done. I’m asking legit questions, not making declarative statements. I’m sympathetic to your disdain for the TULIP formula as a far too simplistic synopsis.

    And as we were only speaking of Calvinism, then reformed theology entered the discussion, but then quickly was explained as almost interchangeable when it comes to soteriology….so back we are…

    But let’s go further back and be reminded that you are the one saying in this thread that CC and Calvinism are distinct and you saw no reason why a Calvinist would find agreement within CC. You said you did not know why a Calvinist would want to join a CC. Well, why not? If his soteriology is little different than the average CC. (Surely the focal point of Calvinism is not eschatology or pneumatology?)

    Then when I offered two clear distinctions (to answer one of your reader’s legit questions I might add), you responded saying that not all Calvinists hold to those beliefs. OK, fine. Then what’s the big deal with THOSE Calvinists joining up with CC. So what are the distinctions anyway? OK, Calvinism is not “monolithic” – nobody is arguing otherwise.

    But is Calvinism just some jello-theology that allows freedom to be shaped into whatever mold the preacher desires. Is it a cafeteria plan where the preacher can pick and choose which parts of Calvinism can be discarded while still retaining the title? I believe in total depravity, conditional election and perseverance of the saints. Can I call myself a 2 1/2 point Calvinist?

    I earlier linked to a discussion where there was some slight disagreement around the edges but in effect there was consensus on the teachings and ramifications of predestination from a Calvinist perspective. It is hardly as vague as implied by you to the readers of this thread. I’m sure I could do the exact same thing with the issue of the atonement and Jesus’ death for the reprobate.

    At least when Chuck refused to take a stand on an issue (i.e. eternal security) we just said Chuck refused to take a stand so as not to split his audience. So maybe we could tone down the “Study for 20 years the breadth of scholarship and then you will realize why there is no doctrinal stand to be taken”……especially when every other Calvinist I have read does not hesitate to take their respective stand. But I know, I know, they all only speak for themselves…they just happen to speak with a rather loud, unified voice for the most part today.

  122. RiBo says:

    MLD that’s a typical cop-out and non-answer.

  123. Michael says:

    Well, I’m home now having chewed out everyone in my path since this ridiculous thread started.
    Little did I know that on my very blog were so many freaking experts on the faith tradition I hold and they don’t.
    No, I never expected that the houseful of books I’ve actually read on the subject and all the classes taken for decades mean nothing in the face of the experts in Calvary Chapel.

    What a silly hillbilly I am!

    You see these books show that over the last 500 years that there have been many different “Calvinist” views on the nature and extent of the atonement.
    John Calvin saw it differently than John Owen who saw it differently that W.T. G. Shedd who saw it differently than Charles Hodge who differs from J.I. Packer.
    Then, there was Richard Baxter who saw it differently than everyone.
    You can keep your “yes’ or “no” answers that really barely scratch the surface of the issue and obfuscate finding substantial answers.
    From now on, just ask George…he’s got it down.

  124. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “And to your questions – nobody asks those questions – Christians don’t think in those terms. Your questions are those that atheists, those who have no living spirit living in them ask.”

    Yes, many ask those questions, the problem is there isn’t a good answer other than God creates many humans with no chance and no choice according to your Apologetic since most humans never heard the gospel therefore couldn’t respond, then died, then go to hell according to the Apologetic of most Christians*.

    You seem to be asserting that the “spirit living in you” has given you an answer to the questions I posed above….is it “Jesus dreams” or “mystery”? Or, “I don’t know”…those are the typical responses from the spirit-filled folks….

  125. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Read something from Reformed scholars and spare me the cut and paste from internet discussion boards.
    I posted a site that publishes historical articles from scholars relating to different views on the atonement within Calvinism.
    When you’re done with that sometime next year I’ll send you a whole slew of equally Reformed scholars who disagree with every conclusion on that site.
    Calvary Chapels soteriology is different from all the various schools…and by the way…many historical scholars call Calvin ‘the theologian of the Holy Spirit”…which would make sense if you’d ever read him.

  126. Michael says:

    Furthermore,

    Reformed theology and Reformed pastors put a heavy emphasis on creeds and confessions, depending on denominational bent.

    The Westminster Confession, the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Confession and others are affirmed in ordination depending on affiliation.

    Those confessions are written in such a way that this issue can be discussed and studied and as long as you fall within in the limits of the confessions you keep your ordination or membership.

    It allows for differences such as infralapsarianism or supralapsarianism and all the assorted nuances of doctrine that accompany them.

    It’s hardly a “cafeteria plan” but it’s not parroting one mans theology either.

  127. Steve Wright says:

    Now you’re just being a jerk to me.

  128. RiBo says:

    Just illustrates how the text of the bible can be viewed so differently by the same “spirit filled” Christians* and as Michael accurately points out there is much nuance and difference even within the major Camps. There is little agreement as to what the bible says outside of some very basic core doctrines.

  129. RiBo says:

    Why would the Holy Spirit (assumed) give so many spirit-filled Christians* so many different viewpoints regarding what the bible really says on so many issues?

    God is supposedly a “god of order!” yet not so much when it comes to doctrine and theology I guess.

  130. Michael says:

    I’m being a jerk????
    You come on here and tell me that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about because you’ve found a message board that trumps twenty years of hard study and I’m a jerk?

    You bet.

    You think you know more about something you’ve barely studied and I’m a jerk for putting in the years to know what I know?

    Gotcha.

    I’m very, very angry…I rarely go down this road, but when I do I should receive at least the respect to acknowledge that I probably know what I’m talking about.

  131. London says:

    Derek,
    Thanks for thinking and praying for the Ukrainan people.
    Waiting by the phone now in hopes of hearing from my Ukrainian friend in Kiev to hear first hand what’s up there.
    This is craziness.

  132. Steve Wright says:

    I asked a simple question earlier about Jesus’ death for the non-elect, and while we can all argue slight linguistic differences, the point of the question was obvious given the Calvinist discussion on the issue of limited (or definite) atonement. I was chided for asking such a yes/no question and told that there is such a variety of opinion that no opinion is possible to properly label as “Calvinist”

    So I looked up a handful of guys that are very well known, some dead, some living, all known as Calvinist. And in the following quotes every one of them provides a clear answer to my earlier question. There is hardly a dime’s worth of difference…and yes, I expect another wrist slap for trying to summarize these men who have written volumes on the subject in just one or two sentences taken from a website. Duly noted. Their words still stand as remarkably consistent – and the men stand as typical representatives today when someone talks about Calvinist theology. And since this was about whether Calvinists have a home in CC today (and not what debates were happening centuries ago) – they all seem relevant.

    What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ in the same way – John Piper

    So the righteousness of Christ did not make the salvation of men merely possible, it secured the actual salvation of those for whom He wrought.” – Charles Hodge

    We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your (Arminian) atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it. – Charles Spurgeon

    For Whom Did Christ Die?…”The Father Imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for either:
    1. All the sins of all men.
    2. All the sins of some men,or
    3. Some of the sins of all men
    In which case it may be said:
    a. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved.
    b. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth. – John Owen

    Calvary, in other words, not merely made possible the salvation of those for whom Christ died; it ensured that they would be brought to faith and their salvation made actual. – J. I. Packer (intro to Owen)

    If that is so, then the atonement, in some sense, must be limited, or restricted, to a definite group, namely believers. If Christ died for all of the sins of all people, that must include the sin of unbelief. – R.C. Sproul

  133. brian says:

    You know Pastor Write I have found this site helpful aomin.org, he has forgotten more about most theology, no all theology then I will ever know. Michael also has some fine articles in older threads. Just a thought. I think Dr. Sproul is good but I brake out in hives when ever I listen to him, thats just me.

  134. Steve Wright says:

    My last comment was composed before reading your last comment to me Michael. (#130)

    I have not come on here telling you what you believe. In fact, I have asked questions for the discussion.

    I think that the Calvinist view of election (I’ll refrain from calling it double predestination) and the Calvinist view on definite atonement (refrain from the word limited) are at extreme odds with CC – and that is the key difference going back to answer your reader’s question.

    In response you made it sound like these are somewhat optional within Calvinism “Not all Calvinists believe…” were your words. I don’t claim to tell you what you believe, but I do think you were being somewhat disingenuous. That is my opinion. That was the point of the silly discussion board reference – that you have a lot of guys (living today) discussing basically the same thing, 95% or more in agreement with each other and 0% in agreement with CC.

  135. RB,
    “Just illustrates how the text of the bible can be viewed so differently by the same “spirit filled” Christians*”

    Nope, once again, every time you put your fingers to the keyboard you are wrong. The bible tells us spirit filled people the exact same message – “Jesus Christ saves us.” – why would you think we get a different message from the Bible. If you polled every person on this blog you will get the same answer – the bible teaches us “Jesus Christ saves us.”

    Why do we argue? We argue over the stuff the bible hasn’t told us…the hows and the whys.

    So, RB, stop being wrong.

  136. Michael says:

    I made it abundantly clear that CC and Calvinism are in opposition to each other.
    Clearly.
    Rarely have I thanked God more for that than tonight.
    You have quoted from one school that believes strongly in definite atonement, all of whom take their cue from John Owen, including my beloved Dr. Packer.
    John Calvin and the magisterial Reformers did not.
    Richard Baxter and a host of early Anglicans did not.
    Many Southern American Presbyterians did not.
    I could go on half the night.
    It wouldn’t matter because now agreeing with John Calvin makes me “disingenuous”.
    I could have saved a bunch of time and money if I’d simply learned to cut and paste.
    I’m done.

  137. brian says:

    Michael do you think part of the misunderstanding comes from mixing philosophy with theology in some of the more nuanced aspects of reformed theology. It seems that is what Dr. Craig does when he discusses reformed aspects of soteriology and presuppositional pov.

  138. Michael,
    Before you go because I want to know and through all the bluster your position is not clear.
    1.) do you deny double predestination – in any of it’s commonly understood forms?
    2.) or are you just saying it is up for debate?

  139. Michael says:

    brian,

    Theology, like any set of ideas, develops over time as gifted men look at things from different angles with different emphases.,
    Reformed theology is 500 years old…and even in the 16th century there was diversity of thought around many different aspects of the faith.
    That diversity has continued and flourished in the centuries since.
    We prefer black and white thinking over nuance and progression, but that is in opposition to the very concept of the Reformation…always Reforming.
    The other problem is that Google now makes instant experts in any field with just a click of the mouse…

  140. Michael says:

    MLD,

    What I’m saying is simply that there is no consensus across the board or the centuries on this matter.
    It’s a more complex question than blogging lends itself too…double predestination suggests that election and reprobation are equally active choices of God…and there is much debate on that point alone.
    The confessions lean to election as an active act of God and reprobation simply being the result of His passing over those not elected…not an active choosing of people to be damned.
    There are excellent arguments on both sides.
    I’m going to bed now.

  141. brian says:

    Michael I agree about the google experts. I find the same frustration when the Theory of Evolution is challenged or the age of the earth from what we understand about science now. Im not making a statement about it being “true”, just so people can understand how some do not find it quite that easy to dismiss such concepts when they have produced so much. But its better not to open that can of worms. I get just as frustrated when people like Dawkins makes his canards about the Christian religion, or faith in God in general.

  142. I have not followed the discussion though I am sure it has come up. Rejoicing in the wrath of God is troubling. Not because it is untrue but because I have spent the last 4 days in Mardi Gras hearing preaching that gives the impression of such joy over the damnation of others.

  143. Steve Wright says:

    I made it abundantly clear that CC and Calvinism are in opposition to each other.
    ———————————————-
    The issue is how. What is common within all of Calvinism that is in opposition to CC. If there are sects of Calvinists that hold varied views, then those variances must still be within a general doctrine that is at odds – otherwise we could at least open up to those sects, right?

    The dean of my old seminary is a Calvinist, and he taught most of our theology classes, so maybe next time I should scan all my lecture notes, textbooks, download the video seminars so I can be promoted beyond “google cut and paste boy” and be deemed worthy to enter the discussion. Or will my diploma satisfy that requirement? Is Institutes the litmus test? No matter how much interaction in formal academia with the theologians, until Institutes is read cover to cover one can’t comment on ANY Calvinists and their teachings?

    You wrote this in your #40 “We believe that salvation is completely monergistic, that God chose His elect before the beginning of time and that His death actually accomplished the salvation He purposed.”

    (All the rest of the stuff you wrote in #40 is either agreed to by many in CC or a poor characterization akin to what you are complaining about)

    Now why you can make that summary in #40 and I get ripped for basically saying the same thing about election and the atonement is confusing. (I already clarified the issue of election not getting bogged down in the double predestination label)

    Why you can cut and paste from the Synod of Dordt and it is a healthy contribution to the discussion but I cut and paste from within larger articles written by the Calvinists themselves and it is demeaned and the act itself is mocked.

    Why you can summarize nicely in two sentences to MLD the issue behind double predestination and my pointing to a very good discussion among Christians elsewhere on the web having the exact same discussion is worthless.

    At the end of the day, I have not grossly or unfairly represented Calvinism as understood and popularly taught today, nor have I falsely represented any men in quoting out of context. Just trying to have a discussion.

  144. Woke up and can’t get back to sleep.

    Every time I see an argument on election and predestination, I always feel that both sides are missing the point.
    It seems all arguments are rooted in a view of God that shares in our own existence of living moment to moment. We find it hard to imagine a being that does not live this way. Therefore, we try to make our arguments fit a view of God that fits this. But because God is not like this neither argument really satisfies completely.
    I don’t think God is living a linear timeline existence like we do.
    Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I am.” Usually this statement is used as a umping off point to prove that Jesus was God.
    It does do that.
    But, it does so much more.
    “I am” is more than just a title and it is more than I can put down here.
    But one thing for sure that it shows me and that is that God is not just everlasting, but he is also everpresent.
    He exists fully in every moment of time. He is just as present with Abraham and Adam at all points in His existence as He is with me, right now.
    We cannot grasp the fullness of this, nor it’s implications.
    A lot of times when I think about this, my mind seems to slide off it, because it is just too much for me to figure out.
    What implications does that hold though?
    Maybe a God who elected before the foundations of the world is just as active in electing you right now, because time does not bind Him, because He created it also.

    Maybe I shouldn’t think so much with little sleep.

  145. brian says:

    Pastor Steve would you agree that some CC pastors including Pastor Chuck had a bugaboo about reformed believers and those convicted of the reformed position within the CC community. Yet they would allow utter nonsense like the Jesuits are infiltrating churches with contemplative prayer and other such utter claptrap? I mean “prophecy” wanks made bank at CC. Reformed folks tend to not be dispensational in their view of eschatology, I mean our world will end I mean the earth will become uninhabitable in say another 4 billion years when the sun begins to grow when its stability begins to fail. I tend to think our species will have migrated far before that but that is another post.

    Im a universalist and have not hid that at all so I give reformed folks the hives but Michael has been rather gracious to me in my theological errors, and they are errors in an historic Christian sense and I have admitted that as well. I respect you Pastor Steve you may not believe that but I do, being a pastor is hard, but Michael is a pastor as well and he is trying to give an environment that let “heretics” like me can blabber one because he cares about souls and he takes massive grief for that, of course I am sure you do to. I have been hard on Pastor Chuck because, well I cant stand the guy with a passion, but some of that is on me but when I saw him on the stage with Lonnie and that nutter Kathryn Kuhlman and pastor Steve I think you would agree that she was as crazy as a hoot owl. Well I am crazy as a woot owl as well just in a different area. She said she spoke for God I try my best to admit I dont have a clue what God says.

    Pastor Chuck made a good living for him and his family and I do not fault him for that but well it can get frustrating. Someone said I was bitter, amen, I am real bitter and I have not hid that either, I mean the gazillionth time I was told the world was going to end nonsense, it is utter absolute and total nonsense to think the end of the Earth revolves around just one species is, well hubris and humbling in a very good way. Look Pastor Steve and others here, Michael, I admire you. I wish I had the faith you folks have, I did have it at a time but I lost it, I lay that at my feet alone. And no I do not blame God nor will I play the canard that there is no evidence for God, as I see it daily but I cant wrap my mind around some aspects of the historic Christian faith. I am not a studied person, I usually, which is obvious, am an emotional person and I allow my emotions to drive my theology, that is not the best method to finding truth.

    So I laid my guts out here on the board. It is rather frustrating. I hope that makes some sense.

  146. brian says:

    “Woke up and can’t get back to sleep.”

    you got to sleep I envy that.

  147. I think people on this thread are trying to be too nice to each other when speaking of Calvinism. Why do we need to make like it is just a coin flip as to whether CC accepts Calvinists to pastor their churches?

    In the Lutheran church, their is no way that an openly Calvinist gets to pastor a church … it’s not even up for discussion. Does that mean that Lutherans do not like Calvinists? Not at all.

    Does that mean that Lutherans think Calvinism is wrong? Absolutely!

  148. brian,
    “it is utter absolute and total nonsense to think the end of the Earth revolves around just one species is, well hubris and humbling in a very good way.”

    hubris perhaps – but not if that species is THE GOD SPECIES

  149. Andrew says:

    The issue is how. What is common within all of Calvinism that is in opposition to CC.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Steve, In all due respect I think you got it 180 degrees backwards. I don’t necessary think that Calvinism inherently has a problem with CC but rather that CC is the one that has a problem with Calvinism. And this is no more evident when I see your dialog with Michael. CC could embrace Calvinism if they wanted to and they have at times which adds to the confusion. I honestly don’t see a consistent theology within CC unless I look to Bryson. I don’t view CC as having a coherent systematic theology but rather its simply a movement based on relationships. It is what it is. Comparing CC to Calvinism is like comparing apples to oranges.

  150. Andrew,
    By Michael’s own words, Calvinism does not have a consistent theology.

  151. Andrew says:

    I can’t speak for Michael but what I understood what Michael was saying is that there are slight variations within Calvinism on finer points of doctrine which is more a matter of emphasis than anything else. Monergism seems to be something that is consistent among Calvinists. To me this is not at odds with CC until I hear a CC pastor teach a very anit-monergistic synergistic sermon.

  152. CC is not monergistic and never has been – where did you ever get that from?
    Altar calls? – Harvest Crusades? they are all in place to persuade people to use their free will and “choose God”

    Perhaps your problem with CC is that you don’t understand their position.

  153. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    I’m not sure who the spokesperson is for CC that will come right out and say that CC is not monergistic. Not sure who the person is that will say definitively what their position is. My biggest issue with CC has been with their understanding of the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. I have heard many prominent CC pastors teach on this and equate the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” to regeneration. This to me is monergistic yet CC as a whole is not consistent on this theology.

  154. Nonnie says:

    MLD, CC also teaches that unless God had already “drawn” (called, wooed) you to church or a crusade to hear the gospel, you would not have been there. GOD initiates the call and man responds. (or doesn’t) That’s the teaching I have always received.

  155. Nonnie, that is classic synergism – God does his part and now you are to do your part.

    I am not saying right or wrong, I am just letting Andrew know that CC is not Monergist… which is God does it all.

  156. Andy says:

    pstrmike wrote: “Thanks Andy. The “invitation” as many SBC pastors call it, is a staple in their churches”

    That is why David Platt was rejected by the majority. This road is traveled in every major denomination. There are certain calvinists (I said certain, not all), who want to see calvinism exalted in all denominations. David Platt is one of those guys.

    Steve wrote: “At the end of the day, I have not grossly or unfairly represented Calvinism as understood and popularly taught today, nor have I falsely represented any men in quoting out of context. Just trying to have a discussion”

    Agreed. Ditto for me as well. Now it’s become a game of “who is the real calvinist?”, and so no matter what you say or who you quote, it will be wrong. And I was just enjoying the discussion, and really didn’t mean any harm, and certainly didn’t intend for it to be a personal attack. But somehow, it is always taken personally. Last time I engaged in this discussion under the Augustine thread, the end result was that I was painted as the very big bad guy picking on poor Michael and everyone ran to his defense. 🙂 But the reality is that Michael can use vitriol to a strong extent at times. Of course it’s his blog so he can do whatever he wants and I know I have the right to bugger off at any time or get uninvited at any times. I appreciate and am thankful to Michael that I haven’t been uninvited yet. 🙂

    MLD wrote: “CC is not monergistic and never has been – where did you ever get that from?”

    Exactly. CC went out of their way in the past, to call mongergism an incorrect doctrine. They didn’t hide that.

  157. Andrew says:

    Teaching that the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” is the same as regeneration. Monergistic? Yes or No?

  158. Andrew says:

    Here is a webstie gotquestions that I have seen advertised, promoted and encouraged on prominent CC websites. Clearly it is monergistic and CC has advocated it heavily which I find confusing if they definitely are not monergistic.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/monergism-vs-synergism.html

  159. No – even for Baptism of the HS whether as a 2nd manifestation as was taught by CC in the 80s or a first you are still “invited” to accept that baptism.

  160. Josh Hamrick says:

    Not to be contentious, but the Calvinism debate in the SBC has been going on since the SBC began. David Platt is not trying to take over the SBC with his Calvinist ways or anything like that. The original message Andy is referring to was part of a SBC conference where the topics were assigned to the different speakers to deliver. JD Greear was another SBC calvinist who spoke on “Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart”. These guys are not rejected by the majority of the SBC. They are well respected pastors who were hired (BY THE SBC) to put these views out for discussion. It is part of an ongoing conversation, which at times does get heated, but there has been zero controversy in SBC circles over Platt’s message.
    There was MUCH more controversy when Jerry Vines (Non-calvinist) did his John 3:16 conference a few years ago.

  161. Michael says:

    Oh, the irony.
    If I had the time and inclination, I would go cut and paste a dispensationalist clearly teaching two means of salvation, one for the Jews and one for Gentiles.
    I would then trumpet that because some dispensationalists believed that then ALL dispensationalists must believe that.
    Steve would then scream like a stuck pig that dispensationalists were being misrepresented.
    I pointed out that there were differences in how historic Calvinism viewed certain doctrines…in an attempt to raise the level of discussion here and inform folks who were not Calvinists that there was more to this tradition than they understood.
    I’m not trying to convince anyone of the veracity of my tradition, I was simply trying to explain that there is diversity within the camp.
    Now, if you wish to use internet discussion boards and Google as your references that’s fine, but I was always taught to use primary sources and that’s what I’ve encouraged here.
    I’ve said repeatedly that Calvary Chapel should be Calvary Chapel and Calvinists should worship with like minded brethren.
    Cross pollination must cause the founders of both movements to roll over in the their graves.

  162. J.U. says:

    I do learn a lot reading on this site. Monergistic, Synergistic, thank’s Wiki, now I get those two words.

    A reminder: I never attended a CC church. But, from what I’ve read on PxP, CC is NONDENOMINATIONAL. I understand that Paster Chuck Smith came from a denomination, I think it was Foursquare Church, but he wanted more “freedom.”

    So here’s what Wiki says for denomination: “A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. Technically, divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine and church authority. Issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, eschatology, and papal primacy separate one denomination from another.”

    1. Common name. 2. Structure. 3. Doctrine.

    Obviously the common name is there. Apparently Calvary Chapel and the Dove are copyrighted.

    Structure? Let’s not argue the Moses model again.

    Doctrine? I’ve read the “Distinctives.” But I’ve also heard on this blog that at least some CC’s have moved that off the front page.

    So I’m wondering if this Calvinism vs. Arminianism (another word I’ve learned on here) at CC debate has any resolution. If CC is not a denomination, then does it have a standard doctrine? Are the CC distinctives enough to be called doctrine?

    I get it that, for example, Lutheran seminary and Lutheran “corporate guidance” is strict on doctrine. Baptists, less so. Catholics, possibly more so. Are CC’s as a body really strict on doctrine?

    I’m only asking because that’s how I learn. But, if CC is a loose conglomerate of churches without formal doctrine, then “how do you keep the Calvinists out? (I understand that Chuck Smith had a problem with Calvinism, but does CC as a whole?

    Not trying to start a debate or a food fight. Just wondering if it makes any sense to argue pro or con on Calvinism at CC if they don’t have a formal doctrine, and each church is independent.

  163. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “The bible tells us spirit filled people the exact same message – “Jesus Christ saves us.” ”

    Ask a Mormon the same and he/she will answer the same. You’re being dishonest again MLD.

    “Jesus Christ saves us” is a loaded statement with a zillion different “correct” versions of who Jesus is and how he saves you….all from the supposedly same “spirit filled” Christians* who can’t agree on very much of anything as exampled by these many arguments and disagreements and 9,000 to 30,000 denominations and mainlines etc.

  164. Andrew says:

    No – even for Baptism of the HS whether as a 2nd manifestation as was taught by CC in the 80s or a first you are still “invited” to accept that baptism.
    __________________________________________________________________

    No, I am talking about “born again” as the Spirit blows regeneration equating regeneration to Baptism in the Holy Spirit with John 6 being taught in a Calvinistic understanding with a huge dept of respect to the puritans and Charles Spurgeon. This is what I was taught in CC with alter calls, etc.. just being a secondary evangelical tradition on top of what I thought was an obvious underlying reformed theology. I could be wrong and if so, CC sure was good with the forked tongue saying all the right things to make me believe they were monergistic. That changed when I listened to Chuck Smith and read George Bryson.

  165. Andy says:

    “It is part of an ongoing conversation, which at times does get heated, but there has been zero controversy in SBC circles over Platt’s message”

    I will have to respectfully disagree with you, Josh. Platt’s message was the topic of tons of teachings, blogs, discussion, for many weeks thereafter. His intentions are not good at all, in my opinion.

  166. Josh Hamrick says:

    Rb, for my understanding, what is it that you are trying to get across by pointing out the fact that so many Christians disagree on Biblical interpretation?

    I’ve never fully understood why this should present a problem.

  167. Josh Hamrick says:

    “His intentions are not good at all, in my opinion.”

    What do you think his intentions are?

  168. RiBo says:

    Josh, I am point out the fact that we don’t know very much for certain and this is evidenced by the vast disagreement on many issues in the bible text with many many different “spirit filled” folks supposedly hearing from the same holy spirit only coming to a wide range of differences on “Thus sayeth the Lord!” which illustrates that the bible text isn’t “God’s word” in a sense, “God’s word” is what the various Groups who disagree on much “interpret” the bible text to say and mean.

    It is not a problem as much as it is a fact to factor in. It leads me to be much more open that we don’t really know much about what the bible really means or meant to say and as such we should all be more liberal theologically and much less dogmatic.

  169. Andy says:

    “Just wondering if it makes any sense to argue pro or con on Calvinism at CC if they don’t have a formal doctrine, and each church is independent”

    That is the thing. If CC is a structured denomination, then they should stay non-calvinistic. Across the board. It should be a requirement of affiliation, now and forever.

    But if CC insists on not being a denomination, then it is hard to stop any pastor from going whichever way they want (a.k.a., “feel led”). CCA tried to walk the tightrope of being a non-denominational denominational structure, that, on the affiliation level, could tell everyone what to be all the while intentionally not having any authority to enforce anything later on after affiliation.

    And really, this is why I always believed in the INDEPENDENCE of every local church. All of them. Denominationalism is dumb, in my opinion. People within denominations, don’t agree with each other.

    To see that is the case, see how Michael is pointing out all the different flavors of calvinism. So a person comes along with one flavor, and argues with one of another flavor. Are they both calvinists? What is the advantage of such labeling anyway, then???

    It’s best for every church to be what it should be individually, just as we let every individual person decide what they believe.

  170. Andy says:

    “What do you think his intentions are?”

    Such an in-your-face, hard-core kind of message like that, denouncing one of the very things that the SBC has been known for for so many decades, doesn’t speak of good intentions, in my opinion.

  171. RiBo says:

    The only other logical option is that one Group of the many is “spirit filled” and hears correctly and all the rest aren’t spirit filled and don’t hear correctly. That’s not a very palatable option, but some sects think they are the chosen and the rest are wrong and going to hell since the other don’t “see” the bible correctly like they do.

  172. Back to Monergism – I doubt that there are many who actually believe and trust in it. If you refuse to baptize babies ‘unto salvation’ because they are not old enough to understand or accept, how could you call yourself a monergist?

    Baby baptism is the classic example of monergism.

  173. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Such an in-your-face, hard-core kind of message like that, denouncing one of the very things that the SBC has been known for for so many decades, doesn’t speak of good intentions, in my opinion.”

    But he was hired by the SBC to give that message. That’s what he was hired to say. Don’t get me wrong, he believes it, but he was supposed to present that view.

  174. Michael’s example from teaching Mark 2:1-12 is a classic example of monergism and could substitute for baby baptism

    The guy on the bed had nothing to do with it. We see nothing where he asked to be taken to Jesus. I think his friends heard of Jesus, hoisted the guy up and Jesus looked at their faith – not the guy who was being healed / saved /sins forgiven. Just like a baby.

    That is monergism.

  175. Andrew says:

    Back to Monergism – I doubt that there are many who actually believe and trust in it. If you refuse to baptize babies ‘unto salvation’ because they are not old enough to understand or accept, how could you call yourself a monergist?

    ___________________________________________________________________

    MLD, CC never said they wouldn’t recognize my baptism as a baby or told me to get rebaptized as an adult. Just because they don’t baptize babies doesn’t mean they are against it either. At least that was my experience.

  176. Andy says:

    “But he was hired by the SBC to give that message. That’s what he was hired to say. Don’t get me wrong, he believes it, but he was supposed to present that view.”

    I’m not privy to the inner workings of the SBC leadership, and I never will be, so why they would hire him to say something so ridiculous and false as well, is beyond my understanding. I don’t trust Platt on anything, but if the SBC intentionally wanted him to blow that horn, then I guess I wouldn’t personally trust the SBC heads either.

  177. Andy says:

    “Just because they (CC) don’t baptize babies doesn’t mean they are against it either. At least that was my experience.”

    Yikes. Well you need to listen to Chuck Smith openly over decades, saying that baby baptism is worthless and does nothing. A position I agree with him on 100% personally.

    MLD’s definition of monergism as requiring baby baptism, is a provocative definition that would certainly stir up some people I know.

  178. RiBo says:

    Baby baptism is no more monergism than sacrificing your baby to Molek. It’s necessarily “doing something” and a willful physical act in hopes that it saves the baby.

    Monergism’s definition seems to be something God does w/o any act of man’s will.

  179. Andrew says:

    Yikes. Well you need to listen to Chuck Smith openly over decades, saying that baby baptism is worthless and does nothing. A position I agree with him on 100% personally.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    If I had listened to Chuck from the get go I probably would have never got involved in CC.

  180. Andrew says:

    Andy,

    Do you realize CC does baby dedications. If you use the same logic you have used with baptism, you would would come to the same conclusions that dedications are 100% worthless.

  181. Josh Hamrick says:

    “The only other logical option is that one Group of the many is “spirit filled” and hears correctly and all the rest aren’t spirit filled and don’t hear correctly.”

    I’m still not getting something. The “Sola Scriptura” view says that we only “hear” (to use your term) from the written Word. Now, my ability to understand what I read is colored by many variables, but soul competency says that God is capable of speaking to me (through His written Word) the things that are necessary for salvation. So, in that sense, going by your argument, there aren’t 30,000 denominations, but billions. Each believer is a denomination unto himself, able to read and comprehend God’s Word on his own.

    This isn’t a problem, this is just how God made it.

    You use this to say that we don’t know very much, but that is also a fallacy. It only proves that we don’t agree on everything. The vast majority of Christians in the world probably do agree on some major points, but are split into different denomination based on things like worship style, or even geographic location.

    Now, I actually agree that we don’t know very much in the scope of all that is out there to be known, but I disagree that a large number of denominations proves that point in any way. I also disagree that my limitations on any number of matters should make me less sure about the few things that I do know.

  182. RiBo says:

    Baby baptism is a good example that illustrates the Lutheran disconnect and the very pick-and-choose literal interpretation of some text (and expanding on it and making it a dogma) while ignoring other texts and explaining them away philosophically.

    It’s similar with all the angles of Christianity*…none are consistent all the way through which is why Philosophy/Philosophical logic is so important to understand b/c you then have the ability to deconstruct the different angles and see where there is incongruity and then you can note factually that the particular Apologetic is not consistent and has some flaws….which leads to being more open minded to “mystery” and “well we just don’t really know for sure”

  183. Steve Wright says:

    Now, if you wish to use internet discussion boards and Google as your references that’s fine, but I was always taught to use primary sources and that’s what I’ve encouraged here.
    ————————————————————————–
    Yeah the irony indeed. I quote the Calvinist in their own words. What Spurgeon Hodge, Piper, Owen etc wrote on a particular subject in their own words. I went to a seminary where interaction with the theologians themselves was part of the workload. Like I joked, next time I should scan the books I have by these men instead apparently. As to that one solitary discussion board reference…well, let’s just make sure that when we do have a good theology discussion on this blog that nobody in the internet world actually encourage anyone to read it, right? Irony indeed that we want to learn church history from the readers here from their studies and don’t rather close up shop to discussion and just link to a bunch of kindle opportunities on Amazon.

    I’m sorry if the real problem is that the beloved Calvin’s name has been hijacked by people and used in a manner he would not agree with. That is not my intention. I take guys, especially influential famous guys at their word when they self-identify as Calvinists. But I’ll leave it to others to write these folks and their estates to correct them as “not real Calvinists” – And of course if they ARE real Calvinists, then one really wonders why the bluster.

    But to repeat AGAIN, I was answering a question from a reader. What is the chief distinction? Why do those in CC not find agreement with Calvinist pastors. Answer – election issues and definite atonement are the two most common.

    And while a week or so ago we most definitely had a debate on the topic through those John verses, that has not once been my role here. Michael has been upset that I dare speak even a peep about the subject, that I dare quote a Calvinist in his own words, or brothers in Christ who are Calvinists discussing definitive views they hold to on the challenging areas….even as he plays coy with the beliefs of the majority today who call themselves Calvinist and refuses to even tell us where he leans on these points after those 20 years of intense study to which we are all commanded before worthy to comment.

  184. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “Do you realize CC does baby dedications. If you use the same logic you have used with baptism, you would would come to the same conclusions that dedications are 100% worthless”

    To dedicate a baby and pray they follow the Lord, isn’t the same as a doctrine that claims entrance to the kingdom by water.

  185. Josh Hamrick says:

    “so why they would hire him to say something so ridiculous and false as well, is beyond my understanding”

    Because the SBC has always had Calvinist as well as non-calvinist pastors and churches. In seeking to understand one another it is important to hear one another. That is why the message was given. I disagree with the message, but wouldn’t know if I disagreed or not had I never been given the opportunity to hear it.

  186. Andrew says:

    But to repeat AGAIN, I was answering a question from a reader. What is the chief distinction? Why do those in CC not find agreement with Calvinist pastors.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Steve, are you the next George Bryson? Do you speak on behalf of all the Calvary Chapel pastors? It comes across to me that you know the pulse of CC just as GB used to say. Believe me, I am not trying to change CC into something it is not but I am honestly not sure what CC is or what they stand for? Historically its a mixed bag leaning heavily against Calvinism but that’s definitely not universal. I just don’t see that everywhere especially when you get out of the bubble in CA and you hear some of the pastors on the East Coast.

  187. Andy says:

    “Because the SBC has always had Calvinist as well as non-calvinist pastors and churches”

    Which is unfortunate for a person like myself, since I would prefer to know, if possible, what they believed about these things, before going in. To avoid the calvinism, if it is there. Is it there? We don’t know until later. It’s a trick a lot of churches do today, not just SBC, to hide identity on purpose. Even going so far as to take Baptist out of the name of the church. Which is fine, but just confusing is all.

    “but wouldn’t know if I disagreed or not had I never been given the opportunity to hear it”

    These guys like Platt are talking all the time, they certainly don’t need conference time to make their aberrant view evident. Just my opinion.

  188. RiBo says:

    We really don’t know what Calvin would or would not agree with. He’s dead and buried and in the ground. Like with bible interpretation and “Thus sayeth the Lord!” you are demonstrating the same with “Thus sayeth Calvin!”

    It’s a function of what you believe and interpret the words on the page to say w/o the benefit of the original Author interacting with you and clarifying statements and positions and perceived meanings etc.

    We see this in Philosophy, Religion, even the Politics and Law (think “Thus sayeth the Constitution!”)

  189. RiBo says:

    This is why one of the cores in my personal Belief System is “Consensus Principle”

    Philosophy, Religion, Politics….”Thus sayeth Plato!” or “Thus sayeth the Lord!” or “Thus sayeth Calvin!” or “Thus sayeth Chuck!” or “Thus sayeth California ANTI-SLAPP laws!” or “Thus sayeth the Constitution!” etc….all require interpretation and then Consensus to make it have practical meaning today.

    We all are forced to infer what a written text was intended to mean at the time it was written. It is a very flawed medium. The “Law” is written in such volume (often pages and pages and pages with the wherefores and therefores etc) so as to more limit the range of interpretation (sometimes), while Philosophy and Religion are generally more wide-open and allow for a broad range of interpretation and differences.

  190. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Which is unfortunate for a person like myself, since I would prefer to know, if possible, what they believed about these things, before going in”

    The SBC has a statement of faith that you can read and see what they believe about any number of issues. However, being that all the churches are autonomous, you’d have to consult the specific church about something like Calvinism, which the SBC statement does not address. I think at last count, the number of Calvinist congregations in the SBC was less than 10%, so of the 43,000 or so SBC churches, maybe 4,000 are Calvinist.

    “These guys like Platt are talking all the time, they certainly don’t need conference time to make their aberrant view evident.”

    But if you are having a conference to present both sides of a topic, wouldn’t you want to have representatives from both sides who are able to accurately present their view?

  191. Andrew says:

    To dedicate a baby and pray they follow the Lord, isn’t the same as a doctrine that claims entrance to the kingdom by water.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    I can’t speak to the Lutheran doctrine of baby baptism but never did I hear in the Presbyterian doctrine that baptism definitively saves anyone just as adult baptism doesn’t definitively save anyone. God alone saves. Baptism is a sign but doesn’t guarantee salvation.

  192. Josh Hamrick says:

    “We really don’t know what Calvin would or would not agree with”

    We kind of do, though, because Calvin wrote A LOT.

  193. RiBo says:

    The theological liberal understands the limitations and dynamics of the static written text and is more open to the fact of “mystery” and is more intellectually honest about the incongruity in the various dogmatisms of the various Sects under the Christian* umbrella.

    But, if you believe God speaks special just to you and your Sect and that you have the “correct understanding” of the bible and “thus sayeth the Lord!” then by all means, knock yourself out, I’ll just point out the many times your angle/Apologetic has a major inconsistency and error.

  194. Nonnie says:

    When I have seen baby baptisms in an Anglican church, they have been promoting the exact same thing I have seen when CC dedicates babies. The parents and the congregation are challenged to be a part of this baby’s spiritual life in pointing the child to faith in Christ and the event is done to ask God’s presence in the infant’s life.. Simply bringing the child to the Lord and trusting HIM to do His work in the child’s life.
    That’s what I have taken away from witnessing them in both churches. I’m open to correction.

  195. RiBo says:

    “We kind of do, though, because Calvin wrote A LOT.”

    Kind of, yes…but as Michael accurately points out there is a broad range of disagreement as to “thus sayeth Calvin!” within the Camp that bears his name.

  196. Andy says:

    “But if you are having a conference to present both sides of a topic, wouldn’t you want to have representatives from both sides who are able to accurately present their view?”

    I guess that’s why I’m not SBC, then. I would prefer that the denomination, if they are going to be a denomination, would take such a clear stand as to say that they as a group, believe that calvinism is wrong. But I certainly can see why a large encompassing denomination won’t want to say that.

    Which is why I’m better off at an independent church that makes it clear within themselves.

  197. RiBo says:

    All in Calvinism can point to Calvin’s literal words as text on a page…the problem is you have a lot of disagreement as to what he “meant” and what he intended to say and as such you have many factions underneath “Calvinism” who split doctrinal/theologically hairs all appealing to Calvin and Calvin’s Philosophy (to one degree or another).

  198. RiBo says:

    Then, using Calvin as an example, you have all the other Groups who disagree with what they think Calvin said all appealing to the same text on the page and coming to different conclusions of “thus sayeth Calvin!” as exampled by Steve above.

    This is a good microcosm example of bible interpretation and the dynamic of “thus sayeth the Lord!”

  199. RiBo says:

    So you don’t misinterpret my words 🙂 I am not arguing against Christianity* or God per se, I am arguing for a more Liberal approach and more open approach to “mystery” and calling for much less dogmatism.

    We just can’t know for sure and dogmatism expresses certainty that isn’t based in intellectual honesty.

  200. Josh Hamrick says:

    “The theological liberal understands the limitations and dynamics of the static written text and is more open to the fact of “mystery” and is more intellectually honest about the incongruity in the various dogmatisms of the various Sects under the Christian* umbrella.”

    When you say “liberal” you actually mean agnostic, right? Because there are various liberal Christian camps who have definite views on what The Bible means and does not mean. And by agnostic, I don’t mean in the larger sense, just about the Bible. But theological liberals are not agnostic about what they believe the bible says.

  201. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Which is why I’m better off at an independent church that makes it clear within themselves.”

    Like Calvary Chapel, SBC is technically not a denomination. It is a group of churches who cooperate together for missions. Each church is an independent entity that is able to make any stance on Calvinism that they want to make, and as long as they give to the Cooperative Fund, we are still in good standing. There are many issues that we see as being to large to continue in cooperation with one another, but Calvinism is not one of them.

  202. RiBo says:

    Good point, there are many flavors of “theological liberal” as well and it is as nuanced as any other Sect.

    Yes, in general, more agnostic meaning “I don’t know for sure” on many theological/doctrinal issues and there are verifiable incongruities from a philosophical logic lens in pretty much all the angles/sects Apologetics.

    I am inclined to believe in God, Jesus* etc and then “hope” for salvation while recognizing that we don’t really know if God tortures most of humans in hell forever whether they were one of the lucky few who got a chance to hear the gospel but didn’t respond to it properly or they were one of the many who were never reached with the gospel.

    I also have no idea (nor does anyone) what it means to be “officially saved” and what the precise criteria is that guarantees it from within human understanding.

    None can give a solid answer and it always ends in ‘well that’s mystery”

  203. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Then, using Calvin as an example, you have all the other Groups who disagree with what they think Calvin said all appealing to the same text on the page and coming to different conclusions of “thus sayeth Calvin!” as exampled by Steve above.”

    Exactly! We could post the words to Mary Had a Little Lamb, and every person could disagree about what we think those words mean. That is just the way humans are. We see and understand things differently. This isn’t a problem, we can still point to the words of the poem as the standard for the conversation.

  204. Nonnie says:

    Josh, I always thought the SCB was a “denomination” because when we were on the mission field in the Philippines, it was a running joke amongst the missionaries about the SBC missionaries. They always drove new trucks or cars. If you were with SBC you were sent out with a guaranteed “salary” and plane fare home, etc, etc, etc. I’m not saying it critically, just that I assumed it was because those missionaries were “under” a denomination that had a structured missions program in place.

  205. RiBo says:

    Josh said, “Exactly! We could post the words to Mary Had a Little Lamb, and every person could disagree about what we think those words mean. That is just the way humans are. We see and understand things differently. This isn’t a problem, we can still point to the words of the poem as the standard for the conversation.”

    Agreed and it’s not a problem until folks become dogmatic and certain in their proclamations of “thus sayeth the Lord!” which is essentially “God’s word!”

  206. RiBo says:

    Lots and lots and lots of folks worship the Apologetic of a Sect and/or Guru and aren’t really worshiping “God” and hashing things out with God, IMO.

  207. RiBo says:

    I can almost imagine that God made it a riddle on purpose LOL. It drives the intellectually honest crazy b/c it is so contradictory and presents so many competing narratives. It forces a person who really examines it closely to go, “OK God, this makes no sense, I don’t have faith in any churches, any leaders, any apologetic…yet I still think I’m talking to you so I must believe”

  208. Josh Hamrick says:

    ” structured missions program in place.”

    Nonnie, that is all that the SBC is. The SBC is a group of like-minded churches who think we can be more effective in missions if we pool our resources. We have a fund called the Cooperative Fund that all SBC churches give to, that is then used to fund missionaries around the world. If you take that fund away, there is no SBC. Now, other things come out of that fund as well, but all are (or were originally) set up to make the missionaries more effective.
    I don’t mind being called a denomination, because functionally, we are one. However, no one from the denomination can come in and tell my church what to do. All decisions are up to the congregation. If we do something that is outside of SBC belief, they can decide not to cooperate with us anymore, but that is all there is.

  209. My understanding from my years with the SBC is that they are not a denomination but a convention. They only become a unified group when they are actually in convention once a year.

  210. Nonnie,
    What you see in Anglican baby baptism is like baby dedication because the reformed do not baptize onto salvation – they baptize into the group.

  211. Josh Hamrick says:

    ” It drives the intellectually honest crazy ”

    First, I appreciate the good conversation today. Second, this is another term that I want to hone in on. Why do you keep implying that the rest of us are not being intellectually honest? Do you think there is just no way we believe what we say we believe?

  212. RB’s position is that you cannot know anything – and he is out to prove that he doesn’t.

  213. Michael says:

    Steve wants a brawl, so I’ll oblige.
    For the casual reader if you want to totally anger me and shorten your days on the blog, then willfully misrepresent me like Steve has.
    I will come after you with both barrels and I will ban you when I’m tired.
    I don’t mind debate or disagreement, but don’t twist what I say.
    Let’s commence…
    “I’m sorry if the real problem is that the beloved Calvin’s name has been hijacked by people and used in a manner he would not agree with. That is not my intention. I take guys, especially influential famous guys at their word when they self-identify as Calvinists. But I’ll leave it to others to write these folks and their estates to correct them as “not real Calvinists” – And of course if they ARE real Calvinists, then one really wonders why the bluster.”

    What I have said consistently is that there is diversity in the camp.
    I said nothing about his “beloved name” being hijacked.
    My point has been the exact opposite of Steves misrepresentation, that being that ALL these diverse views fit into the blanket category of Calvinism and to this day people are studying and publishing books and papers on them.
    So yes, Packer and Sproul are Calvinists, so were Calvin, Davenant, and a host of others who saw some things differently.
    No where did I ever deny that any of these people are “real Calvinists” are Steve implies.
    Nowhere.
    How ironic that this comes from someone who is constantly correcting what he believes are misperceptions around the teachings of the founder of his “movement”.
    There is very little point in debating someone who creates half truths out of whole cloth.

    “But to repeat AGAIN, I was answering a question from a reader. What is the chief distinction? Why do those in CC not find agreement with Calvinist pastors. Answer – election issues and definite atonement are the two most common.”

    Those aren’t the only distinctions…and the extent of the atonement is only part of the whole discussion on election.
    Reformed theology also has a very definite doctrine of worship and the sacraments that differ greatly from Calvary Chapel.
    They also practice church discipline wherein a pastor caught in sin isn’t moved or protected, he’s fired.

    “Michael has been upset that I dare speak even a peep about the subject, that I dare quote a Calvinist in his own words, or brothers in Christ who are Calvinists discussing definitive views they hold to on the challenging areas….even as he plays coy with the beliefs of the majority today who call themselves Calvinist and refuses to even tell us where he leans on these points after those 20 years of intense study to which we are all commanded before worthy to comment.”

    Again, a complete misrepresentation.
    Everything I have said has been to get an acknowledgement that historic Calvinism isn’t as monolithic and black and white as it’s been proposed by Steve.
    I could quote (and referenced a web site) where Calvinists speak of a universal atonement with a particular application and other variations on what has commonly been stereotyped as Calvinism.
    I’m fine with comments as long as they are informed comments and not misrepresentations of what I or other actual Calvinists have written.
    I am not playing coy at all…I’m stating historical and theological facts.
    These evidently don’t fit in Steve’s paradigm of what Calvinism should look like so they are ignored or twisted.
    Henceforth I will believe that all dispensationalists are represented by C.I. Scofield and see how that flies.
    Finally, I haven’t refused to say anything.
    Again, a total misrepresentation.
    I haven’t been asked.
    If you would have asked, I would have told you that I’m still studying the issues.
    There is much discussion over the issue of “limited atonement” in our circles these days…so much so that a massive new volume by scholars who support it was recently released to defend the position, not from fire from outside the camp, but from within it.
    I lean toward a universal atonement and a particular application and I’m also wrestling with the doctrine of reprobation.
    I’m reading, praying and studying…and wherever I end up I’ll still be a Calvinist, still fit within the camp, and will have profited from the effort.

  214. Nonnie says:

    Thank you, Josh. I didn’t realise there was a distinction.

  215. Josh Hamrick says:

    All good Nonnie, and glad to hear that our missionaries were being treated well by the convention 🙂

  216. Andrew says:

    What you see in Anglican baby baptism is like baby dedication because the reformed do not baptize onto salvation – they baptize into the group.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Hold on. Awhile ago someone stated that Lutherans are part of the reformed group. And even if they are not, not all reformed agree what you are saying. Baptize into the group usually means baptize into the covenant body of the church. Its not just any group but the entire universal church which includes all believers.

  217. Nonnie says:

    Very well treated. 😀

  218. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Very well treated. :-D”

    That is great! You missionaries are my heroes.

  219. Andrew – let me set it straight – Lutherans are not Reformed. Lutherans did however come out of the Reformation.

    The reason that the Lutherans came to America was that the ruler in Germany / Prussia made the Lutherans and the Reformed worship together. The Lutherans could not put up with that so they said adios in German.

    Lutheran and Reformed are very different.

  220. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    You talk about reformed like you know what you are talking about. I am with Michael that you don’t know much. I admit that I don’t know much about Lutheranism but I know enough that there are a bunch of different varieties of them and they aren’t a consistent bunch as you come across as saying they are..

  221. Nonnie says:

    Josh, it was an SBC missionary that helped us build a church building in a squatter area where we had established a Bible study and a feeding centre for malnourished children. We certainly didn’t have the money to build the tiny structure, but he came alongside us and together, in Christ, we built that building. It still stands today (14 years later) amongst 200+ families in a squatter area and the gospel continues to be proclaimed. What has thrilled me is that I am getting FB messages from the babies, toddlers, and children that we fed and treated for TB way back then. They are now college students and leaders in that little church that we, along with the SBC missionary , planted!

    To me, that is what the body of Christ is all about. Never mind the side issues….preach the crucified and risen Lord Jesus and man’s need for Him.

    By the way, the church is an SBC church and that did not bother us one bit. I am thrilled that there is a Filipino pastor who is faithfully feeding his flock. I love how the body of Christ can work together, for His glory.

  222. Andrew,
    It’s not up to me. Lutheranism is an historic religion. We have everything written down. Read out confession – read the Book of Concord of which much of it was written against the Calvinists. It’s not like I came up with it yesterday – it was laid out 450 yrs ago.

    I did not say good or bad – I just said radically different.

    Why do you have such a problem with different?

  223. Josh Hamrick says:

    Great testimony Nonnie. It is awesome to hear what God has done.

  224. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    It goes back to what I stated before. I believe Luther and Calvin had much more in common than their differences. You want to somehow see how they are radically different and I like to see how much they radically had a lot in common. I guess its how you look at it. You want to see division. I like to see unity.

  225. dusty says:

    Thought I got an email from Tom Stipe today….turns out it was an add….been getting a lot of those. If you have gotten any of those from me….I did not send them.

    Anyway

    Good morning everyone. (((((((((((((big hugs)))))))))))))

  226. Andrew – it’s the differences that matter. Christians and JWs have much in common …but it is the differences.

    Every group has much in common … so?
    Your church and the RCC have much in common – are you communing with them?

  227. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    The commonality is that Christ died for our sins and we can have forgiveness based on Faith alone through Christ alone by Grace alone and Scripture alone to God be the Glory alone. You know the 5 solos of the reformation. I thought Lutherans and Reformed folks agreed on those but maybe I am mistaken.

  228. I didn’t say we don’t agree on things … but the differences are enough to keep us apart at the Lord’s Supper.

    Look, I am sure that if Benny Hinn and I sat down and discussed our beliefs we would probably agree on 80 – 90% of biblical and doctrinal issues – but it’s the differences.

  229. Hi Dusty,
    So what was the add – do you get to buy Tom Stipe for a day to clean your house?

  230. Nonnie says:

    Hi Dusty ! You are loved!

  231. Andrew says:

    MLD,

    Like I said, I don’t know much about Lutherans but my tradition comes largely from Luther and his contribution to the reformation of which Calvin himself respected a lot. I think a lot of our differences surrounding the Lord’s table would probably dissipate if we faced the kind of persecution that the early church experienced. I believe this is the kind of theology we need and not one of seeing everything contrary. Benny Hinn is a poor example because he represents just the opposite of persecution which is the prosperity gospel.

  232. Michael says:

    Good morning, Dusty! 🙂

  233. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “Look, I am sure that if Benny Hinn and I sat down and discussed our beliefs we would probably agree on 80 – 90% of biblical and doctrinal issues – but it’s the differences”

    I doubt that you would find even 80% agreement with Benny Hinn. Hinn would be stressing “speaking words of faith into the air to create your reality” and the “nine Holy Spirits” and going to the tombs of dead people to get the “anointing” and healing being guaranteed by the atonement and on and on…

  234. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    There are significant differences between Lutheran and Calvinistic theology.
    It’s also an odd dynamic between the two camps.
    Calvinists like Luther, respect and hold him in high regard.
    Lutherans don’t like Calvin.
    Luther was very separatist and his attitude has come down through the centuries to his namesakes… 🙂

  235. Well, we can look and see who the separatists were. When Luther had Malenchthon write the Augsburg Confession it was to be inclusive for the new protestants … it was Zwingli and the future Calvinists who opted out preferring the real absence over the real presence.

  236. Andrew says:

    Thanks Michael. I think I understand better now. I’ll let you two hash it out. I got work to do.

  237. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “RB’s position is that you cannot know anything – and he is out to prove that he doesn’t.”

    on the contrary, I’m out to prove that I know that you don’t know much…and you seem to support that thesis in spades…

  238. RiBo says:

    …and anyone have “faith” in MLD’s Apologetic and box should notice his positions are often incongruous (meaning they contradict themselves often) and not worthy of faith. Have faith in God instead and don’t sweat the man-made philosophically unresolvable Apologetics of gurus, churches and Apologetic boxes.

  239. RB,
    Assertions – no foundation – no back up.

    Why is it you can make statements that nothing can be known for sure … but you are so sure of your statements?

  240. And which God do you have faith in? We already know it is not the God of the Bible … the meanie God – perhaps it’s the god of the totem pole worshipers. 😉

  241. RiBo says:

    Guys like MLD have nothing more to offer than mere opinions that are powerless and based on nothing other than a faulty philosophically inconsistent, yet philosophically based appeal to “thus sayeth the Lord!” according to their skewed opinions and inconsistently applied rationale.

    In other words, don’t get hung up on guys who claim they know something that they can’t know. Their certainty is feigned and/or delusional and/or intentionally dishonest.

  242. and you have had the last word

  243. RiBo says:

    “…but you are so sure of your statements?”

    B/c we can know when something is contradictory in nature and we can judge a particular position and Apologetic and examine its various assertions and how they fit together and judge whether or not a particular approach is consistent in its application of a philosophically logical rationale or not.

    In the case of Lutheranism, one of many fatal flaws is the dismissal and re-interpreting of James and the fact that Luther himself questioned its legitimacy, etc and Luther himself clearly stated James ran contrary to the doctrines of Sola Fide which Luther held as pre-eminent.

    But, you will example, once again, the very dynamic I’m describing by twisting and spinning those facts and creating your own narrative to defend your particular Apologetic.

  244. RiBo says:

    The pieces don’t fit together…not logically. That is a fact. Yet, all Sects, all Groups try to tell you they do…and each is forced to swallow big giant contradictions and incongruity and explain away these dual and competing narratives in order to force their Apologetic to “make sense”

    It’s the very nature of all the Christian* Boxes out there…except those who are intellectually honest and claim uncertainty on most of the issues.

  245. RiBo says:

    Again, core doctrines like the extra-biblical term “Trinity” do not make any sense…but are professed with a certainty that cannot be had due to the very nature of a “Trinity” concept that has no equal in human physical terms.

    There is no analogy that makes sense, there is nothing in our physical human reality that comes close to describing it…Greek Philosophers did a decent job and the early church fathers co-opted their line of reasoning…even using the same terms later to describe the concept…but we still cannot be certain how it works as it is something that isn’t manifest to us in our physical tangible existence….yet you and others profess such certainty as if the loosely articulated concept “must be 100% articulated this way!” or you are a heretic.

    Nonsense.

  246. OK, enough for the last word – are you really that dumb when it comes to church history and the development of the canon. Do you really think Luther was the only one to question James?

    You have probably never heard to the antilegomena nor have you ever heard of Eusebius.

    You get an F on your test.

    RB, as I said before – stop being wrong.

  247. RiBo says:

    …and I will remind the Group that Steve Wright mistook a non-orthodox and heretical articulation of the concept of the Trinity as orthodox in an earlier thread b/c it is so convoluted and nuanced.

  248. RiBo says:

    Never stated that MLD, you are jumping to conclusions. I simply asserted Luther’s position, it was not a dissertation addressing everyone else’s position throughout church history.

    The name calling isn’t helpful, but we can do that stuff again, LOL.

    I can name-call with the best of them 🙂

  249. Josh Hamrick says:

    “except those who are intellectually honest and claim uncertainty on most of the issues.”

    Again, I’d like you to explain what you mean by “intellectually honest”. Do you really think none of us believe what we say believe?

    Also, surely you see the irony in being mostly uncertain, yet telling others how things are?

  250. James is in Luther’s bible – why do you have a beef with that?

  251. RiBo says:

    MLD, you are a moderately intelligent older man who has lived an average accomplished life in a very privileged part of the world during a very soft time in history. You get most of your pleasure from baseball and “blog theater” and stirring the pot, often in a troll-like manner.

    Your family life and marriage are probably your greatest accomplishments (unless there is some secret life you have kept hidden, but from all outward appearances this seems to be the case).

    You have latched onto a particular Apologetic you have pledged allegiance to and it has become in essence your salvation. You regularly demonstrate your intellectual dishonesty by what you choose to accept and ignore from Luther and Lutherans as exampled by how you react, or rather dismiss, “On Jews and Their Lies” but in the next breath are quick to point to the significance of a Luther and Lutheranism and appeal to the construct as containing the truth…yet you call into question your own truthfulness by dismissing the facts of Luther’s anti-semitism which are clearly articulated in his words and teachings later in life which cannot be blamed on youthful naivety.

  252. RiBo says:

    Josh, I don’t doubt that you have a faith or belief in your particular apologetic or box, my contention is most are afraid to question it and be honest about where those questions lead. It is demonstrated in many of the discussions we’ve had on here over the years. Some are more intentional than others, but I do think most are sincere, they are just afraid to give themselves permission to go there b/c they fear it results in a loss of their salvation.

  253. RiBo says:

    Josh said, “Also, surely you see the irony in being mostly uncertain, yet telling others how things are?”

    Yes, LOL a little. I don’t know how things are which is a Position. Unfortunately, it’s probably the most solid position ever expressed on the PhxP and can be demonstrated by pointing out all the incongruity in each and every Box and by pointing to the facts of church history, the history of mankind, and today’s examples of the “faith” and “the church” etc.

  254. I was going to say earlier hat it was refreshing that you went after Luther about James and had put to rest that Luther had killed all the Jews in WW2.

    I see I was wrong.

    But I was saved before I was a Lutheran so as usual your whole point goes down the toilet … once again.

  255. RiBo says:

    “But I was saved before I was a Lutheran ”

    How do you know for certain? Can you prove it?

  256. RiBo says:

    Can you point to a specific point in time where you were “saved”? You made the claim, how do you validate it? What are the reasons you know made you saved vs. previously unsaved?

  257. RiBo says:

    Oh, OK, thanks.

    And you wonder why I claim you are intellectually dishonest and playing games most of the time to entertain yourself….

  258. RiBo says:

    Anyone else want to take a stab? When was the moment you were saved? Is there a specific moment that you look to and can say, “Ya, that’s the moment I was surely saved!” If so, how do you quantify and validate that certainty?

    Was it something you did? A feeling? Some supernatural manifestation that is verifiable? Was it that you did bad stuff, now you do mostly good stuff?

    Or, are you just hoping you’re saved but you don’t really know for sure b/c there is no real metric to be sure…

  259. Josh Hamrick says:

    “I don’t know how things are which is a Position.”

    That’s a little unfair, don’t you think? To pick a position that really claims no solid ground, no level of “being correct”, yet tells others the places where they are incorrect? Shouldn’t one have a little better grasp on truth before espousing another’s view to be untrue?

    I can definitely tell you when I was saved. 4 days before my 19th birthday. Realized my lostness and need for Jesus. Everything changed that day. I can’t be preoven, because it is an item of faith.

  260. “When was the moment you were saved?”

    Mines a little fuzzy – it was either before the foundations of the world OR it might have been when Jesus was hanging on the cross 2,000 yrs ago.

  261. Josh Hamrick says:

    So MLD, there was no time in your life when you weren’t saved?

  262. RiBo says:

    Josh, I believe God is. That I am more sure of vs. a position that says God doesn’t exist.

    Josh said, “Shouldn’t one have a little better grasp on truth before espousing another’s view to be untrue?”

    Well, when Absolute Truth is in very little supply and we as humans have very little capacity to know and comprehend such, then no, I don’t think it’s unfair at all, it’s just pointing out the facts of the situation we face as humans and explains a lot of the dynamic of so much disagreement over what is “Truth!”

  263. Josh Hamrick says:

    “it’s just pointing out the facts ”

    But you are admitting that you don’t know the facts. How can you be sure that no one else does?

  264. ( |o )====::: says:

    RiBo,
    “Is there a specific moment that you look to and can say, “Ya, that’s the moment I was surely saved!”

    Good Friday, 1971, 3:00pm PST, San Lorenzo, CA, 2/3 of the way back in the left side of the church building, kneeling in a wooden pew, after having participated in The Stations of The Cross, Fr. Sean Egan led the service, St. John The Baptist Roman Catholic Church.

    A profound moment, when I embraced my faith in Jesus personally.

  265. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Josh, I believe God is.”

    Cool. So then your only issue comes down to “Who is God?”.

    I really think that is a matter of faith. I don’t usually see facts and data that can prove that one way or the other.

    G – Love your story in # 265.

  266. RiBo says:

    We are literally the blind leading the blind…I’m just one of the blind who acknowledges, “Hey guys, umm, we’re blind…”

  267. Josh Hamrick says:

    Again, though. That position just doesn’t make sense. If you are blind, how do you know that everyone else is blind? Isn’t it possible that many others are walking around with perfect vision, but your blindness does not allow you to see that?

  268. RiBo says:

    G, that is a good testimonial. I hope it took. I can point to quite a few such moments, many responses to a “correct” Gospel from one degree to another…good fruit, bad fruit, no fruit, all sorts of fruit…”correct” theology, incorrect theology, no theology, warm fuzzy feelings, no warm fuzzy feelings, proclamations, articulations, creeds, no creeds, speaking in tongues, cessation, calvinist, arminian, dispensational, covenantal, reformed, unreformed, walked forward, walked backward, walked on my hands, fell on my face, you name it.

    Been baptized twice, taken the sacraments, taken oaths, gone on missions, given money, prayed in closets, prayed in public, fed the poor, given the cup of cold water, repented of sin, sinned mightily, etc etc.

    Am I “saved”?

    Hmm, dunno. I sure hope so. At least I’ve heard many versions of the Gospel, while most of the poor schmucks in human history haven’t.

  269. Josh Hamrick says:

    Salvation is pretty easy. “Whosever believes”…

  270. RiBo says:

    “If you are blind, how do you know that everyone else is blind?”

    B/c of the example of church history, the example of the church today, the fact there is such broad disagreement to the tune of 9,000 to 30,000 denominations and mainlines and even within more sub-Camps like “Calvinism” or “Arminianism” or even a Group like “Calvary Chapel” there are major disagreements all while holding a position that “the bible is Absolute and God’s Word!”…well that doesn’t pan out, not on a practical human level…or there would be much broader consensus and much less bickering and much more Consensus certainty on all the doctrinal/theological positions.

    Politics, Religion, Philosophy, man’s history…all show the same dynamics and example the same things with regards to “truth”…though Science has a pretty good history of establishing “facts” through observation of our universe.

  271. RiBo says:

    Josh said, “Salvation is pretty easy. “Whosever believes”…”

    Believes what? It’s not nearly that simple.

  272. RiBo says:

    “Even the demons believe and tremble” etc etc.

  273. Josh Hamrick says:

    “or there would be much broader consensus and much less bickering and much more Consensus certainty on all the doctrinal/theological positions.”

    No way. Sinful man will never agree on the color of the sky. Again, the disagreements should be completely expected. They should not be a problem at all.

    “though Science has a pretty good history of establishing “facts” ”

    Not true. Science is always open to change based on new observations.

  274. RiBo says:

    “But you are admitting that you don’t know the facts. How can you be sure that no one else does?”

    B/c facts are provable. With all the major Camps and flavors of Christian* there are no provable theses as to who has the correct formula and who is hearing directly from God as the Apostles supposedly did.

    You have claims of Apostleship and Apostolic Succession, you have claims of “Specially Anointed” and “spirit filled!” etc…but you have no supernatural miracles to verify the Apostleship like there supposedly was in the OT (which validated “true” Prophets) and in the NT (which validated Jesus and the “true” Apostles).

  275. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Believes what? It’s not nearly that simple.”

    Sure it is. Don’t make it difficult. “Believes in Him”. All the other stuff just muddies the waters.

  276. Josh Hamrick says:

    “With all the major Camps and flavors of Christian* there are no provable theses”

    THis is true. Christianity will always come down to faith.

  277. RiBo says:

    No one, for instance, does real verifiable miracles. No one stops sinning and has only “good fruit” and no one can prove their position is entirely correct appealing to the same bible text.

    We can be certain of those things stated above b/c we have tangible evidence of such and lack of tangible evidence of such.

    Like Thomas required, show me the holes in the hands and side, where’s the beef?

    It isn’t there, so we’re left guessing and watching the blind lead the blind, hoping our particular Apologetic and Belief System is correct enough to save us while completely ignoring the fact that most humans who lived and died before us never heard an incorrect Gospel message, let alone a “correct” Gospel message.

  278. RiBo says:

    Josh said, ““Believes in Him””

    Yes. I hear that but it usually disqualifies Mormons and other Sects who express belief in Jesus.

  279. RiBo says:

    …and then many will offer, “well you dont’ really believe in the correct Jesus if you don’t believe this set of doctrines and theology!”

    and others will go further and state, “well you don’t really believe unless you do this list of things that show that you really believe!” etc etc.

  280. Steve Wright says:

    As God is my witness I was not seeking a brawl. Nor do I ever desire to deliberately misrepresent anything or anyone.

    In fact, I was genuinely surprised that my earliest comments resulted in the first couple of replies from Michael – as I noted before.

    However, I definitely could have done better from there – and not responded in a snarky manner….so my public apology to Michael and the community.

    Peace

  281. RiBo says:

    Simple* always comes with an asterisk and many many caveats.

  282. Josh Hamrick says:

    No asterisk. Believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

  283. RiBo says:

    That was a pretty good fight between Michael and Steve. Steve blinked which surprises me a little, it’s hard for pastors who have followings to back down in a fight, it usually goes against their nature and their feelings about their perceived personal authority from God.

  284. RiBo says:

    Josh, I sure hope so, and I hope the best for all other humans who didn’t have a chance or a choice.

    I hope God is “good” and not some Being who creates most of humanity w/o sending them the Gospel which is a death sentence according to most Christian* apologetics out there.

  285. RiBo says:

    If God is like me or you or the God that John Piper states, “well he’s god, he can do whatever he wants” to explain away evil commands given to the Israelites in the OT, then most of us are probably screwed.

  286. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Josh, I sure hope so, and I hope the best for all other humans who didn’t have a chance or a choice.”

    Me too. Thus, I gotta do my best to let them know.

  287. RiBo says:

    I dunno, maybe it’s more merciful to not share the Gospel if it then makes a person liable for a choice that could put them in hell forever if they choose wrong…whereas maybe God is merciful to those who he never sends the gospel to.

    Kind of like aborted babies…many think they go to heaven and not hell…while many, if born, it is presumed, would have ended up going to hell forever if not aborted.

    That’s a product of the Apologetic…

  288. Josh Hamrick says:

    Yeah, those are questions that have always haunted, that the Bible doesn’t really address. Makes it tough at times.

    But I know that God is good, and I know that God has called me to share the Gospel. He’ll use it for the best.

  289. RiBo says:

    “But I know that God is good, and I know that God has called me to share the Gospel. He’ll use it for the best.”

    Agreed in a sense. I think that it may simply be that God has mercy on everyone if he is good and all-powerful…but we’re still told to do some things (it seems) in the bible that are good to do as well. It’s kind of like Double-Predestination dynamic where Calvinists still share the gospel b/c they are told to, but in a Universal Reconciliation sense, you share the gospel as well, even if God redeems the whole of his creation in the end anyway.

  290. RiBo says:

    I really hope that Piper is right that “God can do whatever he wants” and that the big change from the evil in the OT to the good in the NT showed God can repent etc and change his mind…and that God isn’t bound by the text of the bible and that God has free will outside of the bible and can very well make it all right in the end w/o perpetually torturing anyone, especially those who never heard and especially those who sincerely don’t know and didn’t get the evidence they required like Thomas the Apostle supposedly did.

  291. Josh Hamrick says:

    ” I think that it may simply be that God has mercy on everyone if he is good and all-powerful”

    But what about unrepentant child-rapists? Like those d-bags who kidnap and rape and whore out little girls. They should get Hell, right?

  292. RB,
    You do realize what you are saying don’t you – when you speak of God’s free will outside of the Bible and God can do whatever he wants? No, I don’t think you do.

    That would mean that we cannot count on one thing about God – not one of his promises are sure. What you are hoping for could lead to God breaking all of his promises to us and flushing us all down the toilet at the last minute.

    Sorry, you are looking to the wrong god again.

  293. RiBo says:

    “But what about unrepentant child-rapists? Like those d-bags who kidnap and rape and whore out little girls. They should get Hell, right?”

    If God is like me and you, then yes. If I was God, I’d torture the hell out of them for a long long time, though probably not forever with no end.

    If God is truly Love and Mercy and Good, then no. It is antithetical to torture someone forever as a just punishment for something, even “unsaved” humans don’t believe in perpetual torture as a just punishment, many aren’t even comfortable with a death penalty.

  294. RiBo says:

    If God’s wrath and punishment is meant to be corrective, then it would imply a chance to change course and repent.

    If God’s wrath and punishment is meant to be retributive, then that’s a whole different can of moral/ethical worms and not “Good”

  295. RiBo,

    “G, that is a good testimonial. I hope it took.”

    I think so, 43 years and counting.

    But then, if my infant baptism counts, then it’s 58 years and counting.

    And, since I was chosen, in Him, before the foundation of the world, and all who The Father gives Him in no way shall be lost, then, well, I’ll let someone else do the math. 😉

    My empirical experience? All I can attest to is a sense of the presence of God, all of my life, especially inspired by wonder and awe at beauty and the complexities of life.

    All I can offer is that when I prayed to The Unknown (to me) God and said, “What is Your Name, that I can than thank You for all the beauty I see around me and the goodness in my life?” the answer I received is, “Jesus. So, follow Me.”

    So, there ya go.

    Thanks for the ongoing dialog, RiBo, glad you’re in our lives.

  296. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “That would mean that we cannot count on one thing about God – not one of his promises are sure.”

    That is a false dilemma IMO that is a common response.

    Right now, show me one promise that is 100% provable and “sure”? There are none, other than that you’ll die a physical death of some sort and that life will be difficult and that life will have blessing, etc. Most of the promises are feelings you have without tangible evidence. “Answered prayers” are often anecdotal and inconsistent, “victory over sin!” is a myth, we all still sin, etc.

  297. Josh Hamrick says:

    “If God’s wrath and punishment is meant to be corrective, then it would imply a chance to change course and repent.”

    Those chances are on earth. Everybody knows you shouldn’t rape children, right? If God gives them one more breath, isn’t that more mercy than they deserve. And I disagree with you about one thing, I’d fry their A* for all of eternity.

    “then that’s a whole different can of moral/ethical worms and not “Good””

    With no objective standard, how do we say what is good?

  298. RiBo says:

    Thanks G, I think that’s honest and about as sure as a person can offer, it really comes down to an internal feeling and a hope.

  299. Josh Hamrick says:

    “All I can offer is that when I prayed to The Unknown (to me) God and said, “What is Your Name, that I can than thank You for all the beauty I see around me and the goodness in my life?” the answer I received is, “Jesus. So, follow Me.””

    Again, good stuff G.

  300. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Apology accepted.
    Receive mine for losing my temper.
    We’ll do better going forward.

  301. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Thanks G, I think that’s honest and about as sure as a person can offer, it really comes down to an internal feeling and a hope.”

    Pretty much. You can have confidence in God’s word, and what it says about those who believe, but again, that’s faith. So yeah, I mostly agree,

  302. RiBo says:

    “With no objective standard, how do we say what is good?”

    Good question. It’s what haunts me about morals/ethics and Good and Evil.

    It’s why I found Situational Ethics making some sort of sense, but then that presents problems.

    There really isn’t much of an objective standard other than Conscience and our Reason and societal Consensus to look at a situation as “Good” or “Evil” based on how our conscience responds.

    Atheists etc are very moral in many areas and have solid Consciences about right and wrong on many issues. Conversely, many Christians* exhibit Consciences today that justify a wide range of Evil but they justify it against what they assert is what the bible says.

    It’s messy and very subjective.

    I think humanity, our minds, our Conscience provides that Standard…as even an ancient like Plato had an understanding of “the Good” and even ancient cultures that were pre-Christian and even pre-Moses had concepts of morals and laws that defined good and evil similar to what Moses later provided with the 10 commandments.

  303. RB,
    You last half of #297 just shows that you are walking around in a fog. Because you can deny something does not make it any less true for the rest of us.

    You are like the guy who tells the story of the 5 blind men feeling different parts of an elephant and describing the elephant by which part they are touching – thus God is the same way. Pretty silly isn’t it – no one can tell because all are blind.

  304. RiBo says:

    The law codes of Hammurabi for instance, predated even a very generous date of Moses and the Ten Commandments by several hundred years.

    These were a Standard that was pre-10 Commandments and outside the Hebrews/Israelites and it is very similar in many areas, even “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” etc.

  305. “Atheists etc are very moral in many areas and have solid Consciences about right and wrong on many issues”

    But this is a lie. If there is nothing but the material, and we are not here by design, then there is no “ought” or “should”

    So where does your atheist get this from if he is not co opting it from the God followers?

  306. Andrew says:

    Like Thomas required, show me the holes in the hands and side, where’s the beef?
    ___________________________________________________________________
    RiBo check out John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  307. Given by God – Noah had God’s law. Hammurabi picked up God’s law as it was being delivered.

  308. RiBo says:

    MLD, actually I think I was much more in a fog when I clinged to various fear-based Apologetics and Boxes out there in Christianity* and denied my Conscience and intellect which screamed at me often that the particular position was dishonest and not sound. It was very conflicting many times and hard to live with. I feel much better being honest about things as they are and appear to be. I think that may be “faith” more than my former adherence to fear-based Apologetics.

  309. Josh Hamrick says:

    I think RB will agree with this – Murder did not become wrong when it was written as a commandment. Murder was always wrong, and Moses put it into law for the Israelites.

    So there is one thing we all (most anyway) can agree on. Murder is wrong.

  310. RB, where do you get the “fear based” stuff.?
    I have not live one day in my 30 plus years as a Christian in fear of anything from God.

    You really should try the Christian faith.

  311. Thanks Josh.
    Thanks RiBo.

  312. Josh Hamrick says:

    ” I feel much better being honest about things as they are and appear to be. I think that may be “faith” more than my former adherence to fear-based Apologetics.”

    This may be true, and something we should all keep in mind. You never know which part of the journey someone is on, Where they have been, where they are going , etc.

    I should have left about 15 minutes ago, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion today.

    I do want to see if disagreement can be peaceful, even edifying. I think I have been guilty of jumping to offense at times without really understanding the other side.

    Now, I gotta go. Really appreciate the discussion today from all involved.

  313. “I have not live one day in my 30 plus years as a Christian in fear of anything from God.”

    …perhaps that’s because you didn’t have a “pastor” stepfather beating the shit out of you and your brothers and mother during your formative years?

    Just musing at the level of compassion that is lacking in the name of Jesus Christ.

    back to art & music

  314. Well G, did you ever consider that I am right – that what RB experienced at home was not Christianity and that he should get away from whatever that was and become a Christian?

    I would say that is damn good advise on my part

    Glad to see you dishing out that Jesus love towards me.

  315. RiBo says:

    Thanks G and Josh, gotta run as well, thanks for listening and discussing.

  316. MLD,
    Just an observation, as of late you have gone from being a sage Lutheran apologist to being an insufferable ass and a know-it-all. I say this because I know you actually do value the Gospel and Jesus Christ beyond your game of “blog drama’.
    Hope you will stop and reflect on that, or just ignore it and let those who read your contributions come to their own conclusions.

    Wishing you clarity.

  317. Anytime and always, RiBo.

  318. RiBo says:

    While the fear-based stuff is a reality with my upbringing, I’m sincerely concerned for a lot of friends I have who aren’t Christians* but who example a lot of “good” and who sincerely don’t believe in the church, church leaders or the various apologetics out there b/c they see the dissonance and incongruity and the caricature that most Christian examples can be and many of them are stumbled by what appears to be dishonesty when Christians* try to proselytize them with the particular version of the Gospel being presented.

    But, personally, I have concern b/c the fear-based stuff could be right and if it is then what a terrible thought about many of my friends and family being tortured forever with no end, even though many of them are no different than most Christians* either good or bad.

    It almost seems that Christians* have some sick pleasure in believing folks will burn who don’t see it the way they do.

  319. G,
    “to being an insufferable ass and a know-it-all. ” Do you say this as a post modern observer and it has no set meaning – or have you reverted back to your modern attitude where this opinion of your is locked as fact?

    I am curious how you reconcile this?

  320. I mean it solely in an empirically observational way.

    Even I, being a heretical Universalist, know when I’m pissing off Michael Newnham, and love him enough to resist being insufferable.

  321. RiBo says:

    Like the parable of the Good Samaritan…

    Who is more Christian or Christ-like?

    The person who lives a life that is dominated by a belief in loving his/her neighbor and does such or someone who doesn’t really love their neighbor very much but has “correct” theology?

    My guess is if it is some sort of binary outcome: either heaven or hell, then the person who examples what Jesus taught (which is more a true belief) even if they don’t believe the church’s apologetic, might be saved, whereas the person who says with their mouth they believe but don’t do anything to love their neighbor consistently and are selfish jerks who lord over people and live for themselves etc may be in trouble.

    But, that’s a tough metric b/c most humans do good and bad in their lifetime and love their neighbor and hate their neighbor all in the same journey.

  322. RiBo says:

    Dunno, but I do know I have to go get some real work done so my kids can eat. Again, thanks for the discussion. I sincerely wish it made perfect sense to me.

  323. erunner says:

    Let’s all put on our big boy pants!! 🙂

  324. Andrew says:

    Back to infant baptism. I had a question. RCC does infant baptism yet I believe Catholic doctrine is about as synergistic as it gets. So MLD not sure how that can be a determining factor for monergism. I just was thinking about this. Sorry to change the subject.

  325. Steve Wright says:

    Apology accepted.
    Receive mine for losing my temper.
    We’ll do better going forward.
    ————————————
    Thanks.
    Received.
    Agreed.

  326. J.U. says:

    Josh,

    I’m enjoying your conversation with RiBo and his response to it. Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

    It really is “good news” you are speaking.

    I share many of RiBo’s questions and my solution has always been to turn back to the word. But, as RB often says, it can be hard to make sense of all the various opinions. I’ve always tried to separate the “majors” from the “minors” as we discuss doctrine. One reason I’m here on this blog is to better understand the differences of my fellow Christians. Maybe it would be better stated to say I’m here to understand the “agreements” with my fellow Christians.

    I think you and RB had a very nice conversation and it was useful, helpful, loving, and spiritual. Thanks for others that joined in such as G-man. I hope ReBo benefitted, as I suspect he did.

    I know some people can tell you the exact date and time they were saved. Others (myself included) it wasn’t an exact time, but more a period of time. Just my two cents.

    Am I certain I’m saved? Yes, I am. Can I prove, demonstrate, explain, verify the fact. No. I think that’s why it’s called “faith.”

  327. Hey Steve and Michael.

    I saw the referral link to my C&C site, so I came over to have a peek at whats going on. Thanks Michael for the kind words.

    If I may I thought I might jump in and clarify a little bit something of what I think Michael is getting at.

    Steve, you cite Piper: What we deny is that all men are intended as the beneficiaries of the death of Christ in the same way – John Piper

    David: Piper is trading on ambiguity here. For him, the non-elect receive non-saving benefits from the death of Christ, and even the Free Offer. This was pretty standard by all camps in Reformed theology in the 16th and 17th centuries down to the 19thC. However, the actual benefits that flow from mediation are restricted to the elect: as per the standard particularist camp.

    In some ways Piper is very good and in other ways very bad. He sometimes misunderstands the classic 17thC doctrine of limited atonement, or better limited satisfaction. For the classic Protestant Scholastics, such as Owen, Witsius, Turetin, et al, Christ is only properly the saviour and mediator of and for the elect. There no saving benefits obtained by Christ for them.

    However, for the early Hypothetical Universalists (HU), (such as Paraeus and Davenant) life was merited or obtained by Christ in behalf of all men.

    The fundamental state of the question in all this can be reduced to something like this: For whose sins was Christ punished and for whom did he make satisfaction?

    For all those in the strict particularist camp, the answer was categorically for the sins of the elect alone, and for the elect alone. For all HU advocates, it would be “For all the sins of all men, and so all sinners.”

    Piper is in the particularist camp.

    You say: So the righteousness of Christ did not make the salvation of men merely possible, it secured the actual salvation of those for whom He wrought.” – Charles Hodge

    David: Your use of C Hodge is ambiguous. For Hodge, its all about what questions are being asked.

    If we were to ask C Hodge, for whose sins was the expiation made? he would have replied “for the sins of all men, for all men indefinitely (without limitation).” If we were to ask him, for whom did Christ design to save by his death, he would answer: “for the elect alone.”

    For C Hodge, what distinguished his position from [19thC] Lutheranism on the atonement was not on the nature of the satisfaction, but on the design and intent of the satisfaction. C Hodge made this claim explicitly. For Hodge there can be no limitation in the nature of the satisfaction, which stands in agreement with Lutheranism, but on the design to effectually apply.

    You cite Spurgeon: We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your (Arminian) atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it. – Charles Spurgeon

    David: Sure, Spurgeon for the most part was clearly within the strict particularist camp.

    You then site Owen’s famour trilemma:
    For Whom Did Christ Die?…”The Father Imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for either:
    1. All the sins of all men.
    2. All the sins of some men,or
    3. Some of the sins of all men
    In which case it may be said:
    a. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved.
    b. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth. – John Owen

    David: And here is the problem is made most clear. C Hodge, Shedd, Dabney all categorically rejected this double payment argument. They rejected it on the grounds that it presupposes a pecuniary causality in what is properly a penal satisfaction. And they reject on biblical grounds such as in life, the living unbelieving elect are subject to divine punishment. That being so, there are some sins for which Christ made satisfaction, and yet for which God seeks a “second” satisfaction in the form of temporal punishment.

    You say: Calvary, in other words, not merely made possible the salvation of those for whom Christ died; it ensured that they would be brought to faith and their salvation made actual. – J. I. Packer (intro to Owen)

    David; All varieties of Calvinism argued that the death of Christ is the exact and proper means whereby the salvation of the elect is ensured. But the question relates to more technical points such as “Does the death of Christ purchase faith for all for whom he died?” Or, does the expiation self-apply as per Smeaton’s claims? Or this, is there an inseparable connection between the expiation and its application? C Hodge, Shedd, Dabney and countless others said no. On the other hand, others in the particularist tradition said yes.

    In this line of thought, the question is: Can someone for whom Christ died (vicarious suffered for), failed to be saved? Again, C Hodge, Shedd, Dabney and others would say yes.

    So the issues are not just semantics. And the issue is not about the intent or design of the satisfaction (Whom did Christ [effectually] design to save), but about the nature of the satisfaction itself.

    You cite Sproul: If that is so, then the atonement, in some sense, must be limited, or restricted, to a definite group, namely believers. If Christ died for all of the sins of all people, that must include the sin of unbelief. – R.C. Sproul

    David: Sproul here only repeats a Owen’s trilemma. The sin of unbelief is just any sin, like all sins, and Christ made satisfaction for it, in behalf of all men. However, the application is conditioned by faith. The satisfaction does not make satisfaction for “faith” or “belief” as it is properly a satisfaction for sin, transgression, and, deficit.

    Anyway, all this is documented at the C&C site.

    I think what Michael is asking of you is to do a bit of sustained reading of the C&C site, not just a quick and easy gloss over its contents.

    Thanks for your time,
    David

  328. Michael says:

    David,

    I can’t believe you showed up, but I’m so glad you did.
    My respect for your work is through the roof and you’ve taught me so much through your site and your posts.
    Thank you!

  329. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for that. Send me an email any time.

    I was going to reply to Steve, but then I saw that it all went badly. Then I saw the apologies and thought I might reply. Before the apologies I thought he had walked away from the conversation. I am hoping he may decide to stay and continue it but with more detail.

    I think the problem is that you’ve been following the C&C for some time from what I can gather from your comments. Youve had time to absorb and integrate its core ideas and claims. For Steve and others, at first glance a range of things spring up, such as the complexity of the material. That’s fair enough. The topics and material are quite diverse and deep, with not a lot of unifying commentary from me. Also the amount of material to work through. And of course, the incredulity factor. Ive had discussions with many folk who just outright find it impossible that someone like Dabney held to an unlimited satisfaction doctrine. The same for men such as Calvin and others. It really is a case of the Reformation’s *forgotten* doctrine of unlimited satisfaction.

    David

  330. G,
    You don’t understand. RB throws out the most outlandish claims, all the while securing his position as the ONLY one who is intellectually honest and the ONLY one who can get close to truth.

    So, when challenged, and I do it with full frontal force – I ask him questions or I make statements to refute his position.

    But he doesn’t answer, and like a 5 yr old replies “well, Luther killed all the Jews in WW2 and you support him. This goes on thread after thread. So today he changed up a bit and got onto “Well Luther tried to exclude James from the Bible – refreshing but not at all an answer to my question.

    When challenged, his reply then was that I was an old man who has not accomplished much in life.

    I am a big boy, I can take it, but then when still challenged he runs back to the fear , the beatings etc. Well, belly up to the bar and answer a question and leave the other stuff out.

  331. RB said – “Like the parable of the Good Samaritan…”

    First lesson in learning about the parables – they are never about what the story is about. This parable is no different – it is not about the Good Samaritan – it is about who is your neighbor.

    Parables are not about sheep, farmers, seeds, sons, coins or any of that stuff.

  332. Al says:

    Its nice to know, who is of Paul, Cephas or even Apollos. While you debaters and lawyers have your war of words mma style, then fleeing for refuge to your your own ivory cathedral of dead work theologies. There is a lost world, that is looking for the real light, and needs to see a real demonstration of the Holy Spirits power on the earth today. Its so much easier to debatd and guard ones own pet doctrines, then to seek and save the lost.

  333. Michael says:

    Al,

    What a pious ass you are.
    You have no clue what anybody does here for the Body or the lost.
    Change your attitude or take a hike.

    I’m of Calvin Michael

  334. “G,
    You don’t understand.”

    I understand this much, anyone can come here, post, opine, even discuss.
    RiBo will never, ever be won over or convinced by your tactics, neither will I, not anyone else.

    I choose to not “belly up to the bar” because it’s not your bar, it’s Michael’s, and knowing when to back off is the mark of a gentleman.

  335. Al,
    ” then to seek and save the lost.”

    Why do you accuse us of not doing both?

    I can even talk about baseball while I debate the finer points of the Christian faith and still seek after a lost world.(Kershaw gave up 5 runs yesterday in 2 innings – but it was fun to see Brian Wilson be the starting pitcher today.)

    Do you feel good being better than the rest of us?

  336. Al says:

    Spoken like a true Pharisee :p

  337. “RiBo will never, ever be won over or convinced by your tactics, neither will I, not anyone else. ”

    You mean my tactic of answering his questions and asking him deeper questions?

    He will not be won over by agreeing with him – that’s for sure.

    Besides what is this “won over” stuff – he has told us many times that he is more Christian than all of us.

  338. another one who tosses around the Pharisee word. LOL – you came here with the holier than thou accusations.

  339. Al says:

    Why am I accused being accused of pious or being better? If what was said is false, then argue your point using scripture. But unfounded personal accusations, seem to be the go to method, to trump an honest judgement.

  340. Michael says:

    Al,

    So you want us to disprove a negative about ourselves that would require personal knowledge of our lives by Scripture?
    That’s a cool trick.
    If you don’t like the site, use your mouse.
    Click it or stick it…

  341. Al says:

    These are not unfounded accusations. As there is plenty of evidence on this site to support this accusation as being 100 % accurate.

  342. Michael says:

    Your Holiness,

    Please go visit someplace where everyone agrees and there is no conflict or learning.

    Maybe imbetterthanallofyousinners.com

  343. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “I am a big boy, I can take it, but then when still challenged he runs back to the fear , the beatings etc. Well, belly up to the bar and answer a question and leave the other stuff out.”

    I did nothing of the sort. The fear-based comments were actually my conclusion of conservative theology in general and weren’t intended to be linked to my upbringing, though that was certainly fear-based as well.

    I have no lingering need or requirement for sympathy for that situation, and I don’t consider myself a victim b/c I’ve fought back and hard. I think you have jumped to a conclusion (as usual) which is incorrect.

  344. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “First lesson in learning about the parables – they are never about what the story is about”

    Ya, no duh. It’s a metaphor, an analogy, much like “this is my body, this is my blood, do this in remembrance of me” as a mnemonic device.

  345. RiBo says:

    Al said, ” There is a lost world, that is looking for the real light, and needs to see a real demonstration of the Holy Spirits power ”

    How do you quantify that? Do you mean supernatural miracles? Do you perform real verifiable miracles?

  346. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “Well, belly up to the bar and answer a question ”

    I have no problem answering, sometimes you miss that I’ve answered. What question do you have that I didn’t answer?

  347. Al says:

    @ Ribo, are x rays good enough evidence to verify miracles?

  348. RiBo says:

    Al, probably not if the doctors have an explanation or lack an explanation but have seen stuff disappear before.

    I wonder why it is that the skeptics in Jesus’s day (Pharisees, Romans etc) seemed to believe the miracles Jesus did, at least according to the bible, but skeptics today aren’t satisfied by the evidence. There always seems to be some sort of natural physical explanation, whereas someone walking on water or turning water into wine would have no explanation.

    We don’t seem to see the miracles today that defy explanation like in the NT.

    We dont’ even see satan worshippers doing real supernatural stuff like levitation, it’s always shown to be tricks and gimmicks…the Yogi levitation and fire walking has been shown to be tricks also…let alone the Christian Benny Hinn miracle stuff.

    I’d like to see one of these dudes do something like in the NT where folks would go “dddaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnng!” and it would pass the scrutiny of the skeptics like it did in Jesus’s day.

  349. Al says:

    Ribo, you sound like the ones that was spoken of, even if someone should rise from the dead, you still wouldnt believe. An evil heart unbelief I thinknis whats its called in hebrews ?

  350. RiBo says:

    No, that isn’t ture at all. I would believe a legit supernatural occurrence like levitation or walking on water if I saw it in person or if it was verified and documented by a group of trustworthy scientists or reporters. There just haven’t been any supernatural occurrences in our age from any Camp let alone Christians. It’s why many even in Christianland are cessationists and Cessationism is not some atheistic or heathen construct, it’s Christians who acknowledge the sign gifts have ceased for some reason.

  351. ( |o )====::: says:

    “An evil heart unbelief I thinknis whats its called in hebrews ? ”

    Al, is it ever permissible to ask tough questions about our faith, especially in a reasonable world which God Himself created ?

  352. “I have no problem answering, sometimes you miss that I’ve answered. What question do you have that I didn’t answer?”

    RB, Well, since you asked I do have one from earlier – my #306 from 1:05pm

    You said “Atheists etc are very moral in many areas and have solid Consciences about right and wrong on many issues”

    I replied – “But this is a lie. If there is nothing but the material, and we are not here by design, then there is no “ought” or “should”
    So where does your atheist get this from if he is not co opting it from the God followers?”

    How about that one? – Can a materialist demand “ought and should” from other people?
    Address how ought and should developed out of pure materialism.

  353. Another question – you said “or if it was verified and documented by a group of trustworthy scientists ”
    Category Error Alert!!!

    Science can only measure or comment on the natural – why would you trust them to measure and comment on something that they have no training or experience with – you know, the supernatural?

  354. RiBo says:

    MLD asked< "How about that one? – Can a materialist demand “ought and should” from other people?
    Address how ought and should developed out of pure materialism."

    Reason and Conscience and human psychology and human sociology. We see "ought and should" pre-hebrew, pre-moses, pre-levitical law in the Codes of Hammurabi and other ancient texts. We see "ought and should" expressed by Greek Philosophers like Plato and many others.

    Today we see "ought and should" as part of social theory and sociology independent of religion.

    Materialism doesn't preclude "ought and should" in fact if you study sociology and social construction theory you will see how "ought and should" is more borrowed from humanity than it is of religion as Language preceded codified religion and social constructs preceded the bible as well.

  355. RiBo says:

    MLD, I would trust a scientist to observe say a levitation and verify that it wasn’t a gimmick.

  356. RB,
    False, you are explaining after the fact. God gave Adam and Eve oughts and Shoulds.

    You sociology example is false (btw I majored in sociology) – bu you state that it was borrowered from humanity – OK, but where did it come from in a purely materialistic environment.

    If I gave you a rock to put on your desk, how long until it finally could think in terms or ought and should?

  357. RiBo says:

    What I do think is valid is that all human ancients had some sort of belief in a deity or deities and none were atheist that I can find,it seems Atheism is late on the human scene…but you would consider all the groups that were pre-israelite and pre-christian to be Godless, yet all people groups who preceded the Israelites and Christians exampled “ought and should” through Social Construction and societies and Language etc.

  358. Why would you trust a scientist to know anything about gimmicks. Every fraud put forth in archaeology came from a scientist..

    Can’t your FED EX guy look at something and see that it is a gimmick?

  359. “but you would consider all the groups that were pre-israelite and pre-christian to be Godless,”

    Why would you say that? I don’t consider Adam and Eve godless – nor do I consider Noah godless – I don’t consider Abraham and the patriarchs to be godless.

    So again, fail on your part.

    But you still haven’t said how. Perhaps ought and should is all made up … oh wait – for the atheist it is. That is why the borrow on god capital.

  360. RiBo says:

    MLD siad, “False, you are explaining after the fact. God gave Adam and Eve oughts and Shoulds.”

    When did Adam and Eve live? What time frame? You have a geneology in the bible. Why is there language and evidence of human civilization that predates Adam and Eve if you do a literal timeline from the bible geneology?

  361. When did Adam and Eve live?

    See, this is what you do – you change the subject. The question is how do your atheist friends derive ought and should from a purely material world.

    You made the claim – the burden is on you. No Adam and Eve for you.

  362. How is the rock doing? Any self awareness yet?

  363. RiBo says:

    MLD we have archeological evidence, tangible evidence, of language and writing that predates hebrew language and writin. If Adam and Eve were literal humans and talked with God in a language we assume was hebrew, why do we not see hebrew language in man’s history until much later? The genealogies assert a line of hebrews from Adam to Jesus, yet where is the hebrew language? hebrew doesn’t come on the scene until well after ancient Sumerian language, Cunieform writing etc that we have as physical tangible evidence.

    The fact of recorded Language and recorded history that precedes recorded hebrew language and recorded hebrew history is problematic for a literal interpretation of Genesis.

    Ancient Sumerian language and Cuneiform predates any “Tower of Babel” thesis, therefore if all humans were speaking the same language pre-Tower of Babel, do we have Adam and Eve and the ancient hebrews speaking a different language than ancient Sumerians pre-Tower-of-Babel? Were Adam and Eve speaking an Ancient Sumerian Language that they didn’t pass on to the next generations? Adam supposedly lived for hundreds of years and many new generations of hebrews were contemporaries of his…did Adam change language pre-Noah? What language did Noah speak?

    Tower of Babel happened post-flood and supposedly all men spoke the same language until the Tower of Babel, but archeology disagrees as does common sense.

  364. RiBo says:

    MLD said, ” The question is how do your atheist friends derive ought and should from a purely material world.”

    I explained that already. Humans are made up of material, chemicals, neurons, etc. Human psychology and sociology is a by-product of human interaction with other humans and “ought and should” is manifested through those sociological interactions, social construction, language etc, all of which are by-products of human physiology, human psychology, etc all from the “material” that humans are made of, i.e. cells, chemicals, tissue, brain matter, neurons, etc.

    MLD, you do believe Jesus is “material” correct? He’s not some sort of spirit only, correct?

  365. And what does that have to do with your atheist friends and ought and should.

    All you have shown is perhaps their is another metaphysical presence, but you are still stuck with the fact that your atheist friends would still deny them.

    I want to know how your friends came up with ought and should from a material world?

    Answer that question please – or just agree with me that it is impossible and that they co opt it from religion – I don’t care whose religion, but it did not come from materialism.

    Now, if what i am saying is true and atheists are co opting religious principles, then your friends are not good moral people but instead thieves and deceivers.

  366. MLD, you do believe Jesus is “material” correct? He’s not some sort of spirit only, correct?

    Yes, but atheists do not believe in the immaterial – and you are making the case that the immaterial came directly from the material.

    How is that rock doing? any self awareness yet?

  367. RiBo says:

    MLD, it is really called “Is, Ought” but I think that’s what you meant by “should, ought

  368. RiBo says:

    Actually many atheists do believe in the immaterial depending on what you define as immaterial. Theoretical physicists assert many beliefs about the Multi-Verse that we cannot see with our senses.

    Some atheists are metaphysical, some see the unseen forces of the Universe and the Universe as “god” but not a personal deity, etc.

    Materialists do not believe in the immaterial but not all Atheists are materialists.

    Lack of belief in a personal deity is not necessarily a lack of belief in the immaterial.

    And, to remind you, I am not an atheist, I believe God is, despite the many anomalies in the typical Christian* apologetic.

  369. RiBo says:

    MLD asked, “I want to know how your friends came up with ought and should from a material world?”

    The same way many cultures throughout history, even today, who never heard the gospel and have never heard of the Christian Jesus or the Hebrews or the bible formed languages, cultures, societies with rules, moral codes and moral “oughts”

  370. RiBo says:

    MLD, remember you have asserted that folks who aren’t praying to the real God are praying to nothing, then you’ve state they are praying to the devil and the devil answers their prayers.

    You are essentially an atheist regarding all other gods other than the God of the Hebrews (though you say the Hebrews today worship a false God or pray to nothing or pray to the devil).

  371. RB,
    Now you give yourself away as having been cruising the internet looking for a reply.

    “MLD, it is really called “Is, Ought” but I think that’s what you meant by “should, ought

    There is no “Is Ought in our conversation. I didn’t come up with some fancy formula. I only wanted to know the basis is someone saying you should do this or you ought to do that.

    In a material world, there is no direction, there is no force working things out and your atheist friends, who now you claim may be spiritual …which is my claim, there are no atheists in this world.= are really just playing a game with themselves and this removes them fom the realm of being good moral people. They are frauds.

  372. In your last 3 posts you have changed your point of view. You have now changed all your atheist friends, from atheists to now being just not Christians.

    You said “Lack of belief in a personal deity is not necessarily a lack of belief in the immaterial.”

    No, that person is called a Deist – but a Deist is not an atheist and you were specific in speaking of your atheist friends.

    How is that rock doing – any self awareness yet? Have you figured out why I keep asking? Because your claim is that morality (ought and should) somehow came out of that rock.
    Keep on using the atheist’s rational – consciousness, self awareness, reason and logic sprung from that rock with no help or guidance from anything outside of that rock.

    Now that my friend is a miracle – and perhaps that rock is worthy of worship..

  373. RiBo says:

    MLD, your angle sounded a lot like Hume’s “Is, Ought” problem, that’s why I brought it up. You may be unaware that there are philosophers who discuss Morals//Ethics in similar terms.

  374. brian says:

    MLD ” Every fraud put forth in archaeology came from a scientist..”

    I do hope you and your family are doing well and that you and yours are blessed this season of lent. You have made me look into the Lutheran faith and I am actually visiting a Lutheran Church in my area. It reminds me of Anglican Churches and I find that comforting, I like hymns and corporate prayer. I do not take communion even though they have an open communion, it is a rather liberal Lutheran church, but I think it would be disingenuous to do so. That’s just me, I do like the liturgy.

    Yes there are some frauds in science, and science has a corrective measure as it does not believe in areas that cannot be challenged and it also has the peer reviewed process. It is not perfect but it has served humanity quite well. You are typing on a device that was developed using the scientific method, you drive or ride in a car that was developed the same way, take medication if you do that was developed using said method, we have landed on the moon, mars, and a man made device which has left our solar system which was developed using the scientific method. This could go on for several thousands and thousands of pages. That is what this very human, cumbersome, flawed process, etc has been produced.

    Let us talk about frauds, like I found Noah’s ark, the many end time guesses that did not come true, and shall we bring up the many relics that it seems your name sake had some issues with. Maybe we can talk about fake exorcists, fake ex witches, Illuminati, satanists, etc. There are fakes in every segment of human society. MLD we are as far apart as two people have been but I have learned from you and thank you for that. I mean this I do hope you and yours are blessed, you can ignore much of this but I hope you listen to this last statement. Thanks brian. Michael thanks for your willingness to let me post here it does help.

  375. brian,
    ” Every fraud put forth in archaeology came from a scientist..”

    Don’t rip one phrase out of it’s context of 20 comments on a thread. It get’s you too wound up

    I agree, frauds are all over the place … I am sure that I play the role myself from time to time

  376. RB,
    How is the rock?
    I am not even discussing the particulars of Morals / Ethics (I perter ought / should in our conversation) but the only thing I want you to explain is how that rock created ought / should.

  377. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “How is the rock?”

    How do you know there is a rock? How do you know what a rock is? Why do you call it a “rock”? LOL

    You won’t understand why I asked you those questions and how it illustrates the nonsense of your assertion, but it gives me great pleasure 🙂

  378. RiBo says:

    MLD, you are ignoring the fact that human beings are made up of “material”, essentially the same material that makes up “rocks” in the universe.

  379. RiBo says:

    MLD, you are literally made up of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus atoms.

    You don’t know this or understand this. You are literally “material” and your brain is made up of “material” and other animals that exhibit learned “shame” and “ought” (see the dog that gets into the trash and puts its tail between its legs and hides when the owner comes home).

    A dog’s brain is made up of the same “material” or same atoms that your brain is. A dog can learn “ought”…how do you explain that fact?

    We simply don’t know whether Morality is some sort of biological function stemming from thought and human social order or Social Construct or whether it is some sort of non-material “spiritual” thing that is put into us from a deity. We just don’t know for sure.

  380. RB,
    I gotta take the grandkids to school but…
    Humans have one ingredient that the rocks do not.

    But you still slip away from the original point – your atheist friends do not get ought / should from a purely material world – they steal it from God followers – any kind of god follower.

    They live their lives on borrowed capital and are untrue to themselves.

    btw – how did language come from that rock? Has he said anything to you this morning? 🙂

  381. RiBo says:

    MLD said, “your atheist friends do not get ought / should from a purely material world – they steal it from God followers – any kind of god follower.”

    Wrong. There is tangible evidence of isolated Tribes that showed no deity structures, no burials of the dead with stuff for the after-life, no totems, nothing…yet they exhibited Social Order and “ought”

  382. RiBo says:

    MLD, you are made up of the same material or atoms, yet you have a language. Animals have languages also and are made of the same atoms. Are you asserting that animals have souls or some sort of non-material non-biological aspect to them?

  383. RiBo says:

    MLD, the Amazonian isolated tribe, the Pirahas, is one of several that disproves your assertion above. Read about them. They are an atheist tribe, for many many many generations, no religious influence…yet they have Morality and Social Order and language etc.

  384. Josh Hamrick says:

    Consciousness, more than morality, is the big kicker.

  385. RiBo says:

    MLD, the bible itself also contradicts your thesis as it states many times that “no man seeks to do good” and “all seek evil” etc etc. yet there are many examples of tribes that w/o religious influence do seek “good” and have Social Order and language and Morality etc.

  386. RiBo says:

    “Consciousness, more than morality, is the big kicker.”

    Agreed. Morality is largely subjective. Even today within Christianity* there is broad disagreement regarding what is Moral/Ethical and what is not…on many many issues.

  387. Josh Hamrick says:

    Morality is definitely learned. The changing views on homosexuality prove this.

  388. RiBo says:

    That man is a sentient being, that we create, invent, ask questions, “reason”…that is much more significant than Morality and “ought”

  389. RiBo says:

    Josh, bingo. Same with slavery, same with stoning children to death in the OT, misogyny of the OT, etc etc.

    Morality has changed dramatically over the years and is still changing today…even in the “Church”

  390. RiBo says:

    Here’s something to consider along these lines that will blow your mind:

    If we can successfully clone a human being…and it has consciousness…and can learn Morality…does it have a ‘soul’? Is it eternal like you assume we are? Will that cloned human go to heaven or hell?

    Cloning is simply copies of “material”….

  391. RiBo says:

    If man can successfully clone humans…and the clones live and breath and reason and have morality etc…are they eternal souls that will stand before God in judgment?

  392. Josh Hamrick says:

    There is an easy answer to that question…
    I don’t know 🙂

    Those are some the the ethical implications wrapped up with modern science and “playing God”.

  393. RiBo says:

    Josh LOL, me neither, but it is fascinating. We do have the ability to copy humans. Those copies would not occur as natural biological reproductive process but would be lab creations.

    It is very likely these beings would be essentially the same as we are, but they would be copies.

    How would they get their “souls” or non-material aspect as MLD claims if they are merely copies of material (atoms)?

    Is the immaterial in man (assumed by MLD) “IN” our genetic code? Is it a biological reality of only human dna? Or is it something that God imparts as MLD seems to suggest?

    If God imparts it and it is not in our code, would God impart it to copies or would they be soul-less?

  394. Josh Hamrick says:

    The more I think of it, I don’t think cloning presents that much of a dilemma. I remember watching a show about the cloned sheep that said it was basically an identical twin of the other sheep. So it might not be much different than artificial insemination or something like that. The hang up would be if we could create some type of robot with real consciousness.

  395. RiBo says:

    If lab copies of humans would have the human “immaterial” then the immaterial is in our material…and likely the copies would exhibit the same Morality, same sentient thought, expression, reason, conscience etc as we do.

    If the soul is imparted and extra-material as MLD seems to suggest, then does God put the soul into each person ex-material? Doesn’t seem to be the case as the bible says “before I was formed, you knew me” etc.

  396. RiBo says:

    Josh, it’s a dilemma b/c there is cloning that isn’t artificial insemination, the cloning makes biological duplicates of a human being, literal copies vs. making twins which are not genetically identical.

  397. Josh Hamrick says:

    Yeah, I don’t know. The easy way out would be to say that God created the new person through the cloning process, but it’s certainly not something addressed in the Bible.

  398. RiBo says:

    “The easy way out would be to say that God created the new person through the cloning process, but it’s certainly not something addressed in the Bible.”

    Agreed…which is why I take a very non-literal view of the bible as most of our reality isn’t covered specifically but rather anecdotally or metaphorically or anthropomorphically etc.

    If we are able to create genetic “duplicates” of humans and they are like we are…then it would tend to further prove the bible is not a science book and is more inspired as man’s very limited attempts at expressing God vs. a literal jot and tittle science book.

  399. RiBo says:

    These are the things that keep me up at night vs. the Calvinist vs. Arminian stuff that are both essentially agreeing on Double Predestination for most of humans in history.

  400. RB,
    “MLD, the Amazonian isolated tribe, the Pirahas, is one of several that disproves your assertion above. ”

    You miss it entirely – and I think you do so on purpose. My assertion is that God has given man consciousness, reason, logic, right and wrong (ought/ should) whether man recognizes it or not. Man does not have to believe in God to have all these things – they are there. So your tribe fits my point exactly.

    Your point is that there is no god intervention in exisitence and that somehow consciousness, reason, logic, right and wrong (ought/ should) just sprung from that rock.

    Read some neil Degrasse Tyson – he says it clearly that he and other atheist / materialist believe that we are made from stardust.

    This can be true, but with one other ingredient that he, you and your atheist buddies leave out. God scooped up the dust of the earth (could be stardust) but he added something – his breath of life. So, how did the bible writers know that man was made from the same elements of the earth? God told them.

    So I ask again, how is the rock?

  401. RB, I just read through your whole string this morning and you are arguing from the position that morality etc is already in man – I am glad you recognize that – but that is a total, 100% misdirect from the original question – how did it come from that rock / that stardust.

    That is my ONLY question. I say God (whether man recognizes God or not) and you say ….? What do you say – so far you have not addressed THAT question.

    Look at your rock, think for a minute and give me an answer.

  402. RiBo says:

    MLD, no, I don’t know if it is already “in” man or not. I am simply sorting through the limited data and evidence we have, but I am not sure if it is “in” man or if it something imparted ex-man from a deity etc.

    I dont’ think we can make a certain claim in either direction from the facts and data we have. There seems to be evidence that supports it is “in” man in terms of biological neurological function, similar to animals learning some sort of morality or ought, but it could also be something that God imparts ex-man as well.

    One thing we know, man has “ought” and creates Moral codes etc and has guilt and shame for some things depending on the culture and time period in history etc…but much of that is subjective and learned.

    Is there an innate “Good” and “Evil”? Dunno for sure. Is man born w/o any knowledge of Morality and all of it is learned? Dunno.

    …and neither do you.

  403. Nice dodge again – but NOT addressing the issue. Why will you not address the issue? How did consciousness, reason, logic, right and wrong (ought/ should) come into existence in the first place. All are non material entities – but at one time all existence was just rocks / stardust.

    Is your rock having any thoughts right now? It must be according to your claims.

    You keep repeating what we already agree that man has – the question (I hate to keep repeating) how did it come from just the rocks / stardust. See, guys like Degrasse Tyson will say “well it didn’t come from God” – OK, smarty pants (degrasse tyson) where did it come from?

  404. RiBo says:

    MLD, I’m not arguing against a Creator God, just pointing out the limited amount of info and facts we have. I think “God” in whatever form “he” (we call him he, but he may not have male genitalia at least God the Father and the Holy Spirit) has always been in existence and wasn’t created and that everything came from him/it.

  405. RiBo says:

    The issue is that you assert that necessarily “ought” comes from the non-material, meaning it is imparted in some sort of spiritual metaphysical manner and you have stated at least a couple of times that atheists learn “ought” from Christians and borrowed it from Christians which doesn’t seem to be the case based on the facts we have.

    It is very possible that “ought” is simply a by-product of being human or having some sort of intelligence (see animals that learn “ought”…the dog that learns shame for doing bad).

    You are the one who is confused (as usual) and arguing a couple different things: 1. “Atheists learned ‘ought’ from Christians!!!! 2. God created everything and put “ought” into all humans!!!!

    Neither addresses the fact of animals learning “ought” which would be a third consideration.

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