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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cal-Arm-I'm Not Sure etc

On March 20 I posted an article on my Facebook page that I found interesting.

Others found it interesting...or infuriating...or perplexing...

It spawned a sometimes intense "discussion" (as much as can be experienced via the internet)...

I recognize that some who read this blog or my tweets do not "Facebook," so I reprint it here from the opening post to my last quote that I put in at 2.30 this Thursday afternoon.

Dive in if you dare:

March 20 at 8:29pm near Cummings, KS
  • I was taught that if someone doesn't know the date on which they were saved there must be something wrong. I didn't buy it then; don't buy it now. As I've been known to say, my testimony should not be "history," but rather "current events." Here's a great article on the subject:
     ·  · 

      • Phillip Guthrie It is not necessary to remember the "exact date" but it is important to remember the "event", unless you are suffering from some kind of memory loss due to a trauma or some medical condition. Paul recounted his conversion in testimony in Acts 22 and 26 and references his conversion in Gal. 1:15-24. I do firmly believe that if you are genuinely saved, you will be able to recount the event and give a clear testimony as to what transpired. If someone is genuinly saved there will be several witnesses to the fact: 1. Your own personal testimony, 2. The Word of God (i.e. the witness of Scripture), 3. The witness of others as they see the evidence of change in your life, And 4. The inner witness of the Holy Spirit (*not necessarily given in the order of importance). The exact date? maybe not, but the experience, ...absolutely.

      • Jim Ruberg I'm convinced that it's more the heart attitude of repentance and faith than the words that are expressed. The thief on the cross said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." The tax collecter said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." We don't have any recorded words that Nicodemus prayed, but I believe that he was a believer because he assisted in the burial of Jesus. I knew a man who knelt beside his bed and prayed, "God, forgive me." These lives were changed, even though they may not have prayed the "traditional prayer!"

      • Jim Ruberg One more thought. If you drive to Texas, you know when you crossed the border and entered the state of Texas. But, if you fly to Texas, you don't know when you crossed the border and entered Texas. But, when that plane lands at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport, you know you're in Texas. I may not be able to remember a specific day or time that I trusted Christ, but I know whom I have believed and I know I'm a member of the family of God. The proof is God's Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I'm a child of God, and each day He works with me to conform me into His image!
        March 20 at 9:40pm ·  ·  1

      • Susan Doyle I've seen people who know the day...I can't tell you mine, only the year when a series of events, revelations and moments discussing things with Him...not always as a Christian should...He knows everything I will ever think do and say even now...but He has with grace chosen to save me anyways. Was actually pounding my head into a wall screaming up to Him in my mind as loud as I could...something like Why? Why? Why?, or I don't want to call you a liar God but your Word says thus and it isn't happening...I only remember the worst days were also simultaneously the best days of my life because of Jesus Christ and God's salvation. He didn't lie.

      • Phillip Guthrie Salvation is not something you just kind of slip into over time. I believe that this article gives permission to those who are "cultural christians" to say that they are saved. The Scriptures do not give this liberty. On the contrary, the evidence of Scripture is that when one is "converted" there is an instantaneous change. You move from darkness to light, from being an alien to being an adopted child, from unbelief to faith. In Acts 20:21 Paul said that he preached "repentance toward God (*the Father) and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ." and he did so everywhere. Now it is not recorded every time he writes or speaks, but this is what he said he preached. " History" is important for it gives context and support to the "current events."

      • Jack Hager Well, Phillip; though I sort of see your point in your second addition; I know of too many who have "prayed the prayer" (that, of course, is found no where in Scripture) and know their historic "testimony" word perfect; but have little to no evidence of conversion. I am convinced that "salvation is of the Lord," and equally fruit because of no shoot because of no root. That is NOT salvation by works, but salvation that works...And just in case there is anyone reading who is wondering if they are Christian or not...regardless of whether they can remember a First John. The "mission statement" of First John is "these things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life." Too often the standard "witnessing" package says take "new converts" to First John 5.11-13 and underline the word "know." NO! Read the rest of First John to find out what "these things" are.
        March 20 at 10:08pm ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager And if anyone would like to examine the subject matter in a bit more detail, I recommend the short book "Spiritual Birthline" by Stephen Smallman

      • Jack Hager And though discussions of this may get a bit heated, it is a vital subject...I consider matthew 7.21-23 to be the most terrifying passage of scripture...because these people THINK they are okay,and are doing Christian stuff, but are not converted. And because of manipulative (intentionally or not) invitations (not saying all invitations are manipulative) I shudder to think how many people are trusting a "prayer" but not believing, trusting, relying on the gospel and the Lord of the gospel
        March 20 at 10:13pm ·  ·  2

      • Susan Doyle and therefore missing out on the day to day, moment to moment relationship with the Lord
        March 20 at 10:18pm ·  ·  1

      • Kirk Kasson I was told by someone that for some, being born again is a firework experience, and for others it is like the opening of a flower--you know it happened, but it's hard to pinpoint the moment.
        March 20 at 10:18pm ·  ·  1

      • Kirk Kasson BTW, I was a firework, my wife and kids, I think were flowers.

      • Susan Doyle flower...I like that...I was a flower...with thorns

      • Phillip Guthrie Jack, simply praying a prayer will not save anyone, on this we agree. According to the Scriptures it must be mixed with faith, and that is believing the "Truths" of the gospel. When I see the phrase "salvation is of the Lord" it is almost always used by someone who has bought into a Calvinistic view of salvation, which says you are "regenerated" before you can repent or believe. Now since you have not said that out right, I am not accusing you of such, but if this is your "new" position, then state it openly. As I have studied the Scripture, I find that it can no more support this view than the Armenian view of total free will. I believe that both extremes are out of balance and must ignor or explain away major portions of Scripture to argue their positions. If you are not speaking from that position, but rather from the position that says, "what you confess, you must also live" then we are closer in agreement. James says that we show our faith by our works (not saved by works, but before men our faith is vendicated by what we do).

        I'll check back tomarrow, got to hit the sack so I can get to work on time in the morning.

      • Neil Massey I was saved at 14, period. I do not remember the exact date, because no one told me that it was that important to do so. I didn't come from a religious household. My parents still aren't born again to this day, though they are more religious than when I was a teen. So to those who say it's necessary, I say, "I'll see you in heaven, and then God can reveal to us both whether or not the exact date matters." I agree with Jack! It's not about what happened back then, it's about what's going on in my life today!!!
        March 20 at 11:00pm ·  ·  2

      • Susan Doyle what we confess we do live, living by faith. But we often percieve what living by faith is by current standards, apart from Biblical, as in modern Christian societal norms or mores, when a different standard is used in heaven. When it comes to faith we need to spend more time working through our own than setting measuring bars for other's works. If their works scream out they do not truly believe our works do not end but remain, and though we may not indulge in their works we constantly open windows and doors for the light to shine through Lord alone willing. A Christian brethren would not be shooting up heroin but he'ld hold his hand out to addicts. Then again a christian in the making could be shooting up heroin if they were in the process of being awakened by the Lord. And when does the flower become a flower? When it knows it, or when God does? Thankfully God sees inside the cup. For Jesus was called a glutton and winebibber, and was executed with criminals for crimes he did not commit. Whenever the conception occurs God knows when the child is forming and a child of the kingdom. I recall the first few times I knew I wanted to believe as a child and again as an adult only to see later faith was lacking. But in His time the gift was given. Not by might or power but by His Spirit. ...thinking out loud here.
        March 20 at 11:59pm ·  ·  2

      • Crystal Eve Richard i like subjects like this :) I was told that I "was saved" when I was 4, and I must have been, because I can't remember ever NOT " being saved" I just remember always being with Him, and He with me....
        March 21 at 1:55am ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager Phillip, I would, of course, add repentance to the mix necessary (and gifted) for salvation. I am not quite tip toeing through the tulips, but if I "had" to identify myself I'd be closer to Calvinism than the Arminean view. I am okay not knowing all the mysteries of the Word...but as the unconverted are "dead in their trespasses and sins" something has to happen to, ah, illuminate. All I know is that I need to point people to Jesus and the gospel; only God can "lead" them...I think we are very close in our understanding...
        March 21 at 6:30am ·  ·  1

      • Susan Doyle Dead men can't exercise faith. It would be like a doctor standing in a graveyard and saying, "I have this medicine that will give you eternal life if you will only get up and take it from my hand and drink it." In order to be able to get up and to drink it, they FIRST must be raised from the dead!

        Regeneration or the new birth precedes faith. When Jesus said to Nicodemus,
        "You must be born again" he was telling him of his need, not something he could do. Just as Nicodemus had no part in his first birth, we too have no part in our spiritual birth, it is a sovereign act of God (John 3:3-10). Faith is a gift from God, it is something we do, but it does not have its origin with us. Also, from that faith works do follow as a proof that our faith is genuine ( Eph. 2:8-10).

      • Jack Hager I also like this from John Piper: "Salvation is a miracle, not a decision."

      • Jeff Hume Finally, something worth logging on to facebook for. Just watching for now.

      • Neil Massey ‎@Susan: I was a Satanist before coming to Christ. My family never talked about God. I didn't know any Bible stories, especially not the resurrection. A guy named Charles took it upon himself to be my friend in our Men's Choir class in high school; from that friendship sprang an opportunity for him to introduce me to the Gospel. I read the Bible (albeit in comic book form) for the first time in my entire life, because Charles offered it to me and I was interested to see what it said. I read the Book of John in two parts. After reading part 1, I asked Charles for part 2 (I had not yet asked Christ into my heart, but I was seeking). Later in the week, I finished part 2 and wanted more. I asked Charles if he had anything else to read; the only thing he had on him was a Chick tract, which he gave to me to read as our class ended. I remember being excited about reading the tract, so I hid it under my desk in my history class just so that I could read it (and so that the teacher wouldn't see that I wasn't paying attention to his lecture).

        At the end of the tract (also in comic book form), three demons standing in hell, with flames licking up around them, asked, "Won't you join us?" I remember thinking, "No way!" So I bowed my head as adeptly as I could without being noticed and prayed the sinner's prayer in the back of that tract right then and there for fear of walking out of that classroom, dying, and going straight to hell - which I knew I certainly deserved because of my very recent past with devil worship.

        My question to you is this: I truly only realized my desperate need for Christ after reading that Chick tract, and I vividly remember the peace I felt after asking Christ into my heart - are you trying to tell me that I was born-again before asking Christ into my heart? If so, where is faith necessary if Almighty God shoves His own Son down my throat and forces me to accept something I haven't asked Him for? Did I not have a choice to reject salvation? Calvinists say, "No." (And I'm no Arminianist either.) With the help of the Holy Spirit, I believe I did realize my own desperate need for the salvation offered through Christ. And until He came and indwelt this rotting piece of human flesh, I was utterly and completely without any sort of regeneration. To think otherwise, I think, is to reject that man has a free will of any kind - and, in turn, reject the Bible all the way back to Adam and Eve's choice to sin in the Garden of Eden. In the end, salvation is a combination of both Calvinism and Arminianism - the best parts of both - yet, it is an act of total grace nonetheless. Thoughts?

        March 21 at 10:19am ·  ·  1

      • Phillip Guthrie Jack, illumination to the truth, yes, regeneration, no.

      • Susan Doyle Neil, God prepared your heart to accept His truth and faith. Had God desired to harden your heart you would never have read that tract and if you had read it you might have embraced the invitation in the fire. A gift that none may boast. We did not choose God because we were better than our peers and saw the wisdom in faith in God. We accepted Christ because God had sewn it in our hearts. Whether we come as servants or free we come only because He wills ir, and not by our will power but by His. Man has a will but faith comes from God. Adam and Eve were accountable but when they slipped I don't believe God went to plan B, He was still in His will on plan A. Some will note I had to resend this due to typos, first day with new lenses without reading glasses on.

      • Phillip Guthrie The work of the Holy Spirit which precedes salvation is found in John 16:7-16. He reproves the world or confronts the world concerning "sin" - "righteousness" and "judgment."

        In Romans 10:11-15 the richnes of His Grace is offered equally to "all" who call upon His name without partiality. Faith is available to all who hear the Word.

      • Phillip Guthrie In Romans 1:16-32 the order of rebellion is that man first rejects God then God rejects man, not the other way around.

      • Neil Massey Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." I read God's Word which was illuminated via the Holy Spirit and by God's grace. I then (Luke 13:3) repented and afterward called upon the Lord; at that point, Christ's righteousness was imputed to me on His behalf (Rom., 10:13, 14; 4:22, 24). Even James 2:23 teaches us that Abraham was counted as righteous because of his faith, not the other way around; one must believe to have faith (and you will notice that it was Abraham's faith in God, not God's faith in Abraham that was counted as righteousness). So unless you can explain the juxtaposition between what you, Susan, are saying and what James says, I'd say that I totally agree with Phillip: "Illumination to the truth, yes, regeneration, no." God does not impute righteousness to us before we are saved - He cannot, it would be against His nature to do so. Therefore, justification, sanctification, and glorification are all concurrent from God's viewpoint, which is why I believe so many Calvinists and Arminianists so vehemently disagree. They just aren't seeing the whole picture. Opinions?

      • Jack Hager Greetings from Seattle Wa...I left KC early this morning and will be here through the weekend speaking at and helping with the Washington Bible Quiz Regional Tournament. This has turned into quite the discussion...and has been civil. Let's keep it that way. I have several comments floating through my mind and heart; but am interested in the conversation...Of course people a lot smarter than me have been, ah, discussing this subject for 2,000 years. One thing I will say...that many have heard me say(or type), is that I have NEVER been "witnessed to." I have never "prayed the prayer." I simply was exposed to the Word of God in a jail cell, and in reading the Word the Spirit (who I did not know existed) convicted me of my sin, drew me to repentance, and faith. I "believed" the Good News and trusted in Christ. The living, active Word of God is sufficient and doesn't, at the end of the day, need our "help." Amazingly, though, the Lord's plan (from before the beginning) was to bring glory to Himself through the amazing gospel...and usually that gospel is transmitted through sin-damaged us. Let us strive...and ensure that we don't spend so much time "discussing" this amazng gift of salvation that we don't have time to brag on Jesus to others.
        March 21 at 6:24pm ·  ·  1

      • Neil Massey I guess that's an endorsement then? (LOL) ...of which side of the argument, I'm not quite sure ;-)

      • Jack Hager Neil, the older I get the more convinced I am that "the main thing is the plain thing; and the plain thing is the main thing." And I'm not sure whether the Father grins or weeps sometimes at my use of time. Deut 29.29
        March 21 at 6:36pm ·  ·  1

      • Neil Massey And sometimes I just like being controversial for the sake of hilarity; oftentimes, though, few seem to get it, but I keep trying :-)
        March 21 at 8:13pm ·  ·  1

      • Phillip Guthrie John 1:12, Romans 10:13 and others suggest that "prayer" is a part of the process. Now the problem is that many misunderstand what prayer is. Too many think that prayer must be formulated right, i.e. "Father, I confess that I'm a sinner and I acknowledge that Jesus died for me. I receive you Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me, in Jesus Name . . .Amen!" -- Now if someone prays this prayer or one like it and they are genuinely sincere in faith and in repentance, I have no doubt that they have been saved. However, simply parroting these words without faith and repentance is simply speaking words into the air. "Prayer" is simply speaking to God; this can be verbal, mental or from within our human spirit often referred to as our heart. Prayer can be as simple as saying "yes" in your heart and mind to the truths of the Word of God. In John, Peter simply said "Lord save me." in Acts the Jailer and his family heard the Word and at some point "accepted" it as the truth. At Athens when Paul spoke, "some believed, some said they would hear more of this matter and some rejected." I prayed a prayer like this: "Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner, please forgive me, come into my heart and take controll of my life. Thank you for dieing on the cross for me." -- and there was an instant lifting of weight from my life and an instant change. It was a Tuesday evening, the second week of July at a youth camp in 1974.
        March 22 at 8:51am ·  ·  1

      • Neil Massey For some, like me, who'd never prayed in their lives, who wouldn't know what to say or how to say anything to an Almighty God, the Sinner's Prayer is something we're thankful for, because I did pray it believing, and I was changed in a most dramatic you and many others! BTW, correct spelling for the present participle of die is dying :-)

      • Phillip Guthrie Thanks for the English lesson... Lol

      • Jack Hager Any language that spells pneumonia with a "p"....well...
        March 22 at 2:33pm ·  ·  1

      • Neil Massey As most English words came from other languages, so does pneumonia. Its etymology harkens back to the early 17th century, modern Latin, but it can be traced back to the Greek pneumōn, meaning, "lung." We have altered the form of the word to mean "influenced by pneuma 'breath'." :-) English teacher - can't help it.
        March 22 at 2:46pm ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager English teacher, huh? One of my high school english teachers continues to have a profound effect (affect?) on my life...byk the way, have you seen this:
        Words are dying, and you probably aren’t doing anything to stave off the epidemi...See More
        March 22 at 2:49pm ·  ·  1 · 

      • Neil Massey In reference to the article, that's exactly why I used the word "harken," though my spelling of the word is a more modernized version, and had I actually wanted to be etymologically correct, I should have spelled it "hearken."

      • Neil Massey Oh, effect is the result of one thing acting upon another; affect is the act of having an effect upon someone or something else. Was that confusing enough?

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Judgment or judgement? Actually both are correct spellings with the second being old English. "Dying" - to fade away, vanish, to perish or the process of death. "Dieing" from die, as to cut, stamp, and form as with a die. However, i...See More

      • Jack Hager's another site that may be of interest to you if you've not seen it before:
        Fridays are for ‘Reclaiming Words!’ The intent of this series is to explore word...See More
        March 23 at 11:27am ·  · 

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Your two quotes from Mr. Pipper are half truths. Salvation is a gift, true and salvation is a miracle, true -- but salvation is not a decision, false. A gift must be purchased or made and then "offered" to the intended recipient. If the...See More

      • Jack Hager I'm smiling as I type this (to try to put a "feel" to this....I'm sure John Piper would agree with you, Phillip; as would John some level salvation certainly IS a "decision," but the question would be, whose (or Whose) decision is it?

      • Phillip Guthrie Both God's and the individual who is called by the gospel.

      • Jack Hager I think it was the late B R Lakin who said something like, "I think God will forgive me if I win a non-elect person to Christ." In point of fact, I think I could "prove" either side of the Armenian/Calvinist debate to most professing Christians using nothing but the Bible...
        March 23 at 4:42pm ·  ·  3

      • Jack Hager But rather than continue at this time, I'm going to go hang out with teenagers and play volleyball before we start the quiz tournament again...blessings to all...

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Have fun Jack.

        Something to chew on when you return: If it is true and I believe that it is to a point, that using the Bible alone one could "prove" either Armenian/Calvinist positions, then it must be true that both have gleaned truth fr...See More

        March 23 at 6:20pm ·  ·  2

      • Jack Hager And, of course, no human being, regardless of theology or how many initials they have after their name has it ALL figured out...and that's okay; as a basic message of the Word is "I am God, you are not"...I am glad I am able and willing to say "I don't know"...and I often quote First Jack One One...don't let what you don't know mess up what (Who) you do know"
        March 23 at 7:49pm ·  ·  2

      • Jack Hager Just ran across this quote which sort of could maybe possibly apply: “The wind of God is always blowing... but you must hoist your sail.” François Fénelon

      • Neil Massey 
        Jack, I, too, could prove either Calvinism or Arminianism with my Bible alone. But I have to disagree with Phillip; both points of view do not necessarily have to contain errors. One of the godliest men I have ever known, Matt Willmington, ...See More

      • Jack Hager Had a wonderful Bible prof who would say "Can't wait to get to heaven and figure it all out." Loved the guy, but methinks even in glory we won't know it all because we still won't be God...
        March 23 at 8:05pm ·  ·  2

      • Phillip Guthrie Neal, the error of both is the complete denial of any veracity in the other and the unwillingness to see anything that does not fit their tinplate.

      • Neil Massey It's N-E-I-L, Phillip, and I think you meant template, not tinplate, right? Spelling (or misspelling) can really kill the message you mean to send.

      • Phillip Guthrie On iPhone, fat fingers & tiny keys

      • Joseph Torrey 
        Love this discussion (including the grammar and etymology lessons!) Praise the Lord for the testimonies that have also been shared...they gave me goosebumps. =) Personally, I struggle with debates that take sides (e.g. Calvinism vs Armin...See More

        March 23 at 9:04pm ·  ·  1

      • Phillip Guthrie OK, N-E-I-L, I'm back on the big keyboard. Tinplate, tinning over cast iron or mettal to protect against rusting, Template, a pattern used to insure consistancy...etc. ; )

      • Phillip Guthrie Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, "by scripture alone") is the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Luke 9:23 and Gal. 2:20 great passages for the believer to lay hold of every day.

      • Neil Massey 
        I forgive you. One thing though, as an English teacher, I can tell you that just because you put a few big words together doesn't mean you're making any sense to the average reader. (Though I did interpret your meaning.) I like to tell my s...See More

        March 23 at 9:15pm ·  ·  1

      • Phillip Guthrie As someone who holds a Masters in Theology and over 30 years in ministry, I tend to ignore the complaints of people who try to talk down to me as if my knowledge and experience is somehow inferior to theirs.

        5- point Calvinism does contain many errors, point in case, "Christ died for the sins of the whole world"
        1 John 2:2, not just for an elect few.

        March 24 at 6:22am ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager 
        Speaking for myself, Phillip, I am not attacking you and your education; but I am reasonably sure you'd agree that many have been "educated" out of usefulness; relying on their intellect rather than Spirit of God. I am just glad that I get ...See More

      • Neil Massey 
        Phillip, I'm not sure if your last comment was a dig at me or not, but just for clarification, was it? If so, I'm not really sure why. If not, who were you talking to, and what did you mean? I wasn't insulting your education , knowledge, or...See More

      • Susan Doyle agree 100 percent on current events

      • Phillip Guthrie I do not mind a bit of sarcasm or even a bit of jesting, but when someone ignores the argument and goes after spelling of word usage it usually means they either can not or
        Will not address the topic. As to education, Jack, agreed that some are educated beyond use.

      • Neil Massey 
        Phillip, you really didn't answer my question about your comments being digs at me; you did go around it though. Just so we're clear, you got mad at me because I pointed out that you used the word "tinplate" instead of "template?" I could h...See More

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Nope, did not get mad, just a little tit for tat -- the problem with the written word is that it is hard to convey true emotion or feeling without a lot of extemporaneous explanation -- oops another big word -- sorry. Apparently it did g...See More

      • Neil Massey 
        Phillip, "tit-for-tat," huh? Hmm...just wondering where you find that kind of revenge-seeking acceptable within the realm of Christian doctrine, or did you discover that freedom while earning your "Masters in Theology and over 30 years in m...See More

        Monday at 6:02pm · 

      • Phillip Guthrie Ohhh sense of humor.....
        Monday at 8:53pm · 

      • Jack Hager 
        I admit, Phillip and Neil, that I can't decide who is being serious and who isn't...but I call for a cessation of perceived hostilities. I don't want to stop comments on this the original posting is still "out there" for people to consider....See More

        Monday at 9:25pm · 

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        There are serious errors in both Calvinism and Armenian theologies. Herbert Lockyer has a single volume entitled "All the Doctines of the Bible." It is concise, well balanced and not a hard read. Calvin's 7 volume theology is at times bogg...See More

        Tuesday at 9:31am ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager 
        I'm not a big fan of the "invitation system" as practiced by many; "no one comes to the Son except the Father draws (compels?) him" . I'm not "against" invitations until they turn into intentionally (no matter how lofty the goal) manipulati...See More

      • Erin Dillon Alderman I like this ! I was taught the same thing and also had to struggle with the idea that maybe I hadn't been sincere because I was only a child and didn't fully understand what it all meant. Thank the Lord, I had those around who loved the Lord and were willing to help me understand.

      • Jack Hager Love it, Joe! Laughter is not only good medicine, it can be a peacemaker to those willing to disagree agreeably. You'd think after a while people would be more willing to say "I know Jesus" and "I 'think' this about some of the things we've been debating for two thousand plus years...
        Tuesday at 4:07pm ·  ·  2

      • Sumwun Udontno Thank you. This whole conversation just reminds me of why I hated Thelemic e-lists and Asatru lists. Same fighting for no real purpose, other than to argue.

      • Neil Massey 
        Jack, yes, initially I was joking, but I'm not sure Phillip was. I asked him, as you can see, but he never answered me directly. Yesterday was a particularly hard day at school with everyone dealing with the death of a student over the week...See More

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        One common error or flaw in most Systematic Theologies, is the over use of "proof texts" -- verses, paragraphs or sections pulled out of their immediate context or yanked from the whole body of revelation to stand alone as evidence for or a...See More

        Yesterday at 12:21pm ·  ·  1

      • Jack Hager 
        You know, one of the arguments voiced by those who would identify strongly as arminian is that "it wouldn't be fair if God chose...because that means He created some people who He knew would go to hell." Well, duh, whether one is Calvinisti...See More

        23 hours ago · 

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Actually Jack, your stated response is what is called a "straw man" in debate. You have set us a scenario I have not even addressed, ...yet. : ) It does not address the point but rather changes the question to "what is God's Character a...See More

        21 hours ago · 

      • Jack Hager Ah, Phil, there are others commenting, and still others reading; I was not particualrly responding to your postings or your views, but stating a fact of observation that I don't think is straw...the typical armenian (even if he/she doesn't identify as such) thinks if it is all up to God and not up to "free will" then God isn't fair...
        21 hours ago · 

      • Jack Hager 
        But I just found out one of our teachers is sick so I have 30 minutes to prepare to talk to our group of 1st - 3rd graders at our church...half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at...and this is one of the MANY things at which I a...See More

        21 hours ago ·  ·  1

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Ah, Jack, if it is "all" up to God (which is a misconception based on flawed reasoning and logic rather than on a careful examination of the Word of God) then the end result is that man is not responsible nor accountable. Sin is ultimately...See More

        5 hours ago · 

      • Jack Hager 
        So, Phillip...wish we could have coffee and discuss face-to-face; but are you saying that God said "oops" when Eve fell into sin? If not, then, fundamentally, sin is here "by God's design." I do think you are presuming things about me that ...See More

        3 hours ago · 

      • Phillip Guthrie Actually chapters 8-12 are all a part of Paul's discourse. You cannot pull any one part out and not end up in foul territory.
        2 hours ago · 

      • Phillip Guthrie 
        Chapter 9 contains the "what if" rhetorical argument. The focus of 9 is on "the seed" which should be left and if we look at Paul's other letters such as Galatians 3:16 we find that this "seed" is Christ who is called the "Elect" of God. ...See More

      • Phillip Guthrie Well, I too have other things that need my attention. I'll Check back later.

      • Jack Hager As I think I typed eons ago (in this eonic conversation) I love the quote, "I think God will forgive me if I win a non-elect person to Christ." I'm okay with that; and I'm more than okay with not being quite as assured of some of this stuff as some are...Deut 29.29

      • Jack Hager Just got this from a friend, and it fits to share it here...a song to which everyone who has posted here can hopefully sing together with no caveat:!
        Lyrics: Verse 1 My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteous...See More
        about an hour ago ·  · 

      • Jack Hager Took me a while to (re)find this (and please understand that this is not directed at any one individual within this conversation)...from Douglas J. Moo commentary on Romans 11.33-36 "One of the most common sentiments I express these days is a greater humility about certain theological positions I hold. Like many young people, I felt confident of my positions in the first years of my career. I sometimes propagated views orally or in print that I had not thought through as thoroughly as I should have. WHILE I HAVE NOT CHANGED MANY OF THESE VIEWS, I AM MUST MORE INCLINED NOW TO NOTICE EVIDENCE THAT MIGHT NOT FIT MY VIEW...What does this have to do with Romans 11.33-36? Just this: Paul's reminder that God's thoughts are far beyond anything we could ever approximate and His plan more intricate and marvelous that we could even imagine certainly calls on each of us to exercise great humility in seeking to understand God and His Word. ON THIS SIDE OF GLORY, ALL OUR THEOLOGIZING IS UNCERTAIN AND TENTATIVE...The ESSENCE of what that Word says is clear and undebatable. BUT THE DETAILS are not always as clear as our theological traditions or denominational loyalties suggest. PEOPLE HOLDING VIEWS WITH MORE TENACITY THAN SCRIPTURE JUSTIFIES HAVE DONE UNTOLD DAMAGE to the church and the cause of Christ in the world. SO EVEN AS WE PRAISE GOD FOR HIS AMAZING AN DGRACIOUS PLAN OF REDEMPTION, WE MUST ALSO BOW OUR KNEES IN HUMILITY BEFORE HIM AND KEEP A GOOD PERSPECTIVE ON OUR OWN LIMITATIONS IN UNDERSTANDING THE SPECIFICS OF THAT PLAN." (some words capitalized by Jack simply because I don't know how to "bold" them here)
        11 minutes ago · 

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